It was love at first climb. I didn’t know that climbing a mountain could be so thrilling, captivating and awe-inspiring not until I had my first climb in the Mountain of Gethsemane years ago. Since then, I always find myself dreaming to be on mountain top again, I missed the gentle touch of the wind as it caresses my skin, the deafening sound of silence while I’m savoring few hours of freedom and solitude.
Two days before New Year kicks in, I decided to climb Mt. Balagbag. I just wanted to be far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, to have some quiet time to clear my mind, to reflect and to think about the year that is about to end so I can start 2016 fresh and new without any excess and unwanted baggage.
For a beginner like me, Mt. Balagbag is the best option to start off. They say it’s the easiest trail that one can try before trying out other mountains that require expert mountain climbing skills because its trail is wide and long. But my journey going up was not that easy for the road is a bit steep and rocky (things are really easier said than done).
Mt. Balagbag becomes a haven for many mountain bikers because of its trail. It is also a popular hiking destination favored for its proximity to Metro Manila since its only located in Rodriguez Rizal.
The peak of the mountain is a plus factor why many mountain bikers are attracted to go there. At the peak of the mountain is where the “helipad” can be seen. A helipad at the peak of a mountain is literally like a helipad where helos can easily land.
Being part of the Sierra Madre range, Mt. Balagbag stands in the middle of Central and Southern Luzon and boasts a summit that offers a spectacular view of different horizons: From Malabon stretching to Manila and Makati’s cityline and extending as far as Parañaque and Baywalk.
After enjoying the breathtaking view, sweet serenity and moment of tranquility all good things must come to an end, my adventure here must also end. I wasn’t able to explore the whole place more because I need to go back home for I have piles of work waiting for me. I’m looking forward to go back to this place to stay overnight and enjoy star gazing and discover the hidden beauty of Mt. Maranat and the other neighboring mountains.
What other things to do here?
Mt. Balagbag doesn’t only boast its beautiful mountain range but also its waterfalls and rivers that pave way for the possibility to traverse to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan or other barangays of Rodriguez, Rizal. You also have an option to stay overnight to see the dazzling city lights, the millions of stars the light up the sky at night, wait for shooting stars, and witness the great view during sunset and sunrise.
How to get there?
Ride a bus bound to SM Fairview Tungko then alight at Jollibee Tungko. At the back of BDO bank in Tungko, there is a jeepney terminal going to Licao-Licao; ride that jeep to Licao-Licao. From Licao-Licao, you may start your trek up to the summit or you may wish to ride tricycle going to the registration area which is actually a 30-minute walk from Licao-Licao.
First Registration Fee: Php 10.00
Second Registration Fee: Php 20.00
Tour Guide: 400-500 pesos (but not required)
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