I have several friends who have been telling me how fun hiking is and that I should give it a try. I love the outdoors, most especially the mountains. In fact, I prefer Baguio or Sagada over Coron or Boracay. The only problem is, I’m afraid of heights! But after accomplishing the 4 hour hike at Masungi Georeserve, I’m quite convinced that its psychological.
I wanted to do something different for my birthday, so I decided to take some of my students from Right Start Philippines ( a non profit , non government organization that provides underprivileged children with opportunities to discover their full creative potential ) to Masungi Georeserve. It was challenging to book a weekend slot because most are fully booked til May! So I settled for a weekday slot. There’s also an age requirement, all hikers should be 13 years old and above.
Masungi Georeserve is only an hour and a half from San Juan, Metro Manila. Its an easy drive, with wide roads but there’s always slow moving traffic along the Santolan- Boni Serrano- C5 area. We arrived at 11am. We all had to use the toilet before starting the hike and we were happy to see that the toilets were clean and well kept.
The starting point is called “Silungan”. This is where they brief you about Masungi and where they hand you helmets (to be worn at ALL times) and a drawstring backpack , if needed . I love that the park/trail rangers are dedicated to protecting the georeserve. You can feel how passionate they are with their work just by giving us the guidelines and a bit of history of the place. Its hard to imagine this was once a haven for illegal logging.
They have named areas in the trail according to terms a traditional Filipino family would call one another such as Tatay (the highest peak in Masungi), Nanay ( the next highest peak, and others .
Our guide, Jason, was very patient with us and he was very supportive and a great cheerleader to keep us going.
This was scary, what helped me in doing this was to not look down and just stay focused on the net in front of me. One hole at a time!
*you can also choose Tuna sandwiches ( while making your booking online)
For more information and reservations: http://www.masungigeoreserve.com
To know more about the Right Start Foundation: http://www.rightstart.ph/