While breathing in the fresh air of a Rizal rainforest and climbing its cliff sides, I couldn’t help but think, “This is the Philippines I love.”
Since its debut in December 2015, Masungi Georeserve welcomes visitors to appreciate the forest its team saved. This part of Rizal used to be a hotspot for illegal logging until Blue Star Construction & Development Corporation and the team of Masungi Georeserve came together in protecting such a rich ecosystem of the Philippines. What used to be balding cliff sides are now thick brushes of greenery and wildlife.
Conservation efforts beginning in the 2000’s revived the forest’s life and these past three years were spent in making it a hospitable destination for visitors.
Masungi Georeserve is designed for its visitors to truly submerge into the spirit of a Philippine rainforest. Rather than drivable view spots and mild dirt trails to enjoy the park, the trails consist of cave and cavern crawling, suspension bridges, and rope climbing.
The first major stop is Sapot, a spiderweb-like bridge over sharp limestone figures a.k.a. the first step in conquering your fear of heights.
As intimidating as the sharp rocks below us were, the majestic view calmed us all.
Again, this was only the first “obstacle” on this Masungi course. More wonders were to come.
(Btw, believe it or not, this bridge was hella sturdy!)
And after that bridge, came another. And after that, came the scariest, steepest, wtf-there’s-no-harness-here?! dip. You’ll see what I mean later on in this blog post.
Back to the bridges…
This bridge was my absolute favorite.
Do not let the unknown distance from the ground scare you! This truly was the most relaxing portion of the trail.
Because I was one of the few who went ahead in the group, I was able to lie down in this giant hammock and meditate while rustling leaves and sounds of wildlife soothed the soul.
Next stop: Tatay.
Tatay, father in Tagalog, is the tallest peak along the Masungi trail in which visitors can enjoy a 360 view of the magic before them.
Oh, remember what I said about the scariest part of the trip? Well, do you see that white cliff? It’s actually a cliff covered in a roped net that then becomes a roped suspension bridge.
More views from Tatay
Here’s Nanay (mother)
Off to Nanay’s now!
Although Nanay is shorter than Tatay, her tall peek still blessed us with such an incredible view.
This is the Philippines I love.
Masungi is proof of how the Philippines can triumph over destruction, revive, and create a new.
Tips for Future Masungi Georeserve
- Respect park rules. Like I said, it took a decade for the forest to regrow into the lush organism it is today. Respect it.
- They provide water bottles before the trip so you don’t need to bring your own.
- Handful of my friends I came with are terrified of heights but were able to do all the obstacles. My biggest tip is a strong support system and attentiveness to the tips of your group’s guide.
- Pack light. The trail takes 3-4 hours and you’re going to literally be crawling and climbing.
- Again, respect park rules. As the slogan goes: Eco over Ego