MT. BALAGBAG (777+ masl) DAYHIKE ITINERARY
“No One can stop us!”, this is our motto everytime we explore mountains challenged by complex weather condition. And when I say complex, it means 5-minute sun shine then followed by a raging thunderstorm.
This is our experience when we trekked Mt. Balagbag yesterday (29 August 2016), which is usually declared to be a regular holiday for Filipinos because of National Heroes Day, well indeed a Heroes Climb for us, because it will take a lot courage to trek a mountain on a slippery and muddy trail with lots of rain and swooshing wind.
Mt. Balagbag is said to be a minor climb compared to the mountains we have here in the Philippines. It is rated as a beginner’s choice before trekking Mt. Palay-Palay/Mt. Pico de Loro and taking a different level, which is Mt. Pulag. You can see a lot of mountain ranges right on top of Mt. Balagbag and can also do waterfalls-hopping as a traverse route since Rizal is a well known Falls spot.
I can say that Mt. Balagbag’s trail is well established compared to the one’s we had in Mt. Maranat which is a bit steep and mainly assaults. It also has a friendly campsite for those who wish to stay for overnight. It is said that when the weather is nice at night, you can do stargazing and do photo shoots overlooking city lights.
Now, I wanted to share with you our itinerary for our climb.
0430 ETD EDSA Guadalupe (ride a bus going to Tungko)
0600 ETA Jollibee Tungko (across is a Petron Gas Station, ride a Jeepney with signage Licao-Licao)
0645 Licao-Licao Jumpoff (ride a tricycle going to Brgy. Hall or start the 30-45 minutes trek)
0715 Register and secure guide at Brgy. Hall (it is not recommended to get a guide trekking
Mt. Balagbag but highly recommended for those who are traversing at nearby mountains)
0720 Start Trek
0830 Arrived at Second Registration (Need to register since the way going to the helipad is a private property)
0900 Arrived at the Peak (photo-ops at helipad, near campsite)
0930 Start Descent
1030 Arrived at Brgy. Hall (lunch, tidy-up and log-out)
*Optional – you can ride a tricycle going to the Jumpoff or do the usual trek going down
1100 Tricycle going to the Jump-off
1130 Ride a Jeepney going back to Tungko
0130 Arrived at Tungko Proper (ride a bus going back to Manila)
WHAT WILL BE THE COST-
The registration fees only costs us all-in P30.00, a) P10.00 at Brgy. Hall and b) P20.00 for the 2nd Registration. Our tricycle ride costs P20.00/person per way. The jeepney from Tungko to Licao-Licao (vice versa) costs P27.00/per person. The travel time going to Licao-Licao from Tungko is faster (only 45 minutes) than the vice versa (almost 2hrs) because the jeepneys which are not full will pick-up passengers along the road. I mean literally the jeep is in slow motion.
There is a built-in toilet/wash area beside the Brgy. Hall, you may ask the Brgy. Tanods (brgy. police officers) there to assist you. Using the wash area is free-of-charge because they said that the water source is mainly the mountain. Be cautious because the water is VERY COLD. You may also eat your lunch or do siesta on there newly built two-storey Bahay Kubo.
It is also advised that climbers shouldn’t mind the kids bugging them while in the trail. Just be courteous to say NO on what they offer or if they’re asking for some pennies, as they have said that they’re just doing this skims even before without their parents knowing it.
The safest budget for those who are doing DAYHIKE will only costs P300-500.00 Further, I highly advised that before climbing, please check the weather forecast to avoid accidents. Also, always bring a PONCHO when climbing because you’ll never know how will you’ll be able to climb in a cold weather and even in a wet clothes.
Our hike experience was so challenging because the trail and scenery was fully covered by fog but here are snaps that we able to capture while in the trail.
I highly recommend this climb for beginner hikers, ONLY that you make sure that the weather is good.
We also saw a lot of bikers going up the mountain even if its muddy. Just be cautious and wear the proper gears and you are set to go.
May your feet take you where your heart wants to go
Hope this helps!