Masungi Georeserve is a rustic rock garden and conservation area tucked in the rainforests of Rizal. By now anyone who has spent any time on the internet would have already come across it. Its most recognizable landmark would be the giant spider web hanging above a plenitude of limestone karst.
Last June, after learning that my cousin Steven is organizing a trip for his teenage children, we quickly convinced him to make it into a big family excursion. So on June 22, before the rainy season officially manifested itself, 10 of us sweat out the Masungi Georeserve experience.
Masungi Georeserve Highlights
Sapot – Giant Spider Web
The Sapot view deck is the most iconic feature of Masungi for me. It is made with tension cables spun like a giant spider web. They said it can hold up 30 people but they only let maximum of 15 people per time. This view deck has the view of Laguna de Bay to the horizon and the karst forest under your feet. I believe this is unique in the world.
Tatay & Nanay
Tatay is father in the Filipino language. In Filipino culture, father is the head of the family. This is the highest peak in the whole conservation park, and so they called it Tatay. Nanay is the 2nd highest peak in Masungi. Guess what Nanay means.
I love how you stand on top of these peaks and all you see is this incredible vastness of green! It is easy to forget that you’re actually still within in Manila. The climb to the peaks are neither scary nor hard. It has well defined steps and railings to hold on to. The view at the top is amazing.
TATAY is the highest Peak in Masungi Georeserve
NANAY is the 2nd highest Peak in Masungi Georeserve
NANAY is composed of 5 huge limestone rocks connected by bridges
Ditse, Patak, Duyan
Ditse is the first peak where you get 360 view of vast green. This is connected to Patak–a drop shape air house connected by a hanging bridge on one side, and another with a rope ladder that lead to Duyan–the giant hammock.
Overview of Patak, Ditse, and Duyan
Masungi Georeserve Discovery Trail
I think there is a plan to add a more advance trail to the park, but for now there is the Discovery Trail. This easy trail takes you through the conservation area. The trek takes about 4 hours which includes picture taking and a lot of rest. Based on our Apple Watch, the trail distance is 6km long (approximately).
A park ranger is assigned to a group who will guide you around the trail showing the point of interests. He will also give you information about Masungi such as when Masungi Georeserve was founded, their mission and vision, and how the names are derived.
The excursion starts with a briefing at one of the visitor area. They give you an overview of the trail, safety measures, and rules. They’ll issue everyone a helmet for protection. You can refill water bottle here as there won’t be any water station along the way. Same with rest room, you have to use it now. They have paid lockers to store things you decided the last minute you don’t want to carry. Bring as little as possible.
The trail is easy and provides a lot safety measures such as hand rails, concrete steps, and ropes to hold on to. It is a question of one’s stamina. There will be a lot of going up and down uneven path; passing through holes and caves; climbing up and down rope courses; crossing hanging bridges.
Our group’s age varied from teens to 40s of varied level of physical fitness. So it’s easy for some and not so easy to some. I don’t do regular exercise but have a lot of experience trekking outdoors, mostly during my travels. But in the end, everyone survived.
How to Reserve Masungi Georeserve
The reservation process per se is easy.There are 20 slots per day starting at 5:30am and the last group starts at 1:30pm.
—>FILL up the booking form HERE<—
Weekends are usually full way in advance, but it’s relatively easy to get a weekday slot. I highly recommend going in the morning because it can get really hot at mid day.
The Minimum Age is 13 years old.
You also have to go by group. The minimum number is 7 people, maximum 14. If you are less than 7 people, you can still go if you are willing to pay the total price for 7 people (1500 x 7 = 10,500).
If you are alone among your friends interested to do this, sometimes Masungi Georeserve will posts shared trail on their social media pages. Keep an eye on this as I think this will be a regular thing.
Email them at [email protected]
There are also people on facebook who invite people to share trail. This is a great idea, like carpooling, just be careful of scammers who will take your money and disappear! Obviously privately organized groups are not the responsibility of Masungi.
Masungi Georeserve Entrance Fee
The price to enter Masungi Georeserve are as follows:
Mon-Fri – Php_1,500 per person
Sat-Sun – Php_1,800 per person
No other fees.
How to G0 to Masungi Georeserve
Masungi is located at KM47 and depending on traffic, is about 2 hours drive. The best way to get to Masungi Georeserve is to drive yourself there. You have to arrive 30 minutes before your schedule.
The pin at Waze App is NOT at the gate. So even if Waze may tell you that “you have arrived your destination”, you will find yourself in the middle of nowhere.
Just take note of the kilometer markings along the road. Waze will tell you that you’ve arrived at around Km 46, so just keep on driving for another 1 kilometer until you see the Masungi Georeserve signage as photo. See the Km 47.
What to Bring, What to Wear to Masungi?
- 1.5 L of water – no refilling station along the way
- hand towel
- power bars
- small bag with zipper to carry your things
- extra shirt (leave in the car or locker to change later)
No need to bring a cap because you will be issued protective helmet which will be useful when you crawl through several caves and holes.
Make sure your bag has a closure (zipper) and that you don’t put stuff in your pocket as they will fall out when you climb up and down those rope mesh ladders.
Eating while going along the trail is not allowed. But you will be allowed to eat small snacks during rest stops. Remember to not leave any trash behind.
Wear light weight clothes and comfortable rubber shoes. Wear long pants to avoid getting cut by branches or rocks. Dri-fit shirts is best as you will get super sweaty and cotton shirts can get super soaked.
Flying Drone in Masungi?
Yes, you are allowed to fly your drone in Masungi. There are plenty of GPS signals in the whole area. It can be windy but nothing DJI Mavic cannot handle. It’s not true that there are a lot of drones that got lost in the park.