The term “Mother Mountain” for mountaineers mean the first mountain that you’ve ever climbed and for me that is Mt. Balagbag in Rizal way back March 4, 2014. This is also my very first trail run. My friends dragged me here so I could prepare for my then upcoming 21km (13.1 miles) race on that same week.
Mt. Balagbag, known as the “Sleeping Giant”, towering at a height of 770 Meters Above Sea Level, lies within Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges, particularly in the area of San Isidro, Rizal. It encompasses the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal. And it is considered a minor climb (difficulty 4/10, trail class 2).
Be sure to pack light and pack smart!!
PHILIPPINES PACKING LIST: WHAT TO BRING FOR YOUR NEXT DAY HIKE
The trail is easy which is good for beginners. It is wide and rocky at the most parts without many trees along the way. Going to the summit is quite hard especially if the sun is already up because it dehydrates you. So pack light, protect your skin and rehydrate. Good thing though is that there are villages in Balagbag and stores to buy refreshments. We passed by a stall that sells Halo-halo and even bumped into an ice cream vendor while hiking.
Finally, at the foot of the mountain. My best friend, Bryan is the most energetic runner I have ever met. He still managed to pose enthusiastically for the camera after our 26 km (16.15 miles) run/hike. Bry, do you ever get tired?
To those who are new to hiking here in the Philippines, Mt. Balagbag is a great place to start as it is easy to reach from Metro Manila and the hike isn’t very difficult. This is also a popular destination for cyclists. Be sure to bring plastic bags for your garbage and dispose them properly.
HOW TO GET THERE
If you take a public transportation from Cubao, take a bus going to Tungko then ride a jeepney to Licao-Licao. There, you will find a tricycle terminal just ask the driver to bring you directly to the jump-off for Mt. Balagbag (Sitio Balagbag).
0400 Meet Up
0430 ETD Bus Tungko
0530 ETA BDO Tungko
0600 ETA Licao-Licao
0630 Brgy. Outpost (to register)
0700 Start Hike
0800 Stop at the campsite (breakfast)
0900 Assault Summit
1000 Summit. Photo Ops
1100 Start Descent
1200 Brgy. Outpost (to wash up)
1300 Head Home
Bus from Cubao to Tungko – ₱55
Jeepney from Tungko to Licao Licao – ₱27
Tricycle from Licao-Licao to Sitio Balagbag Registration Area – ₱30 (optional)
Registration fee – ₱10
Jeepney from Licao-Licao to Tungko – ₱27
Bus from Tungko to Cubao – ₱55
Total: ₱ 204
Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time and burn nothing but calories!