Conquered Mountains

Mt. Balagbag in Rodriguez, Rizal

The term “Mother Mountain” for mountaineers mean the first mountain that you’ve ever climbed and for me that is Mt. Balagbag in Rizal. This was also my very first trail run. My friends dragged me to Mt. Balagbag so I could prepare for my then upcoming 21km (13.1 miles) run.

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A view of Mt. Balagbag from it’s peak, the “Helipad”

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 area of San Isidro Montalban Rizal. It is considered an easy trail (4/10).

WHAT TO BRING:

2 liters hydration
1 energy drink
trail food (gelatin, chocolates, etc)
headlamp/flashlight
extra clothes (post-run clothes)
towel

WHAT TO WEAR:

caps/headwear
dri-fit shirt/rashguard
arm warmer
leggings/tights
sportsbra (preferably)
shades
dri-fit socks
trail shoes (shoes with stronger protective sole)

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. The jeep will bring you directly to the jump-off for Mt. Balagbag.

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’s a community in Balagbag and there are many stores to buy refreshments. We passed by a stall that sells Halo-halo and even bumped into an ice cream vendor while hiking.

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the team at the “Helipad”

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downhill

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most parts of the trail are rocky, so be careful

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Us at one of the cliffs

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Model ako ng trail eh, bakit ba? Haha!

My friend, Bryan is the most energetic/enthusiastic runner I have ever met. Here, after 21k of trail running/trekking, he still managed to pose for the camera.

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I found an old trophy somewhere and we all posed for souvenir shots. And since he’s the less-haggard looking among us, I will only post his.

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For those who are new to hiking here in the Philippines, Mount Balagbag is a great place to start, as it is easy to reach from Manila and the hike isn’t very difficult. This is also a popular destination for cyclists.

And remember

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time and burn nothing but calories!

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