Mt Balagbag Hike – The Bare Mountain
“Mt Balagbag is one of the best mountains to climb for beginners”, according to many. This mountain, standing 777+ meters above sea level is located in Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal. It has several trails with various entrance and exit points. The four most common trails are:
- Horse Trail
- Rotary Trail
- Otso-Otso Falls Trail (Kaytitinga falls)
- Licao-Licao Trail
Licao-Licao trail is the easiest and most popular.
MT BALAGBAG EXPENSES
Mt Balagbag is prominent not only because of its less-challenging trails but also because of its close proximity to Metro Manila. A lot of mountaineers who are looking for a quick outdoor trip usually choose this destination as the hike can be completed in a day.
|Bus from Cubao to Tungko||Php55 / Php35||Air-conditioned / Ordinary (per way) – 1 hour|
|Jeep from Tungko to Licao-Licao||Php27||45 minutes – 1 hour|
|Jeep from Licao-Licao back to Tungko||Php27.00|
|Guide Fee||Php300 (5 persons)||Optional|
MT BALAGBAG SAMPLE ITINERARY (Day Hike)
0600 From Cubao, take jeep to Jolibee Tungko, Palmer (S. Palay)
0700 From Jolibee Tungko, take jeep to Licao-Licao
0800 Rest and explore the waterfalls
1000 Head off to the summit
1300 ETA Summit
1400 Head down to Licao-Licao
1600 Back at the jump off point; wash-up; rest
1800 Back in Cubao
MT BALAGBAG CLIMB TIPS
- Do not try climbing Mt Balagbag under broad daylight. No single tree can provide you shades.
If you have other options, stay away from Licao-Licao trail unless you want to inhale all dust. They said Balagbag-Oriod traverse is a nice challenge.
- If via Licao-Licao, it’s best to ride a tricycle to the “gate” (I do not know how much it costs) and do the 20-minute trek to the summit. Besides, the most scenic glimpse you can get, which is the terrain of Sierra Madre range, is the one offered by its peak.
- Neither permits nor guides are required but if you are climbing alone, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Mt. Balagbag has several campsites, I suggest you choose the summit as it offers the best view.
You can buy provisions at Tungko market. Groceries and sari-sari stores are also present in almost all parts of the trail.
- Bring enough hydration. There’s no water source at the campsite.
- For affordable climb packages, contact Sole Adventours.
- Be part of Love Eat Wander Facebook community and be connected with thousands of like-minded individuals. Share your climb and travel stories with through Tweets and Instagram photos. Please follow @loveeatwander.
MY PLATEFUL OF UNSOLICITED ADVISE
Of all the mountains I climbed, I would like to say that Mt. Balagbag is the least I like. Maybe it has something to do with the trail we took as it was just a wide rough road throughout. If trekking under the scorching sun, you’ll end up toasted and running after your breath as dust evaporates through the horizon. Personally, if I will introduce a friend to mountaineering, I will have Mt Balagbag at the bottom of my list.
So what is my point?
If you want to appreciate mountaineering better, Mt. Balagbag via Licao-Licao trail is not a good option. Rodriguez, Rizal, where Mt. Balagbag is situated is indeed accessible. However, if accessibility is your primary concern, then might as well climb neighboring minor mountains of Batangas and Laguna. You know what’s the best thing to do in Mt balagbag? Mountain biking! With its rugged, wide trails, Mt Balagbag is perfect for mountain biker enthusiasts!
I can pretty sum up our Mt Balagbag climb in three sentences – 1.) It was a long and dusty ride. 2.) It was a tiring trek under the scorching sun. 3.) Not a good destination for a chill day hike trip.
If it wasn’t for the fun outdoor group I was with, our Mt. Balagbag climb is more of an atonement than a treat.
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