Mt. Balagbag: Quick Travel Guide

Not far from the metro, in the center of Rizal lies the last frontier of Sierra Madre mountain ranges. Standing at a tentative of 700 meters above sea level, Mt. Balagbag is the gateway of Sierra Madre to the plains of Central and Southern Luzon. There are multiple trails leading to its summit that offers a view of northern Metro Manila and neighboring towns of Rizal.

How to get here

Many buses passing thru EDSA are bound for Tungko. A two  hour ride from Taft Ave., fare is around P70; alight at Jolibee Tungko, and take another 30 to 45 minutes jeep ride bound to Licao-Licao, fare is P25.

The hike will start on an uphill road up to Sitio Balagbag Hall, the formal jump-off point of the climb.

The Trails

The trails are composed of wide rough road shared by hikers, mountain bikers, and 4x4 enthusiast. Be warned that for the whole duration of the trek, most are on an open field under direct sun. A detour down the Karahume trail will lead to Kaytitinga and Otso-otso waterfalls, but expect this to be a drought during summer season.

Water source is available on both the jump off point and on Licao-Licao.

Guides can be secured at Sitio Balagbag, but is not required, P600 per day.

A traverse to Mt. Maranat and Maranat falls is also possible  during the hike.

Sample Itinerary

05:30-06:00am -- Assembly at Jolibee Tungko/Breakfast/Supply and gear check
06:00am -- Take jeep to Licao-Licao
06:30am -- Start trek
09:30am -- ETA Summit/Helipad
10:15am -- Start descent
12:00pm -- Side trip Kaytitinga falls, Lunch
02:30pm -- Head to Licao-Licao
03:00pm -- Jeep to Tungko
03:30pm -- Bus home

Budget Breakdown

Bus to Tungko: Php60-70
Jeep from Tungko to Licao-Licao: Php27.00
Registration: Php20.00
Jeep from Licao-Licao back to Tungko: Php27.00
Bus to EDSA: Php60-70.00


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