BITES | Mt. BALAGBAG

BITES stands for Budget Itinerary Tips Experiences and Stories that I will share throughout this post.  🙂

Welcome to my second BITES.

Mt. Balagbag is located in Rodriguez Rizal which formerly known as Montalban and some describe its difficulty as pabebe climb. Behold for what this pabebe climb could offer when you reach the summit. To tell you, the scenic view of landscape here is my favorite so far.

Details of the mountain from Pinoy Mountaineer:

First jumpoff: Sitio Karahume, Brgy. Macabud, Rodriguez
second jumpoff: Sitio Balagbag, Brgy. San Isidro, Rodriguez
LLA: 777 MASL (unverified)
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 1-2 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-2

Start off the weekend

Saturday.  4AM meeting time. Quickly prepared my things and went straight to Mcdo Philcoa, where our meeting place was. Excited to meet my hiking buddies since I invited both of my high school and college friends on this climb, plus my HS friend, Roxanne, also invited two of her officemates. We get to know first each one of us and had our breakfast before hitting the road. Departed by 6AM and started our commute.

Commute… commute… commute

From Philcoa to Jump-off/Registration site
[Bus] Philcoa to Tungko – P45
[Jeep] Tungko to Licao-licao – P27
[Tricycle] Licao-licao to Registraion site – P30 – This is optional. You can actually walk from Licao-licao terminal to barangay for about 20 minutes or less depending on your pace.

7AM. We arrived at the barangay. Logged our names and paid P10 registration fee. Guide is not required, but to secure our safety we hired one from Licao-licao for P600. There is no fixed price for the guide fee.

The Trail

Though the trail seems to be easy as described, our experience doesn’t turned out very well still. The trail here does not require you to do buwis buhay stunts, in fact it is very easy to follow. What’s challenging here is that you will be exposed to the heat all the way, especially during summer, so bring anything that could comfortably protect you from direct sunlight. We were just lucky that the weather was cloudy during our climb. The trail being wide and bumpy is perfect for cycling and motocross enthusiasts.

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Mountain Dog

There are lots of trail dogs strolling and playing around on this particular part of the trail except for this one. Mt. Balagbag’s Hachiko. Met this pal sitting on this rock and staring far away like he’s longing for someone. He looks sad.

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He didn’t even got distracted when we opted for photo ops with him. Hmmm what’s wrong buddy?

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Moving on. We had a lot of  “Pahinga muna” moments and picture takings on the trail before we get to the next registration site.

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Guys! Picture! From L to R: Jenyleen, Aljen, Marvin, Diane, Ivy, April, Roxanne and Mia

Second Registration

This is a separate registration from the first one. Here, we paid for another P20 registration fee. We spent almost an hour taking pictures and just enjoying the view.

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No clearing at this point

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View of Rodriguez Rizal

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Next stop is the summit. Around 11AM we decided to proceed to the summit and have our lunch there.

The wind gets colder as we almost reach the peak.

SUMMIT

At the SUMMIT! It was very cold. The view there was just spectacular. Everything’s perfect. Had our lunch done and some lied down until they fell asleep since the weather was really inviting for siesta.

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Here’s how we basked every seconds of the moment at the summit.

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Featuring my High School friends on this fun shoot. Bringing their Sakit poses on the mountain. In 3..2..1…

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Sakit Batok pose

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Sakit Tyan pose

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Sakit Utak pose

Get well soon ladies!

The landscape view from there is best viewed without us on the frame. I totally fell in love with the view up there, hope Mt. Gulugod Baboy won’t see this or she might get jealous haha! jk!

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After a couple of hours of stay at the summit, we prepped ourselves up and make sure that we will leave the area clean. Leave No Trace. We descended by around 2PM to take the last trip of Licao-licao jeep going to Tungko.

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Remember Mt. Balagbag’s Hachiko that I mentioned earlier? He’s still there sitting on the same spot but this time he’s facing toward us.

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I feel bad that I didn’t get to know his story. Can’t help but to bid goodbye. Hoping that he’s doing fine with the other dogs.

Upon reaching the barangay, we gave our payment to our guide and informed the officials there that we’re about to leave. Some in the group had their coffee break and some proceed to tidy up.

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-End of our climb

SHOUTOUT to Justin Vawter‘s facebook page for sharing this on his #BudgetClimbSeries and to @TheBoyWhoWantedTofly of instagram.


I surprisingly met  ate Jheng, my officemate, on the trail. On the second registration site to be specific. Here she is, hi ate Jheng!

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– TESTIMONIALS –

Because I haven’t done this alone. Hear cool and funny stories from this climb coming straight from my hiking buddies:)

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Marvin – “EASY”

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Aljen – “Absolutely perfect”

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Jenyleen 

“If i would to put my Mt. Balagbag experience into words, it would be sublime and tranquil. As it’s already my second hike, I already set my expectations a bit higher. Good thing is that it did not let me down. smile emoticon. The trail is not that hard so I really got my self to enjoy the picturesque view around me. And the catch here is that when we were at the peak, sea of rolling clouds welcomed us. I was awed by that and forgot that I have a camera with me so I took a picture of it on my mind instead. Since it’s a bit humid that day and the sun is a bit shy, we surely took our time and relaxed our self at the peak. Because of the calmness around, you’ll see yourself lying on a mat, staring at the sky, listening to the sound of nature and group of people laughing, enjoying the time of their lives. It was one of those stressful week that my friend invited me here, and I’m so glad that I came. It helped me calm my soul and realize that I should take my step one at a time at a pace I can follow.”

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Mia

“Since beginner lang ako, my first hike was truly exhausting. Pero nung nasa summit na, all the hardship, sweat (ang lamig kaya haha) and complains were gone, the good view captivated the very core of my soul. Ang sarap sa taas, it made me feel intoxicated.Sa totoo lang, words alone are not enough to describe it .I’m thankful sa first hike ko kasi it inspired me to climb, discover, and fall inlove with nature’s wonderful and hidden beauty.”

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April 

“Yung experience ko s Mt. Balabag,sobrang relaxing.. Hindi sya mahirap akyatin, at sulit ang view sa taas! Sa sobrang lamig, nakatulog pa ko. Haha.. Napaka-picturesque ng view ng mountains na nasa palagid.. Masaya habang nagte-trek, may mga nakakasabay at salubong na mga mababait na tiga-doon.. Tapos dami naming picture2, lalo sa photographer naming cute(alam mo n kung sino ka) hahaha.
Overall: Memorable ang experience at may bonus pang new friends”

 

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Diane – 🙂

 

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Ivy

The scenic view in the summit is so breathtaking and the wind is so gentle that every time it hits me it feels like I wanted to fly away with it. Mabuti na lang maulap nung umakyat kami kaya nakapag stay kami ng medyo matagal s summit at nakagawa ng maraming kalokohan kaya lng ang lamig ng hangin sa taas, sobra”

PS: sobrang ganda ng view s summit ng Mt. Balagbag pang cover photo talaga!!!

 

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Roxanne

“First climb ko un kaya naeexcite ako kung ano feeling ng isang mountaineer. Unang challenge skin yung pagsakay ng tricycle papuntang registration area, dun pa lang nangalay na mga muscle ko sa braso kasi kapit na kapit ako sa tricycle dahil sa lubak lubak tapos may matataas at mapuputik pang daan. Yung feeling na magisa ka lang sa likod ng driver tapos nawawala na sa pwesto ung pagkakaupo mo tapos feeling mo matataob yung tricycle.

Ang maganda sa pag akyat namin, hndi maaraw, as in wala talagang haring araw dahil dun mas lalo naming na enjoy ang view. Pagdating sa summit, doon ko narealize ang ganda pala talaga ng kapaligiran! Hindi matatawaran ang ganda ng view mula sa taas tska ang lamig kaya feel na feel mo mag ala titanic.”

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[cont.] “Saktong sakto talaga ang Mt. Balagbag para sa mga first timer dahil hindi sya ganon kahirap. Dahil dito nainspire din akong magexplore ng ibang bundok.
PS: ang nagpachallenge talaga skin ung tricycle ee hndi ung trail.. hahahaha kaya ng pabalik, nasa loob na ako ng tricycle.”

GROUP PICTURES

With my High School friends + April and Diane

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With my College friends

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The whole gang… ‘di uso tripod 🙂

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Congrats Ivy, Mia, Roxanne and Diane on your first summit!


HOW TO GET THERE?

From Philcoa take a bus going to SM Fairview/Tungko and kindly ask the bus conductor to drop you off at Tungko, fare is P45. When you arrive in Tungko, look for the terminal of the jeep going to Licao-licao, fare is P27. Finally, from Licao-licao you can hire a tricycle going to the registration site/Jump-off, fare is P30/person or you can just walk.

BUDGET BREAKDOWN

TRANSPORTATION

From Philcoa to Rodriguez(Brgy. Licao-licao jump-off)
[Bus] Philcoa to Tungko – P45
[Jeep] Tungko to Licao-licao – P27
[Tricycle] Licao-licao Jeep terminal to Registration site – P30/head

From Licao-licao Jeep terminal  back to Philcoa
[Tricycle] Barangay/Registration site to Jeep terminal – P30/head
[Jeep] Licao-licao Terminal to Tungko – P27
[Bus] Tungko to Philcoa – P45

FEES

Bathroom fee – P25
Guide fee – P600 (Fixed to P70 each for 9 persons)

Environmental fee:

First Registration/Barangay – P10
Second Registration – P20

TOTAL – P329 (Safe Budget is P500 for a group of 9)

ITINERARY

6:30AM – Departure from Philcoa to Tungko
7:15AM – Arrival in Tungko/Bought packed lunch
7:40AM – Departure from Tungko to Licao-licao
8:40AM – Arrival at Licao-Licao
9AM – Registration/Start trek
10:30AM – Second Registration site
11:15AM – Start trek to Summit
12PM – SUMMIT
2PM – Start descend
3:30PM – Log out/Tidy up
4PM – Licao-licao to Tungko
5PM – Tungko back to Philcoa

Sidetrips

-Maranat Falls
-Mt. Maranat(CLOSED)

Hope to see you on the trail next time! Cheers!

 

-Lindon

 

Any suggestions where to climb next? Let me know, just hit the comment section below or

Email me
maquidatolindonlee@gmail.com

Follow Me on Instagram and Twitter
@lindonlee

 

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