MANILA–Bordered by Bulacan and Rizal, Mt. Balagbag is one of the minor climb destinations which is relatively close to Manila.
With the elevation of 770 MASL, the unpaved road with mostly ascend wide and open trail will take you 2-3 hours before reaching the summit. Although locals recall a past when the mountain was covered with trees, so trekking during summer season, you would find the sun’s heat the only difficult part of the trail. Hence, dimtrekking is advisable (hiking very early in the morning or late afternoon).
Mt. Balagbag is also frequented by mountain bikers and 4×4 vehicle owners which you will encounter from time to time.
The sufficient elevation of the summit offer views of central business districts of Ortigas, Cubao, Makati and mostly northeast side of Metro Manila, as well as the Ipo Watershed. From the summit, which also serve as part of the camping site, hikers can also visit the LED lit cross.
Additional features of the mountain include some small waterfalls and rivers along the way, as well as the possibility of traversing to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan or other barangays of Rodriguez, Rizal.
0500 From Cubao, take bus or jeep to Tungko, San Jose del Monte Bulacan.
0600 From Tungko, take jeep to Licao-Licao (The terminal is a few blocks away from Jollibee Tungko)
0730 Arrival at Licao-Licao, take tricycle to Sitio Balagbag
0800 Start trek
1000 Arrival at summit
1400 Start descend to Licao-Licao
1600 Licao-Licao to Tungko
1700 Back at jumpoff; take jeepney to Rodriguez then QC
1800 Back in Quezon City
1300 From Cubao, take bus or jeep to Tungko, San Jose del Monte Bulacan.
1430 From Tungko, take jeep to Licao-Licao (The terminal is a few blocks away from Jollibee Tungko)
1530 Arrival at Licao-Licao, take tricycle to Sitio Balagbag
1600 Start trek
1800 Arrival at summit, pitch tent, prepare for dinner
2000 Socials, City lights viewing
2200 Lights out
0500 Wake up call
0530 Sunrise viewing
0700 Break camp
0730 Start descend
0930 Licao-Licao to Tungko
1030 Back at Tungko; take jeepney to Fairview/Cubao
1200 Back in Quezon City
Dayhike: Php 300.00
Overnight: Php 600.00
GUIDE: Not required
ViajeroMNL (Viajero Manila) is a lifestyle blog site that features different pop culture, travel, and food destinations in the Philippines. This article was written by Gillian Gacuma.
Hiking is also a way of meeting new friends, so glad to have Alex, Von and Alaine on that trip.
Cooking in “style”
It’s advisable to bring your tadpole type tent due to high winds at the summit.