“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
― Mary Oliver
Had the privilege to experience ecotourism to the nth level last Sunday, 20th of December 2015. Until today, I am still overwhelmed of how lucky I am to be one of the first few individuals who was able to visit the conservation area.
Those pictures you’ve seen showcasing the big white hammock, the big spider web, those beautiful rock formations and the other sights that are rotating in your facebook timeline which you thought were edited and is located outside the Philippines, well believe me those are real and those pictures don’t need adobe or any photoshop to look good because it is beyond beautiful, spectacular I say and most of all the conservation area is just a few rides away if you’re from Metro Manila.
But wait… there’s a trick to it.
You can’t just visit the place anytime you want or any day you like. Walk-ins are STRICTLY prohibited. You have to have a reservation in order for you to visit the place. And as much as the conservation area is concerned, January and February 2016 Weekend schedules are already FULLY BOOKED.
The trek lasts for 3-4 hours depending on one’s pace and the time your group will finish taking pictures. As what I’ve known they only cater 2 groups: one in the morning and one in the afternoon consisting of 7-10 individuals only not less than 7 and not more than 10. The registration fee is 1,000 per person. Youngest to be allowed in the reserve is 13 years old.
Up to now I was still amazed by the beauty of the place. Grateful to be one of those few individuals to visit the site early. I’m glad I joined the group, I wasn’t just able to visit the place but I gained a new set of individuals whom I know I’ll be looking forward to be with this 2016.
For more details about the reserve please visit Masungi Georeserve‘s website and if you want to visit the place, their reservation form is up.
You wouldn’t believe that there’s such place like that but perhaps there are still others too but isn’t ready yet for the public to devour. Definitely a good year ender to my 2015, one for the books indeed!
- OPTION 1: Bring your own car. It will save you a few hundred meters of walking on really steep but paved road and much less hassle although if you’re not familiar with the place better have a gps turn on.
- Via Marcos Highway – course through Marcos Highway , Cogeo, Boso-boso Resort, Foremost Farms and Palo Alto. Garden Cottages, the entrance to the reserve is on your right.
- Via Sampaloc in Tanay – take Sampaloc Road. You will pass by the street to Daranak Falls. Go straight until you arrive at a junction. Turn left. Follow this scenic road. It’ll be a 45 minutes to an hour ride. You will pass by Sierra Madre resort on your right. Garden Cottages will be on your left when taking this route.
- OPTION 2:
- Ride a Public transport – from Cubao take a jeepney going to Cogeo and get off at Gate 2 and from there take another jeep bound to Sampaloc and advise the driver to drop you off at Garden Cottages aka Masungi Georeserve.
- If possible bring your own vehicle, it’s easier and less hassle as well as you can enjoy the beauty of Rizal. Also, they don’t offer shuttle service inside and trust me it’s a long rode down there **wink
- They provide a helmet and a string bag with all the materials needed inside except for camera for the duration of the trek. Inside the string bag is a bottled water for drinking upon the trek, binoculars to see the wonders of the reserve, a whistle in case you get lost, a ziplock bag in case it’ll rain, and gloves to protect your hands.
- I suggest you not to bring anything except yourself and the camera however you’ll get sweaty after the trekking so might as well have an extra shirt with you.
- They provide a light snack as well (healthy sandwich and juice) which will be served during your tour.
- No need to wear a complete set of trekking clothes. Just wear comfortable clothes and a good sandals/sneakers will complete the pair for everything is paved.
- The trek is not your usual trekking in the mountain, its just like walking in the park but with added activities.