Mt. Balagbag —situated in Rodriguez, Rizal, the proximity of this mountain from the capital makes it one of the most popular destination for both pro and newbie climbers.
Trail is easy and wide even mountain bikers and those who bring their 4×4 vehicles passes the same trail to reach summit. Yes they take vehicles up to the summit which they call the hellipad.
The mountain is bare with a minimal trees around but abundant in grass so if you plan to hike in the morning, make sure to put a sunblock, wear head covers, caps or if you dont mind ruining your mountaineering attire look, just pull out an umbrella.
Indeed considered as a minor climb but make sure though that you warm up and prepare your legs days ahead if you are a first timer and if you are just a couch potato who eventually just wanted to climb a mountain.
Let us share some photos we took while we are catching our breath while hiking.
First jumpoff: Sitio Karahume, Brgy. Macabud, Rodriguez
Second jumpoff: Sitio Balagbag, Brgy. San Isidro, Rodriguez
LLA: 777+ MASL
Days required: 1 day
Hours to summit: 1-2 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-2
From Cubao ride a bus going to Tungko.(We came from Edsa Shaw 65 pesos each for aircon bus fare) Tell the bus conductor to drop you off at Jollibee Tungko.
From Jollibee Tungko, walk accross the street and look for BDO (Banco de Oro)
There is a jeepney terminal at the back of BDO and ride the one going to Licao-Licao. Jeepney fare is 27 pesos. First trip is at 5am and last trip is around 10pm.
From Licao-Licao you can opt to hike directly to the barangay station for registration which will be a 30 minute hike or ride a tricycle which costs 50 to 60 pesos one way.
Register at the barangay hall and pay the environmental fee of 10 pesos each.
If you need to get a guide, it will cost around 300 to 500 pesos depends on your haggling skills but there is no fixed rate. (No need to get a guide actually because the trail is wide and there is a very minimal chance of getting lost as long as you folllow the trail and of course you can ask directions from locals that are very friendly.)
After about an hour hike, (depends on your pace) you will be seeing a red gate which indicates that you are just 30 minutes away to reach summit. You need to pay 20 pesos each though for registration since that part of the mountain is privately owned.
Enjoy hiking co-viajeros!
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