Mt. Balagbag-Maranat Falls Traverse, Rodriguez, Rizal

Saturday, August 22, 2015 Justin Vawter 43 Comments


Climbing is not just about the summit, it's the climb itself. Almost a month ago, I went on a quick climb to Mt. Balagbag with a traverse to Mt. Maranat/Maranat Falls in Rodriguez, Rizal. According to friends, Mt. Balagbag is an easy climb since it's relatively flat as compared to other mountains near the area where everything is almost assault. However a day before our climb, it rained heavily and as expected, it was one wet and muddy adventure (I actually consider this as one of my hardest climb!). Anyways, total budget for this climb is just Php 200. This is why I love Rizal! You get to enjoy the best of nature at such a low price.


Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse


Here's a quick info about Mt. Balagbag and Mt.Maranat/Maranat Falls.
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
A hiking destination favored for its proximity to Metro Manila is Mt. Balagbag, located in Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal. This mountain is part of the Sierra Madre range as it transitions into the plains of Central and Southern Luzon. At over 700 MASL, it is of sufficient elevation to offer views of Ortigas and some parts of Metro Manila, as well as the Ipo Watershed.

En Route to Rizal

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse


The road to Rodriguez, Rizal was easy. It's very accessible. From Cubao, just ride a bus going to Tungko and drop off at Jollibee Tungko. Fare is Php 38. From there, ride a jeep going to Licao-Licao. Fare is Php 28Once you drop off at the terminal station, you can have your breakfast at the carinderias in the area. There are also sari-sari stores where you can buy snacks.

Note: the last trip going back to Tungko is 6pm so make sure you adhere to your itinerary.


The March to the Mountain


Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse
Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse


The trail was easy because I've mentioned, it's relatively flat. But since it was raining, it was covered in mud and the difficulty went up by like 900%! No kidding! Mt. Balagbag's trail also features mini rivers and falls. Lots of it. Everything is picturesque actually and I just really love the water features.

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse
Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse


Along the way, there's a mini-stop where you can buy snacks and take a rest. You'll be greeted by this cute dog (which we named Henry).

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse


River Crossing in Style


Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse


In order to get to the other side which is Mt. Maranat, you have to cross the river. And since it was raining heavily, the current was too strong that we were not allowed to just walk through (I'm not sure if crossing the river using ropes is required on a normal day). Instead, we had to do some rappelling. There are two options actually: to do rappelling above the river or to cross it while attached to a rope. We did the first one on our way to Maranat Falls and the latter on our way back.

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse
Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse
Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls TraverseMt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls TraverseMt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

Boulders + Water = What else could you ask for?

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse


A misty afternoon. Beauty beyond words.

Braving Maranat Falls


Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse


After hours of trekking, we finally made it to Maranat Falls. While the weather condition may be bad, it still didn't disappoint by showing us such beauty. We spent around 30 minutes bathing in the area. We actually wanted to stay longer but our guide told us to get moving since the weather is getting worse by the minute.

Note: there's a place right after the river crossing and before Maranat Falls where you can stay and have your lunch.

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse
Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse
Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse
Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse>Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls TraverseMt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls TraverseMt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls TraverseMt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls TraverseMt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

The dead body pose. Haha! The water was so freaking cold! And it was hard to take a photo since you're braving against the current which is really strong.

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse


The Muddy Trail


Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse
Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

The road back was very tough as it can get. Mud everywhere! My sandals were hurting me so I decided to go barefoot which also hurt. It's actually a battle which hurt less.

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse
Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls TraverseMt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

We were literally crawling! Define A-M-A-Z-O-N-S!

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse
Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse

The weather was really unpredictable. One moment it's great and sunny, the next one it's foggy.

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse


Too bad I wasn't able to take a good photo of the summit. I was not also able to enjoy it as compared to my other climb as all I wanted that time was to just go home. That's how hard it was for me. I was suffering from foot pain (my nails even turned almost blue-green because of the extreme cold). But I can say that it was super worth it. Also, apologies for some of the photos. I took most of them using my phone since it kept on raining and I need to protect my camera. And as Er would say, "it's not about the photos, it's about the climb".

Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls Traverse


The people behind this climb. (Clockwise: Shaun, *me*, Jessa, Kier, SJ)


(L-R: Sandy, Henry, *me*, Iway, SJ, Shaun, Karren, Jessa, Er)


Family Photo!! Photo credits to Sandy Jones. (L-R, Top: Shaun, Iway, Henry, Jojo, Karren, Er, Sandy. Bottom: Jessa, Kier, SJ, *me* )

Itinerary


0400 - Departure from Cubao to Tungko
0500 - Arrival to Tungko. Take jeep to Licao-Licao.
0600 - Start trek to Mt. Balagbag
0700 - Break at mini stop
0800 - River Crossing
1000 - Lunch
1100 - Start trek to Maranat Falls
1200 - Swimming
1400 - Start trek back to Mt. Balagbag
1500 - Back at Licao-Licao. Jeep back to Tungko
1700 - Departure from Tungko to Cubao

Note: this was our ideal itinerary. Unfortuntely, due to the bad weather, it took us longer and we had to adjust everything by almost an hour or two. We ended back in Tungko at around 2100. And since there's no longer a trip back, we decided to just rent one instead and paid Php 40 each.

Budget Breakdown


Bus from Cubao to Tungko - Php 38
Jeep from Tungko to Licao-Licao - Php 26
Registration - Php 20
Guide Fee - Php 500 (Php 50 each)
Jeep from Licao-Licao to Tungko - Php 40 (special)
Bus from Tungko to Cubao - Php 38

Total Damage - Php 212

This won't probably my last climb to Mt. Balagbag and Maranat Falls. I really enjoyed the climb but I'll definitely come back to take better photos and enjoy the river more (it's really beautiful on a sunny day).

That's it! I hope you guys enjoyed this guide. I'm planning on a trip to a virgin island this coming long weekend and I hope it'll push through. Till the next adventure!

Life is too short to live without adventure.

Cheer~!

- Justin -

43 comments:

  1. Wow! The water is so inviting! Makes me wanna grab my flip flops and go for the province!

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    Replies
    1. you should definitely check this out. it's a really cool place. :)

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  2. Hi! Thank you for sharing your experience! :) It was really nice to read. Im planning to go there with my friends on the weekend. I just have a question, where can we hire the guides? Are they available any time of he day? Thanks!

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    1. hi! you can hire the guides at the registration area. and yes they're usually available everyday :)

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  3. I'd love to do what you guys did. I love that it's not-so-far and your budget is pretty okay. What camera did you use to take your pics? You took really nice shots.

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    1. Thank you for appreciating. I currently use Olympus Epl-3 but it was raining heavily, it's mostly just my phone Xiaomi Redmi 1s. Then some minor editing in Lightroom.

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  4. I think trails becomes 10 times more difficult when it rains. Muds can really slow you down since it can make your steps heavier and you get to be more careful because you may slip. This was quite an adventure and a really nice view of the falls.

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    1. indeed. it was such a difficult trail. Thank you for visiting Franc. ^_^

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  5. This is such a great hiking route indeed!. The nature is so amazing. I think my budget allows taking that trip, too!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Debarpan! Hope you enjoy your hike. :)

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  6. Justin, you really have the best of adventures and your pictures are beautiful, always beautiful. :) and Henry is so cuuuuuute. Haha

    Gly
    chasingpotatoes.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you gly. I also love your photos and your blog. Btw, which Henry are you referring to? The dog or the human? Hihi Thanks for dropping by.

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  7. Oooh good, there's a river after the muddy trail, haha.

    I've only done two exciting outdoor stuff in my life - climb Maculot and the rockies, and hike the 7 rivers of San Pablo. Beginner's stuff, I know, haha. I regret not having continued on those activities back then, I should have.

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    Replies
    1. Mt. Maculot is on my list and the 7 river sounds interesting. Adding them to my list. :)

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  8. Wow! A P200 peso climb and this wonderful place is definitely worth it! Pwede bang magjoin sa mga climb mo brod? :) I wanna go too!

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    Replies
    1. Of course! Just message me on any time :)

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  9. Really cool adventure! Were actually planning with my friends to try trecking next month. Hopefully it will happen. :)

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    1. Ooh, that's exciting! share your photos Mark. Would love to see them. :)

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  10. This is a nice itinerary. It gives you enough time to enjoy the swim and the trek.

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  11. I love all your photos! Great shots! Loving your new lay out as well.

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    1. Thank you Mommy Peach. Glad you loved it. ^_^

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  12. It was quite an adventure you had Justin! Mount Balabag is definitely something we should look forward to. ^_^

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is really something. Such a beautiful place.

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  13. I miss trekking, I use trek when I was in college. Someday I will take my 2 daughter's camping. Having a itinerary will help serve as a guide to future trekkers like us.

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  14. Any events here this december? I want to try it.

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  15. Can you send me a guide for this? I want to try it solo.
    Thank you very much!!

    DSCastillo@ymail.com

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  16. did you have to hire a guide? planning to go to Mt. Balagbag was wondering if if we need to hire a guide since we're newbies at hiking.

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  17. may I ask how much did you pay for the food? and how was the food? I'm planning to go there with my friends this week. thank you!

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  18. One more trip to Balagbag-Maranat, sama ako hehehee

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  19. HI JUSTIN , WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO THERE ?

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    Replies
    1. We're planning to do this trek on feb. 14. :D

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    2. Do you know the way sir Korjal? Can you give me a specific guide/route to maranat? Thanks!!

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  20. Hello! Anyone who wants to climb on march 10? Para mura lang :) lets go!!!

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    Replies
    1. Anyone want to climb thos may 15

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  21. Hello Justin! just wondering if we need a permit or certificate to climb Mt. Balagbag? me and my friends are planning to climb this week.

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  22. Sir just wanna ask if the ropes and rappelling gears were yours or it was supplied/setup by the locals? Tnx!

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  23. Sir just wanna ask if the ropes and rappelling gears were yours or it was supplied/setup by the locals? Tnx!

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  24. Hello, if it is traverse, bakit po bumalik ulit ng Mt. Balagbag?

    Thanks

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  25. Hindi po yata siya traverse, backtrail lang yata siya ng maranat falls?

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  26. Hindi po yata siya traverse, backtrail lang yata siya ng maranat falls?

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