UPDATED GUIDE to Mt. Balagbag, Rodriguez, Rizal

Monday, January 11, 2016 Justin Vawter 56 Comments



Mt. Balagbag
in Rodriguez, Rizal is now one of my fave. Aside from being extremely close to my place, this place is just beautiful. From the blazing sunset to the mountains of gold and green to the kids that will greet you here and there, Mt. Balagbag is a place I will not get tired of visiting. It was my last hike for 2015 and my first for 2016. And as promised, here's an UPDATE GUIDE to Mt. Balagbag, Rodriguez, Rizal.

Read: Guide to Mt. Balagbag-Maranat Falls Traverse 

Updates in Mt. Maranat

Mt. Balagbag, Rodriguez, Rizal

The usual hike here is a traverse climb from Mt. Balagbag to Mt. Maranat where the Maranat Falls can be enjoyed as written in my first guide. However, the local government unit decided to close down Mt. Maranat for rehabilitation since it's under the Ipo Watershed System which supplies water within Metro Manila. Now, if you're planning to hike Mt. Maranat, you need to get a permit from DENR. However, this doesn't mean that Mt. Balagbag is closed. You can still climb it. To put it in simpler terms: Mt. Balagbag = open; Mt. Maranat = closed.


Year End Climb + Chasing Sunset


For 2015, I decided to have my year end climb at Mt. Balagbag since it's close to me and I'm limited in terms of time. What is originally a solo hike turned into a quick invite where I met Dhesa and first time hiker Angelica. We started hiking around 1pm and descended by around 5pm, just after the sunset. Here's a visual diary of our quick hike plus shoot.

Mt. Balagbag, Rodriguez, Rizal
Mt. Balagbag, Rodriguez, Rizal
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Return and Reunion


Last Friday, we went back to Mt. Balagbag for another chasing sunset session. This was a very unexpected climb. Jess messaged me asking for details and when I found out that class was suspended due to the Nazareno Feast, I decided to go with her. Turns out, SJ is up for the challenge as well so it was an instant reunion for us. Met Jess here and this is SJ's first mountain. Perhaps that's the reason why Mt. Balagbag is so special for me. For this climb, I focused on taking videos since I promised myself to take more videos this year.

Mt. Balagbag, Rodriguez, Rizal
Mt. Balagbag, Rodriguez, Rizal
Mt. Balagbag, Rodriguez, Rizal
Mt. Balagbag, Rodriguez, Rizal
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Ideal Itinerary


0700 - Departure from Cubao to Tungko
0900 - Arrival to Tungko. Take jeep to Licao-Licao.
1000 - Start trek
1200 - Lunch / Photo ops / Sunset
1700 - Start Descend
1900 - Back at Licao-Licao. Jeep back to Tungko
2100 - Departure from Tungko to Cubao

Note: Try to reach the terminal before 6pm so you could catch the last trip. On our 3rd hike, we missed it. Good thing one driver offered us a ride halfway through and dropped us to a terminal at Kwatro where we rode a tricycle back to major road.

Budget Breakdown


Bus from Cubao to Tungko - Php 38
Jeep from Tungko to Licao-Licao - Php 26
Tricyle to Baranggay Hall - Php 30 (optional; tricycle back is Php 15)
Baranggay Registration - Php 10
Jeep from Licao-Licao to Tungko - Php 26
Bus from Tungko to Cubao - Php 38

Total Damage - Php 138 (without tricyle and guide)

We didn't hire a guide but if ever you'll hire one, there's no fixed fee.

This definitely won't be my last hike here. Actually, I'm planning to go back here and hike with my friends. Anyways, thank you all for supporting me and my blog. Got something cool in stored for all of you so do check that ou.

Life is too short to live without adventure.

Cheer~!

- Justin -

56 comments:

  1. Just went there yesterday (Mt. Balagbag - Maranat falls traverse) and I definitely agree, I'd love to go back there. :-) I love the place and the locals! Start hiking by 11.30am, descended around 6pm.

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    1. girl, bale sarado ang Maranat Mt. pero pwedeng pumunta ng Maranat falls? pleaaase answeer meeh. Thanks! :>

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  2. Just went there yesterday (Mt. Balagbag - Maranat falls traverse) and I definitely agree, I'd love to go back there. :-) I love the place and the locals! Start hiking by 11.30am, descended around 6pm.

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    1. cool! super ganda talaga ng place na ito.

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    2. hi po.. panu po kau kumuha ng permit sa DENR for manarat falls traverse?

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    3. Hi Inah, not sure eh but I think you have to contact the local DENR office for Maranat.

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  3. What camera do you use for your photos? Thank you.

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    1. I use Olympus E-PL 3 and my phone Xiaomi Redmi 1s :)

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  4. The pink hoodie though! Hahaha. I really love the images! Pakiramdam ko kasama ako sa inyo. Lol.

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  5. Pwede ba sya for First timer na, may sakit pa sa puso? Hahaha. Gusto ko talaga umakyat ng bundok. Waaah.

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    1. yep. it's great for first timer since madali lang siya. :)

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  6. Im just asking if it is possible to do the Mt. Balagbag-Maranat falls traverse since it was mention above that Mt. Maranat is closed right now and you need a permit from DENR...

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    1. you need to get a permit first from DENR. Not sure how but it's best if you contact their local office.

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  7. Hi, with this itinerary, what time did you guys arrived back in Manila (Cubao)? I'm planning to go next weekend kasi and most probably follow your guide haha it'll be my first time. :D

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    1. We're near the place lang but if you're from Cubao, it'll be around 8-10pm depending on traffic.

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  8. We'll hike there on 24th! So excited. :)

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  9. Love everything on your blog!! And the photos are just breathtaking. Thank you for sharing!

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  10. Is there in need of a guide sa hike? Obvious naman yung trail kaya di na kailangan?

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  11. Hi Justin. Maganda din ba sunrise dito? And if ever mag -isa lang ako, kaya ba for a first timer? Thanks in advance

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  12. Hi! Madali lang ba sundan ang trail? Planning to hike next wk alone. Sino po pupunta next week sa Mt.Balagbag, baka pwede makisabay.

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    1. Hi! Tara! are you free on 27th? Sabay tayo!

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  13. Going sa 31st, anyone interested to come can join basta kaya mag show up on time para masunod itenerary :)

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  14. Pwede po ba mag overnight...?

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  15. We are planning to go there tomorrow, and my friends wants to stay overnight for star gazing...hope its possible...

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  17. We are planning to there actually its my first time if ever na matuloy, :-) its really encourage me to pursue my dream which is to hiking, :) thanks din sa church mate ko to share this kind of blog <3 <3..

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  18. pwde po ba gabe umakyat ng gabe ? around 7pm ? first timer po kami my mga work kasi ng umaga . please reply

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  19. Hi! I love your blogs. I'm currently looking for places to visit in the Philippines but just near manila. I'll be travelling with my husband, my concern is that he is so white, there I said it. I know it sounds horrible but i'm kinda scared hiking, travelling with him but he doesn't like touristy place, he wants to see nature..rice fields, mountains etc. Which I love too but i'm scared of anything bad happening to us. Is it safe to travel with a foreigner to these provinces? Thank you very much.

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  20. Hi Justin!

    Question, meaning to say di na kami makakapag sidetrip kahit isang batis/ilog or falls? wlaa nang madadaanan or close kais ang Maranat? Thank you! will wait for your reply. :)

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  21. hi!! hanggang ngayon po ba close pa rin ung Mt. Maranat? may idea po ba kayo saan pwede mkauha ung permit form DENR? we're planning to hike kasi sa 27 . Thank you :)

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  22. Hi. Sino po aakyat this April 27?

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  23. May aakyat din po ba this April 30?

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  24. Soloista here. Can I join?

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  25. Love this post! Might hike to Mt. Balagbag this weekend. By the way, which bus company plies the Cubao-Tungko route? Thank you!

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  26. Planning to have our prenup here. Me & my fiancé loves hiking but im not sure if our Photogs & MUAs likes it too.. haha! So my question is, can we ride a car going up? Up until we can see mountain ranges for background purposes. Will it be safe?

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  27. Sino aakyat dito bukas.. aakyat ako soloista mode

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  28. Hi Justin! We're planning to hike here on saturday. First time namin aakyatin ang Mt balagbag. Do you think we can survive without a guide? I mean, confusing ba ang trail nya? Curious lang ako kasi kung may mga forks in the road or something haha.

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  30. Hello po. We're planning to hike here. Okay lang po ba na walang Guide? And pwede po ba mag stay dito overnight para maabutan namin ung sunrise and the sea of clouds?

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    1. Okay lang po na walang guide. Di po mahirap ang trail at walang ligaw dun. Pwede po mag overnight sa summit. may additional fee nga lang around 20-40 pesos if I remember it right. Sea of clouds may not be possible kasi sea of pollution makikita nyo sa buong ka.maynilaan :) pero worth it yung view kahit walang sea of clouds.

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  32. Pwede po bang magovernight sa summit? what to bring nadin po pls reply asap :)

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    1. Pwede po kayong mag overnight dun. additional fee lang po around 20-40 pesos If I remember it right. dun kayo magbabayad sa stop over na tindahan malapit sa summit.

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  33. HI! tatanong ko lang po sana if pwede magluto dun if overnight. and meron po bang source ng tubig. Pwede po ba puntahan yung falls side trip sana? thanks po :)

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  35. maganda ba ang site para mag stargaze? hindi ba natatabunan ng ilaw galing sa metro manila yung langit? also, i am planning to go this weekend alone, will it be safe? or kung may pupunta man, pasabay :)))

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  36. Just had my 1st hike sa mt.maculot 2weeks ago. .gusto ko ulet umakyat kaso wala ako makasama pag week days. Tue-wed kc rest day ko, baka may group na pde mag join kung ok lang sana.

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  37. Hi All,


    pde po ba magovernight dito?? :) planning to climb the mountain this friday.

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  38. Hi po! question lang po.. pwede po kaya umakyat sa Mt Balagbag kahit October, tag ulan na?

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  39. Hi. Anyone who's going to Balagbag this long weekend? Oct 29 - Nov 1? Would love to go here but got no one to go with :)

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  40. Anyone who's going to hike tomorrow po? OCtober 28? :)

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  41. Your blog is fucking awesome bro! I love the pic with all that local kids. I cried on that pic.

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