Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mt Maranat and Waterfalls Adventure

Mt Maranat is one of the nearest travel destination from the Metro. It lies between the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal. The unrated mountain (some say it's not a mountain because “Maranat” is actually the name of the falls, which belongs to Mt. Oriod )  is the opposite of Mt. Balagbag, which offers views of luscious greenery, rolling terrain, clean streams, and magnificent waterfalls.

It's past 2 o'clock in the morning when team Malaya, an international outdoor group, picked me up in Eton Centris. I'm a bit tipsy that day due to an alcoholic beverages I took from the event in Scarsdale Artisan Delights

We're more than 20 outdoor enthusiasts who will explore the beauty of Mt. Maranat, including a beautiful German girl and two young Vietnamese.

From Quezon City, we took 2 hours to reach the jump off point of Maranat . We passed by Licao Licao and a quiet community of Balagbag. The first 1km trail was very easy. It's a combination of concrete roads and rough trails. The next 2 kms was a bit challenging. The trail was very muddy and slippery. Get an extra careful on the barbed wires along your way. There's a tendency you might hold it when you loose your balance while walking.

Wearing Sandugo shoes and a pair of Hangten socks

I really enjoyed the views on our way to the summit. It's very relaxing. This activity allowed me to escape the pollution and traffic jam from the Metro and toxic from my work. We saw a lot of floras and faunas along the trail. We also saw the  Angat Dam in Bulacan.

If this is the first time you will go to Mt Maranat, it's advisable to hire a guide. There are some trails which are very confusing. I considered it as a minor climb. The trail going to the summit is not that steep. Expect a descend trail to reach the campsite. During rainy season, the challenge for everyone is the slippery and muddy.road. The muddy trail here is just like in Mt. Batulao.

One of the exciting activities on this journey was the river crossing. Some of us crossed the river by passing through the flowing water and other took the zip line. Honestly I'm a bit a scared. I don't trust the quality of the zipline. When I checked the rope and gears, it's pretty much safe and secure. According to our guide, the zipline was built last year (2013). 

I tried zipline multiple times. Some of us were a bit afraid of heights. It really showed on their faces lol. I really enjoyed zipline coz I'm flying like a superman :-)

If you are the adventurous type of traveler, you can cross the river by swimming. Don't worry guys, there is a long rope connected to both side that you can hold while passing the river. I tried it and it's very safe. I'm 5'6 and level of the water was below my neck (still depends on the season). 

In the campsite, you will find a cool house. It's the residence of Tatay Nestor, a guide that helps mountaineers in crossing the river and in using the zipline. We only saw few tents in the area maybe a lot of groups did not push the hike because of the bad weather. You can actually do a day hike or overnight here.

After we took our lunch, we headed to the weterfalls. It's just 5 mins walk from the campsite. The water was very pristine and cold. The rock formations were perfect background for selfies and group pictures. We  really had fun on this area. A lot of "kulitan" and funny moments happened in the falls. The members of Malaya group were very nice to be with. It's my first time to join to this group and they 're very accommodating especially the founder of the group, sir Dan.

photo credit to Cesar Jay Rago

I really recommend Mt Maranat for those who want a cheap yet exciting and fun adventure. No wonder why, a lot of mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts always go here. In Mt. Maranat, not only beautiful views, you will also find a lot of fun activities to enjoy with.

Meanwhile, to get more travel guide/tips to Mt Maranat, you may check Travel Guide To Mt. Maranat.

Enjoy travelling :-)

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