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Hiking at Masungi Georeserve's Legacy Trail

I've been busy adjusting to a new job that I'm unable to hike as frequently as before (I used to hike 1-2 times a month), so I was really happy when my friend Celine invited me, to visit a new trail in Rizal. We were also joined by two other friends, Kara and Ferdz, giving us a chance to catch up! :) 

Our group was led by Ann Dumanglas, an inspiring, young lady (I feel old saying that, haha!) and one of the family members behind Masungi Georeserve. Opened in June, the Legacy Trail offers a moderately challenging approach to enjoying the mountain scenery of the Sierra Madre mountain range. Easy to  reach from Manila, it makes a convenient escape from the city. Commuting from Cubao only took 1.5 hours on an early Saturday morning. 
This was near the start of the trail, a nice warm-up on a steep set of stairs that got me sweating instantly :P
The hike starts at KM 46 of Marcos Highway, just a few minutes from the Masungi Georeserve gate at KM 47. From here, it's a  sweaty stair climb up! 

Though I prefer walking on natural trails as it's less stressful to the knees, having an established concrete path prevents hikers from creating new ones, a more sustainable option for highly visited trails. 
Passing by this nice bamboo tree area near the jump-off. 
The route goes around a reforestation site, a section denuded by logging and kaingin activities. With the enormous efforts by the Masungi Georeserve team, the forest has started to come alive again with new plants and trees.  We were surrounded with fresh life and once again, nature had given me some energy that I didn't have going into this hike. I had finished work so late the night before that I only managed an hour of sleep. My heart was beating pretty fast so I really took it slow. 

The Masungi team built some nice rest areas along the way, incorporating it wonderfully with nature. As we were also  joined by the Ann Dumanglas, one of the 
Celine Reyes of Celineism and hubby, Dennis Murillo, XOXO
After two hours of hiking, we reached the tree planting site and this is where we understood how the trail got its name.  By planting more trees and nurturing it, the Legacy trail is a gift of our current generation to the next. :)  

We were oriented on how to properly plant the seedlings to increase its charge of survival. There's a lot of effort involved - removing the surrounding weeds to ensure the plant receives enough nutrients, digging up the soil and putting it all back. Two seedlings under the sun and I was tired. I admire the people who take care of the entire site. It's a tough but valiant job.

After tree planting, we headed to the best part of the trip - an outdoor lunch and siesta at the floating huts! 
Photo from Ferdz of ironwulf.net

Here's some travel info if you want to hike and help in their reforestation efforts : 
To book a slot, go to the Masungi Georeserve website here.
Trail group is 7-14 people. 
Fee is 1,000 Pesos/head, inclusive of guide, set lunch (Notes: To minimize garbage, bringing of outside food apart from trail snacks is not allowed. Bring your own water and change of clothes.)

Masungi Georeserve
Garden Cottages, Kilometer 47 Marcos Highway, 
Baras, Rizal, Philippines, 1970 
E-mail Address: trail@masungigeoreserve.com 
Contact Numbers: +63 (929) 13 23 531, +63 (995) 186 99 11 

(Available from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Mondays - Saturdays)

Related Blog:
Ironwulf | Masungi Georeserve Legacy Trail: Into the Heart of Conservation

Masungi Georeserve also offers a unique experience on night hiking. Check out : 
EAZYTraveler | 7 Amazing Reasons to Experience Masungi Georeserve's Night Trail

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