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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mount Manalmon and other Side Trips - Day Hike Trip

If you're looking for a quick getaway from Manila and wish to experience the thrill of nature trekking and mountain climbing, Mount Manalmon and its side trips are a good choice.

Mount Manalmon is less than 3 hours ride from Metro. It is located in San Miguel Bulacan and part of the Biak-na-Bato National Park. While considered an easy climb, the trail of this mountain becomes steep and rocky as the summit is approached.

The beginning.
We can't wait for another amazing moment to experience and to be so close to nature so despite bad weather forecasts we agreed to continue our 2nd annual trip--thank God cause it turned out to be the best decision for the group. It was raining on our way to Bulakan but when we finally reach San Miguel and  get off  from the bus, weather got better, and there was only drizzle.

We then rode a tricycle to Sitio Madlum (P60each) which took us about 45 minutes. The road was ok during the first 20 minutes, but it became rough as we near Sitio Madlum. Too late to realized that sitting at the back edge of the trike was really not a good choice. :(

Past 9:00AM when we arrived at Sitio Madlum. The water in the river is quite higher compare to other photos I saw online, maybe because of the constant rains. The river was surrounded by lush green rocks offering a peaceful and tranquil scenery. We enjoy the view, we took pics while our lead-climber settle all the necessaries fees at the registration area.

Crossing the Monkey Bridge
Most of us get excited to try the monkey bridge. When it's already my turn, I gathered all my courage. The bridge is quite high, the river is deep for sure due to regular rains, and MyGhadd! I dunno how to swim! But our guide assured that he will jump in just incase anyone from us fall down, he also said that so far, no one has fallen from the bridge yet! So be it! I set my foot on the bar and grip firmly on the cable. Though I'm wearing trek shoes, it still feels slippery cause of the thick mud on it's sole. It is not as easy as I thought! My knees went trembling on the first steps. I even want to back out. But they encourage me to finish it. Our guide also  told me not to look down, and it helps. :) Glad that despite my shaking knees I survived the challenge. :) Woo-hoo!

We were off to trek after braving the monkey bridge. It was a beautiful misty morning. The trail was friendly for anyone who can walk in between the raindrops for 2 hours.

As we go up, the weather was getting better and as we reached the summit we were greeted with the spectacular views of Mt. Arayat and Mt. Gola, plus the panoramic view of the Madlum River at the north side.

We took a lot of picture (walang bababa ng walang pang propayl pic na kuha! hehe), we give thanks, enjoyed the views and we're really happy that it was a cloud free summit. :) We didn't stay long at the top, we were all starved and so we headed back down.

Budol Fight was so epic!
We had our lunch at the jump off point. Two from the team decided to get banana leaf where we had our food laid on. We are all enjoying our sumptuous lunch when heavy rains pour down. Our rented table has no roof, yet we didn't bother to look for shelter. We still continued eating as the rain pelted down on us. We were all soaked but it was so much fun that we didn't care about how gross our food could be. :p
Budol/Boodle fight: preparing all varieties of foods on banana leaf and eating together. :D

Swimming and river rafting
After a while, we went some river rafting, while other tried dipping their body into the river. The water in the river is cold and clean yet  brownish in color due to heavy rain.

Spelunking in Bayukbok Cave
It was already 230PM when we start the cave tour. Though Bayukbok Cave is not as stunning as Sumaguing cave yet it is really far challenging. Rocks are kinda sharp, there also some part from which you really have to grasp tightly and hold for your dear life! Slippery and muddy trail added difficulty on it. Glad that our two guides are really good and they would really assist you all the way.

The cave is dynamic, with winding route, and a couple of challenging passages, I remember the part where we have to carefully turned around a cliff and cling so tightly onto the rocks, cause wrong move and were likely to tumble through the air and crash down onto those sharp rocks. Moment to remember eh! :)

We ended up soaked and muddy, but it doesn't matter. The cave is really fun and challenging. Before we head back to camp, we take time to wash up in the river and do the real bath at the camp where they charge P20.

Indeed, it was a memorable day. We settle our payments with our guide and gave them a well-deserved tip. Yeah, they are really awesome! They're transform from being a human to a ladder, yes you can literally step on their back, legs, which ever is the call just to help you. :p

It was a day packed of extreme fun! Trekking Mt. Manalmon, witnessing incredible rock formations, spelunking in the historical caves of Biak-na-Bato, rappelling and monkey bridge crossing, swimming and madlum river rafting! All in just one action-packed day! Here's a sample itinerary for your reference:

0500 From Cubao take Cabanatuan-bound bus
0730 ETA Brgy. Kamias, San Miguel; take tricycle to jump-off
0800 Arrive at jump-off; register and get guides at community
0900 Start trek
1030 ETA summit of Mt. Manalmon; take pictures
1100 Start descent
1200 Back at community; lunch
1300 Visit Madlum and Bayukbok Caves
1530 Swim at Madlum river
1700 Back at jump-off; proceed back to Brgy. Kamias
1740 Take bus back to Manila

Budget: 700-800pesos
  • Bus Cubao to San Miguel: Php117 (as of Aug. 2012)
  • Trike: Php60/each (max 4-5pax)
  • Bamboo raft: Php5
  • Registration fee: Php5
  • Day tour guide: Php300 per 5 persons
  • Bayukbok cave: Php30
  • Table rent & cooking charge: 100
  • Food: Php100
  • Charge for use of toilets: Php20


  1. Love that place and perfect for trekking . Cost is not to much according to trip expenses but is there any discount?

  2. Thanks for sharing. this post is a big help.

  3. Welcome :) That would definitely encourage me more to write! ^^

  4. Trekking to manalmon is really fun and thrill seekers should visit the place :]


  5. nice adventure :) very informative

  6. Thanks for this post! Gonna try to climb it tomorrow

    1. good luck! :) thanks for the visits dear! :)

  7. Oh my!! Mount Manalmon looks so beautiful! I want to try crossing that Monkey Bridge too! ♥♥♥

    1. go kim! dare to try something different..

  8. this is an experience you will surely treasure.. mother nature encounter indeed a pleasurable activity

  9. Travelling with group is more FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES!

  10. Wow! I admire you for crossing the bridge. Siguro kung ako yan nahulog nako. The activities you has seem pretty tiring pero enjoy :)

  11. I've never experienced Budol Fight but it looks fun especially if it's shared with your peers! :D

  12. Wow! What an amazing place and the food looks so delicious! Seems you guys had lots of fun! ;)

  13. Did you bring your own headlamp or pwede magrent?

  14. some are rented, while others are owned. :)

  15. Nice... Cant wait to visit this tomorrow.


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