Monday, October 24, 2016

Mt. Balagbag (Rizal, 777+ MASL)

At a waypoint towards the summit of Mt. Balagbag (Oct. 2016)

Hiking to Mt. Balagbag in the boundaries of Bulacan and Rizal is by far the cheapest and one of the easiest solo climbs I have ever experienced. Its relative proximity to Quezon City and Caloocan City and its accessibility also make this mountain one of the favorite dayhike destinations in Rizal. Conveniently located in Sitio Balagbag, the jump off can be reached by bus and jeep from Cubao, Fairview, Novaliches and the city of San Jose del Monte in Bulacan. Jeepneys plying the route from Tungko have regular trips going to Licao Licao which is the usual jump off of hikers.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Payaran Falls (Rizal, 8+ meters)

At the tallest of the cascades of Payaran Falls (Oct. 2016)

Located within a dense and lush forest in Brgy Mascap is the multi-tiered cascades of Payaran Falls. Plunging from a height of approximately 8 meters in the highest of the seven cascades making up the Payaran Falls series, the water plunges with enough force to provide a relaxing and soothing deep muscle massage perfect to loosen up tensed muscles after a strenuous hike. Conveniently located in the crossroads of the trails of Mts. Ayaas, Sipit Ulang and Oro, Payaran Falls is a perfect choice for a sidetrip to cap off a great hike in Brgy Mascap.

Mt. Oro (Rizal, 340+ MASL)

At the summit of Mt. Oro, Mt. Balagbag in the background (Oct 2016)

Newly opened to hikers in August of this year, Mt. Oro is the newest dayhike destination in Brgy. Mascap in Rodriguez, Rizal. Mt. Oro, whose name is a Spanish word literally meaning "gold", stands at just around 340 MASL, not as lofty as the nearby Mt. Ayaas (627 MASL) but towers over Mt. Sipit Ulang (252 MASL) which is also located in the same barangay. As such, it is a great choice for a dayhike especially for novice trekkers and first-timers wanting to experience the joys of hiking, at the same time a great choice as jump-off for a twin dayhike or a trilogy hike for the more seasoned hikers. A great way to cap off a good hike is a traverse to the nearby multi-tiered Payaran Falls.