A year ago, I lived together with my friend, my sister. Our location is pretty strategic as it is near our workplace. It also gave us the opportunity to bond in and out of the house. One of them is hiking. We once went together for a dayhike in Mt. Batulao and our last one was Mt. Manalmon.
It was months ago when she invited me for a day tour in Mt. Manalmon. We went together with her colleagues and friends. I was uneasy at first since I might get out of place, but I went because I haven’t been in a mountain for months.
We stepped out at 3:30 AM to go to a bus station in Cubao. It’s still dark when our members started to arrive one by one. We had the normal introduction etc. but I just can’t forget when my friend bluffed about me being a Hiking Pro. HAHA. I should’ve told her we should keep that joke to ourselves.
Anyway, it was crack of dawn when we left EDSA to go to Sitio Madlum in San Miguel Bulacan. I need to catch up on sleep, I told myself. But It feels like minutes when I woke up to our stop. We then took a tricycle to the jump off. This is it. I had to do this, I had to keep up with my friend’s bragging at least. Haha
I remember passing by a bridge going to the registration area. Logged our names and paid the fee. There are stores available for last minute needs.
The hike to Mt. Manalmon is thankfully, an easy one. There are trails with ropes to hand on. There are parts which are muddy and slippery. But it’ll take only 2 hours to the top. I don’t remember much of the experience, well, it’s been a year already!
The view is pretty amazing! A river runs across the land of greens that fills the boundary. I think it’s Madlum River. On another note, I was impressed now that I check the photos, it’s ALL GREEN!
The summit is like a big piece of rock, and I can’t forget that single tree that gave us shade under the heat of the sun.
It was 10 or 11 AM and we descend to have lunch. We brought our food but you can ask the store to cook you a meal. I thought hiking is our only activity, the next thing I knew, we’re given headlamps and we’re leaving our bags to the registration area. We’ll go spelunking at Bayukbok Cave.
Starting with this cave is an exciting but a little dangerous stunt – rappelling down inside the cave.
We don’t have much pictures inside but we did slip and slide on small openings, jump and cross gaps and at one point, we just lie down at the cold stone and crawl. I don’t remember the rock formations that are inside, or if there are even any. My bad.
After the acrobatic stunts, we head on to conquer the monkey bridge. There are no harness and the wire material adds a dangerous slip on the sole. My friend was one of the brave souls who first went through the bridge. It’s a good thing since she shows that it’s possible and easy.
With my friend’s example, I stepped on the wire and ready the position. I haven’t made it to the quarter when the wobbling started. With no harness and the view of the rushing river on my feet, I panicked and went back to the starting point.
When I build up the courage and started feeling left behind, I stepped on the wire again and just went on. One person behind me screamed “Balik ka nalang!” which triggered my inner ‘maldita‘ and slapped his face with my accomplishment. All the fear of falling and having no one to rescue me all blurred in the background. Though I’m still thinking in the middle that if I fall, I fall, come whatever happens. Thank God I didn’t saw the face of that bastard, cause if I do I’ll jiggle the wires during his turn. HAHAHA
|The monkey bridge|
After my short temper, I lined up on the shower room and cleaned up! It was already dark and my body aches for being unprepared. The next thing I knew, I’m at the boarding house looking like a withered plant.
Though I’m dead tired from that long activity, it’s still one day well spent and it’s better than my usual weekends of sitting in front of the computer, watching youtube videos. After all it’s the days we used to create memories that remained in the future. When I’m old, I will remember (oh please) that I once passed through a monkey bridge over a rushing river. Funny that it’s the one I will remember instead of the hiking and spelunking experience. HAHAHA
For some of you who are planning to hike Mt. Manalmon, here are some info that I found:
Technicals: 160 MASL
Location: Sitio Madlum, San Miguel, Bulacan
Public Transportation: There are buses in Cubao which passes by Sitio Madlum
Registration Fee – PHP 15
Tour Guide – Php 500/8
Headlight: Rental – PHP 30/person
Washroom: PHP 10
Requirements: Permit to hike. Email Ajeckecalne@ymail.com, SanMiguelBulacan1874@yahoo.com, M.a.d.l.u.m.inc.@gmail.com
Directions: From Cubao or Pasay, take a bus bound for Cabanatuan and tell the conductor to drop you off Brgy. Kamias, San Miguel, Bulacan. Then take a tricyle to Brgy Madlum jumpoff.
Note: All pictures in this post are not mine. Credits to Joh and B.