Mt. Balagbag Itinerary

Probably one of the cheapest places to hike is just off north of the metro is Mt. Balagbag. Straddling between the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal, Mt. Balagbag offers an amazing view of the vast area of the metropolis.

The mountain can be reached by foot but 4x4s are able to reach the summit of the mountain. This makes the mountain ideal for camping for families who would like to venture into a different kind of family bonding.

Mt. Balagbag Itinerary

There are three registration areas going up. The first registration area is as soon as you enter the road leading to the trail. You do not need to pay anything here, but a donation can be made for the cause of the people who are “taking care of the area”. The second registration is at the community hall where they ask for Php 10. About an hour for there the third registration are is found where you would have to pay Php 20.

Mt. Balagbag Itinerary

From the last registration area, the hike up the mountain is just about 30 – minutes.

If you are doing a sunrise or sunset day hike be sure to bring extra cash. The public transport’s end time schedule is quite unpredictable and you might need to rent habal-habal or a jeep if you aren’t able to catch the last trip going back.

How To Get To Mt. Balagbag

From Mc. Arthur Highway
Take a jeep from Tabing Ilog Market Terminal in Marilao going to Muzon. From Muzon take a jeep to Tungko where you will find the terminal going to Licao-Licao

From Quezon City
Take a bus to Tungko then on to a jeep to Licao-Licao. You will get off at the end of the line where you can start your hike.


From McArthur Highway

    • Marilao to Muzon               Php 18
    • Muzon to Tungko               Php   7
    • Tungko to Licao-Licao      Php 27

From Quezon City

    • Cubao to Tungko                          Php 53
    • Tungko to Licao-Licao                Php 27


    • Registration #1 – Donation
    • Registration #2 – Php 10
    • Registration #3 – Php 20

Note: There’s also a way through Montalban though the author has yet to find more information about it.

Mt. Balagbag Itinerary

Mt. Balagbag Itinerary

Mt. Balagbag Itinerary

Mt. Balagbag Itinerary

Scaling The Nagpatong Rock

The province of Rizal is becoming one of my favorites. It seem to have an endless offering when in comes to outdoorsy activities like hiking. From small to tall, easy to difficult peaceful to challenging circuits, Rizal seem to offer them all.

Nagpatong Rock

The main feature of this hike is the Nagpatong Rock Formation, this particular hike starts with an easy trail but later becomes quite technical as it would ask you to scale rock formations through a trail that was still very raw at the time of our hike.

We rented a jeep from Star Mall Shaw to the jump off point at brgy. Cuyambay. If you are taking public transportation, you can take a jeep to the Tanay Market, then another to Sampaloc then rent a tricycle to the barangay hall. Alternatively, just rent a tricycle from the market to the barangay, this should cost about 500 pesos per trip.
Upon arriving at the barangay hall we were welcomed by the staff of the barangay (what can I do, I was with a mountaineering rock stars 😉 ) They gave us two well trained staff that would guide us to the awesome rock formation.

The trek started with a real easy hike but was quite taxing because of the sweltering heat that day. The plains started to slope up but still an easy breezy even for beginners after about thirty minutes we started traversing a good uphill slope through a dry forestry part of the trail. It was quite welcoming even though it means that we need to make an extra effort due to the uphill climb because of the cool air that the trees are giving us. Time to get high on pure oxygen baby, LOL. Like seriously, you don’t get to breath air this pure in Manila, so better take advantage.

Well that’s the easy part, then came the technical phase. Come to think of it, the next part of the hike was easy, you just need a bit of courage to tackle the rock formations over.  The rocks becomes quite sharp as you progress but nothing that a good glove could manage.

Nagpatong Rock


It was really lots of fun going through the trail to the Nagpatong rock formation as you’ll find a lot of crevices that are fun to take photos at, and yes we took our time. Hahaha… well this is what we came here for, the photos!

Nagpatong Rock


Nagpatong Rock


Nagpatong Rock


Nagpatong Rock


Nagpatong Rock


Nagpatong Rock




Nagpatong Rock


Nagpatong Rock


It was really awesome to scale this monolith and the best part of it is more of surviving the trek going to the rocks!

I don’t have much to say about this trip but it is simply a must try for some one who is looking for some quick escape and adventure near the metro.



4 Easy Hikes Near Manila

The Philippines is rich with natural wonders and you cannot discount the majestic mountains that we have scattered among its islands. But sometimes these mountains can be daunting specially to beginners or maybe for the seasoned hiker be to far from the metro. We’ve came up with some of the mountains that one can easily hike as a beginner or a quick trip for the veteran hiker,

1. Batulao

Just about a couple of hours from Manila, Mt. Batulao is one for recommended for newbie hikers. Two trails can be traversed while the new one is advised for the noob. Batulao offers a 360 view of the Batangas – Cavite area that makes it popular for dayhikes.

easy hikes near manila

See here How To Get To Batulao

2. Pico De Loro

Taking its name from a Parrot’s Beak, Pico de Loro’s main draw is a Monolith that protrudes at the edge of its summit. Though a bit intimidating, this monolith can be scaled to the top!

easy hikes near manila

3. Manalmon and Gola

Up north in the province of Bulacan, Mt. Manalmon can be hiked up within just about an hour to an hour and a half. If you feel a bit of in the mood for more you can go straight and hike the adjacent Mt. Gola.

easy hikes near manilaView from the summit of Mt.Manalmon (credits: Storm Crypt)

4. Mt. Pinatubo

Is an active volcano straddling between the provinces of Tarlac, Zambales and Pampanga, yes you read that right it is still active. Hours of walking to and from the volcano account for this hike, what makes it newbie friendly is that most of the hike is done on the vast plains of pyroplastic materials that the volcano spew when it erupted in the 90’s. Even the assault to the mouth of the volcano is a breeze that can be done in about 15 -20 minutes. The challenge here for newbies lies in the hours of walking under the scorching heat of the sun on the best time to visit during summer. Hiking up the volcano on rainy days can be risky as the lahar that you’d be walking on becomes a river of mud when it mixes with the rain.

easy hikes near manila

Hope this list can help you start up your hiking escape every weekend or maybe as often as you can. Just remember to research well before going on a trip to any of them because even though they are easy hikes it can be also dangerous if normal caution is not taken.

Do you have a mountain that you think can be an easy hike near the metro? Let us know through the comment section so maybe we can include them in our next list of easy to hike mountains near the metro.

How to get to Madlum River + Mt. Manalmon

The infamous river of Bulacan that is believed to be mystical by a lot of people really is a beautiful and peaceful place to enjoy, nothing to be afraid of really. But of course conscious effort to be safe is needed like checking of weather like in any other trip is to go to manalmon or madlum river

So here’s a quick guide of how to get there if you’d like to enjoy the Madlum River or may be a quick day hike at Mt. Manalmon.

Jump off point: Cubao or any provincial bus stop along EDSA

> Take a bus bound to Tuguegarao or Cabanatuan and ask the conductor to drop you off at Bgy. Camias.

>From the crossroads of Bgy. Camias and DRT Highway take a tricycle to the Madlum River

>Fare price is 200 pesos per way and the tricycle can load up to four people at a time.

That’s it! You are can now marvel and enjoy the beauty of the Madlum river.

Mt. Manalmon Tips

Mt. Manalmon is just a quick day hike that you can couple with Mt. Gola. Be sure to Secure a permit for your hike days before you trek. You can email them at __________, wait for the confirmation then pick up your permit the same day of your hike at the site.

Guides costs 300 pesos per mountain/group of 4 and 40 pesos per cave/pax

Plan ahead of time and communicate early on to avoid hassle and delay on your hike. The mountain may not be that tall but rules are rules.

Do you have a tip for a day trip at Mt. Manalmon and/or Madlum river? Leave them at the comment section so we can include them!

How to get to Batulao

Batulao is a minor climb mountain ideal for day hikes for beginners. It is located in the Nasugbu Batangas and offers a 360 view of the Cavite – Batangas area which makes it popular for hikers

Commuting to Batulao

>Take a bus from buendia bound to Lemery or Nasugbu
>Get off at Hill Crest Gold Resort entrance and walk for about 2.5kms to the jump off point – there are signages that you can follow.

Over the past few months there have been issues surrounding this mountain like entrance or fees for every stop –due to private property issues- though that is somewhat more of inconvenience issue.

The main issue about this destination is that there are people asking hikers to take guides even though it is totally unnecessary. In fact as you get near the jump off point there would be kids and adults alike who would offer you guiding services, like seriously! If a kid can guide you through the new trail why would you need a guide at all!? The new trail is very readable, just a straight line that you need to follow. So make sure to research well at the time before you embark on your journey to check what are the conditions of the said issue or if they have resolved it already.

Be sure to check out PinoyMountaineer’s facebook and website for additional and updated information about Batulao.