Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mt. Manalmon and Bayukbok Cave

There’s a first time for everything! I cannot believe that I have never even hiked or caved in my 23 years of living in this planet. I was never the outdoor type, nevertheless I braved committing myself to this adventure thanks to my friend Ola J

As the saying you goes, “You ain’t living unless you step out of your comfort zone”. Hiking and caving weren’t my only “firsts” during this trip. It was also my first time to ride a public bus.

We took the Cabanatuan bus from Five Star Cubao to Bulacan, stopped over at a carinderia to buy food and from there on we took a trike to Mt. Manalamon.

We were all stunned with the breathtaking view. Our first stop was the Bayukbok Cave. You need not to bring anything except for a flashlight, bottle of water, and a camera, of course. You can leave the rest of your things at the sari-sari store.

The path was a bit steep so wearing rubber shoes or sandals with rubber soles is highly recommended to prevent slipping during the climb.

 The tour guides gave us a precaution as the Bayukbok Cave is quite risky. If you aren’t confident enough they would advise you to not pursue caving. Despite the minimal fear, we were all surprisingly confident and excited for this venture.

One of the riskier parts of the caving experience was having to rappel with simply a rope. My palms and feet were sweating and it took me about 15 minutes to get down while others did it effortlessly in about 2 minutes.  It was definitely an achievement for me.

You don’t need to worry about making it to the end once you’ve started because the guides will surely help you all throughout. The cave formation was astounding for me as I’ve never been in a cave before. I had no clue on what it was like to cave, so every step we made literally left me breathless.

My favourite part would be the body language areas where it would require you to literally squeeze your way in between rocks. Up until now I couldn’t believe that I was actually able to survive the Bayukbok cave.

The caving experience was quite tiring so we had lunch along the river. By this time our energies had been replenished and we were more than ready venture on Mt. Manalmon.

You can take a raft for 5 PHP to cross to the other side. If you’re feeling adventurous then you can even cross to the other side through the monkey bridge but it could take you a while. We were amazed though by how the locals managed to cross the ropes in seconds.  

Before anything else, we sat by the registration area where we enjoyed meaningful conversations with the locals.

The climb to the mountain would be tiring especially for a first timer so be sure to bring at least a liter or two of drinking water.

The view was spectacular. I’ve never seen that much greenery in my life.

You have to be careful when climbing the mountain is it is quite steep. The tour guide will lead you the way.  It took us a while to reach the summit of the Mt. Manalmon as we had lots of photo ops.

Once we reached the summit, we all screamed our lungs out and congratulated ourselves for achieving such goal. The view from the top was mind-blowing. 

Take your time taking photos but be careful with every step as well. Once you’ve enjoyed the cool breeze and the exquisite scenery, you may head down to cool off in the river. Expect the way down to be much quicker.

We chilled by the river for about an hour where we ate snacks and had a bottle of brandy. The water was really cold so it was the perfect way to cool our bottle of alcohol. When you leave, be sure to take your trash with you and throw it in a proper bin.

If you have ample time and energy you can even do a double hike to Mt. Gola located just beside Mt. Manalmon.

Before you head home, you might want to shower or simply wash up. There’s a bathroom located near the registration booth. But I suggest that you do the rest of your showering at home. 

That was definitely an adventure of a lifetime. I will never forget my first hike. 


Barangay Kamias, San Miguel Bulacan

Contact for tour:

Jik Jec - 0917 525 8264

What to wear: 

Comfy/ Dri-fit top
leggings/ jogging pants/ shorts

Things to bring:

1-2 liters of H20
Headlight/ Flashlight
Food (crackers, sandwich, lunch, etc.)
Plastic bag
Ziplocks (for electronics)
Small towel
Change of clothes (top, bottom, undergarments, socks)
Toiletries in small containers/ sachets (soap, shampoo, etc.)


Bus - around 120 PHP / person
Trike - around 260 PHP/ ride
Guide - 300 PHP/ group
Caving guide - 30 PHP/ person  
Raft - 5 PHP/ person
Registration fee - 10 PHP/ person

Some Info: 

Class 2 Trail
196 MASL

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