TRAVEL DIARY: Mt. Manalmon, Bulacan

Marco and I spontaneously decided to go on an adventure and got lost (literally) for a day.

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First adventure for 2016!

We chose to go to Mt. Manalmon after reading that it was an easy mountain climb (40 mins-1 hour) and had a river + caves nearby. A short hike, spelunking and swimming sounded like a relaxing afternoon away from the city. But little did we know that the real adventure was getting there!

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We don’t get to climb as often as we’d like, but Mt. Manalmon was an easy one to conquer

 

We left around 8AM but only reached the trail base at Sitio Madlum (Barangay Kamias, San Miguel, Bulacan) at around 12:30PM. The drive should have taken us half the time but we followed Google Maps/Waze which took us through unfamiliar dirt roads. Plus, the advice of sites like Pinoy Mountaineer told us to “just ask the San Miguel locals how to get to Sitio Madlum” which was harder said than done because people kept giving us different directions. We also got really lost getting back to the main highway after the trip, but despite the detours, it was worth it!

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MADLUM RIVER. Beyond this bridge is the start of the mountain trail. It’s also right beside the famous Monkey Bridge which you can try for free.

To get there, I highly recommend you commute via bus instead of taking your own car. It’s much more straightforward that way, and will cost you much less. Take a bus from Cubao bound to Cabanatuan and get dropped off at Barangay Kamias, San Miguel, Bulacan. From there, take a tricycle to Sitio Madlum.

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With Kuya Edward, our trusty tour guide. The tourism office here requires you to take a guide for only P300 per group. The fee helps support the guide’s family. 
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Little person, big world

 

The trail is ideal for inexperienced hikers because most of it is practically flat terrain and even passes through some fields. It’s only towards the peak that the incline gets a bit steeper, but it’s still very manageable.

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Almost there!
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Lost kids on a rock

In case you were wondering, Mt. Manalmon is named after a local legend about star-crossed lovers who accidentally pissed off a diwata or fairy who in turn swallowed the man whole, thus “Manlalamon” or Manalmon. Quite a morbid story for a beautiful mountain, haha.

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Another state

 

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So much beauty

In fact, Mt. Manalmon has been my favorite mountain summit so far. Even at high noon, the breeze was perfect and the view was breathtaking with Mt. Gola and the Madlum river right in sight.

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My ideal day off

After a quick descent from the top, we had the best time taking a dip in the cool Madlum river and exploring the surrounding rock formations. This was easily my favorite part of the trip.

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“Take a dramatic picture of me coming out of the cave” hehe
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We like adventures!!!

 

It was a good day. But we learned that spontaneous adventures are much better when they’re well-researched because getting lost is NOT as fun as it sounds. Nonetheless, the moments of serenity in between and the company you keep make all the difference. 🙂

Bea

For more information on Mt. Manalmon, check other travel guides like this and basic info pages like this. Do your research and happy climbing!

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