Mt. Masungki: Another One of Cuyambay's Treasures

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

celineism

One of my favorite places ever is Cuyambay. This baranggay is home to a community of the indigenous Dumagat. Surrounding it are mountains considered as the tribe's ancestral domain. Fortunately, those with no Dumagat blood can hike up these mountains and experience the breathtaking views they afford. I've already written about the other mountains previously, so now, here's a guide to another one of Cuyambay's mountain treasures: Mt. Masungki.

But wait. Before we proceed, please take note of the Leave No Trace Principles:

Got it? Oh one more thing: please also support Mountain Watch Philippines – a community dedicated to protecting the Philippine mountains.  Done? Thanks! Let's proceed.

BACKGROUND
In late June of this year, I made way to Cuyambay to meet with my friends and brainstorm for a project I'm cooking up under Mountain Watch. It was good timing for my good friend Renson has organized a hike to Mt. Masungki. I was able to tag along.

Mt. Masungki comes from the word "sungki", meaning jagged or craggy. The mountain was once the hunting grounds of the Dumagat. Vines used to make traditional handicrafts are plenty here. Caves, sink holes, and a lush forest mostly make up the area.

Related Adventure: Mt. Ngusong Kabayo DIY Guide

THE TRAIL
Mt. Masungki's trail goes through a forested area with lots of tall and thick trees. It also involves scrambling over huge boulders and sharp rocks, sometimes necessitating relying on vines and random branches for support.

It takes about two to three hours to reach the summit. Here, a "surprise" structure will be seen. A metal structure similar to a bare billboard stand is perched on the peak of the mountain. It's assumed to be a "reflector" for radars, but we're not sure what it's for. Anyway, the view from here is all shades of green. It's a panoramic vista mostly composed of ancient canopies, hills, and clusters of limestone.
mt masungki diy guide

mt masungki diy guide

beginner friendly mountains rizal

mt masungki diy guide

mt masungki diy guide

The trail also includes a path to two rock formations: Maikmo, and the popular Nagpatong.

Related Adventure: DIY Guide to Maysawa Circuit

SIDETRIPS
Maikmo Rock, and Nagpatong Rock could both be the main destination or could be combined with Mt. Masungki's summit. These two are situated along the mountain's trail.

Getting to Maikmo is quite tricky as the rocks are incredibly sharp and steep. The way to the top requires scaling a narrow pillar of limestone. The view from here is similar from that of the summit.
Nagpatong Rock, meanwhile, requires a rope to get to. A makeshift ladder has been constructed to aid hikers, and the guides had determined the best place to take this iconic shot. The view from here is no different from the summit and Maikmo, but it's considered as the highlight because of the distinct rock formation.

Related Adventure: Tarak Ridge with BaseKamp

mt masungki diy guide

beginner friendly mountains rizal

SAMPLE ITINERARY
01:00 to 03:00 - Travel and arrival at Cuyambay. Register/Secure Guide
03:00 to 03:20 - Brgy. Hall to Jumpoff ( Sitio Tablon )
03:20 to 03:35 - Jumpoff/ Briefing
03:35 to 04:00 - Start trek to Summit
04:00 to 06:00 - Forest
06:00 to 07:00 - Summit (Photo Opt) 360 view (breakfast)
07:00 to 08:00 - Descend to Maikmo Rock formations
08:00 to 09:30 - Maikmo (Photo Opt)
09:30 to 10:30 - To Nagpatong Rock Formations
10:30 to 11:30 - Nagpatong Rock Formations + Lunch
11:30 to 13:00 - Photo-op, rest
13:00 to 15:30 - Back to Jum-off / Wash up

Related Adventure: DIY Guide to Mt. Paliparan

BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES
Santolan vv Cogeo (Php20 x 2) - Php40
Cogeo vv Cuyambay (Php48 x 2) - Php96
Habal-habal fare from Sampaloc Hiway to Baranggay Hall (good for 2 pax) - Php25
Habal-habal fare from Baranggay Hall to Sampaloc Hiway (good for 2 pax) - Php30
Angono vv Tanay Town Proper (Php35 x 2) = Php70
Tanay Town Proper vv Sampaloc Junction (Php27 x 2) = Php56
Habal-habal from Sampaloc Junction to Cuyambay Baranggay Hall (good for 2) = Php150 to Php200
Registration + Environmental Fee - Php100
Tour guide (mandatory) - Php750 for a maximum of 5 pax for dayhikes

OTHER CONCERNS AND REMINDERS
- Practice the LNT Principles at all times (Read: 8 Basic Etiquette Rules Every Modern Traveler Should Know)
- Wear appropriate clothing to avoid injury and wounds, put on some sunscreen too
- Understand that this new adventure spot is managed by the Dumagat community who are used to practicing unsustainable activities such as paguuling to live. This shift to tourism is being done to introduce a more sustainable way of living. Please, 'wag mambarat
- You may wash up at the baranggay hall for Php10/pax or at the jump-off.
- Mobile Reception: Smart, Sun, TNT are stable; Globe and TM are intermittent
- You may park your vehicles around the baranggay hall or at the jump-off.
- There are plenty of sari-sari stores in the barrio. There is also a Lomihan in the jump-off.

CONTACT DETAILS
All inquiries may be directed to Mt. Masungki's Facebook page.

Into mountaineering? Check out Mount Tagapo in Binangonan, Mount Sembrano in Pililla, Mount Pamitinan in Rodriguez, and these other DIY Hiking spots!

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