The Unfit Girl's Guide to Masungi Georeserve
I don't remember the last time I stretched a muscle and did a serious workout. I don't even know if I can still do a 1-minute planking. I felt that I have extended the Holiday. I am at my most unfit state evident with my "almost like a baby bump" fat bulging and competing with my boobs. I don't know how I did it but glad I did it. I survived the Masungi Georeserve!!!
You see, I am not fit and I don't have a bucketlist. I let the future and everyday adventure surprise me. I have mentioned this a few times in this blog - and I have to type it again.
So yes, if there is one thing that you need to put and tick off your bucketlist (aside from Sky Diving) - it has to be a trek to the Masungi Georeserve.
The future did surprise me when an invitation to fill in a slot for a trek to Masungi Georeserve was offered to me. Thank you to Rodel Flordeliz. I heard that it is not easy to book a slot at Masungi Georeserve. We were kind of planning a visit anyway, so I said yes to an 11:00 AM trek on February 1st.
I was so unprepared for the trek because of the other different things on my plate. I had a day to research about the place (thank God for January 31st!!!). All I know about Masungi Georeserve are the spider web-like sturcture and hammock. My friends were flooding my Faecbook feed with all those photos (now, I understand why everyone was feeling proud and strong after finishing the trek! Having a photo on those spots are like trophies!).
How to Prepare Yourself for the Masungi Georeserve Hike?
1. Get enough sleep (I tried - yet I failed).
2. Be light :) - for me, it pretty much means doing my morning ritual.
3. Eat your power meal - it is banana for me :D I had 4 bananas that day!
How to Get to Masungi Georeserve?
Don't even attempt to take public transportation going to Masungi Georeserve. We were all set to commute and go - but thankfully, we got Gus (read his blog story) to fill another slot and he willingly adopted us. Road trips are fun! :) Masungi Georeserve is accessible via Marcos Highway. Mobile Signal can be erratic at times but you can still rely on Waze to take you there.
Tip: you can stop by Momsy's for a Bulalo fix! Only php 80!
@omygusgus @iamthedoll @anagon @yukitansengco @rodelflordeliz @earthlingorgeous @charlieshotme @ruthilicious
Some Masungi Georeserve Tips I Want to Share with You:
You might have probably seen and read tips and tricks on how to survive Masungi Georesee online, let me just list some of my personal tips that may be helpful for your trek:
1. Wear comfortable, light clothes. It would be good to wear yoga pants or leggings to protect your legs as you would do a lot of crawling and climbing.
2. You can pack a jacket in case it rains. But bring something that you are okay to let go - or get torn, scratched and damaged. Again, you would do a lot of crawling and climbing.
3. Bring drawstring bags. It is much easier to move around if you bring a bag to keep your valuables and water bottle.
4. Bring water bottle. As usual, I came prepared with my bottle of ice cold water.
5. Wear hiking shoes. I am not a pro-hiker but I felt more secured wearing a hiking shoes. Although the trails are mostly cemented, it is good to wear a pair with good traction and grip. The trail can be slippery especially when it started raining.
6. Plot your visit against your period. Girls, are you listening? :) I always plot my travels against my period. You may want to download the app My Calendar and plot your period (works if you have a regular 28-day cycle!) The Masungi Georeserve requires a lot of physical strength and mental alertness :D You would be in the trekking area for 4 hours - no bathroom breaks!!!
7. Do your restroom ritual before the trek. The whole trek would take around 3 to 4 hours - and although the whole place is well-maintained, there are no available Restroom Facilities in the trekking area.
8. Bring your camera. Just bring your camera and take photos. I regret not bringing my camera with worry that I wouldn't have the time/courage to use it (I think I could if I only let it hang around my neck).
9. Do a little stretching before the trek. Do the usual warm up exercises and make sure that you are using the right muscle as you go climb up (esp knees!). I tend to overused my knee muscle.
10. Go with your friends who would encourage you to go further and (BONUS!!!) take nice photos of your struggles :D
The Trekking Experience
The whole trek would take you around 3 to 4 hours (including quick photo opportunities). We finished at 4.5 hours.
I don't know how I survived the trek. I just thought that I need to survive and there is no way out, but to go forward. Rodel was telling me that I might not be able to finish Masungi Georeserve, because I was already hysterical when we did the Hanging Bridge at Cloud 9 (that's a different story because I was holding my bladder and my shoes were slippery).
Before things get crazier with Ana, Rodel and Gus.
Ana and I promised ourselves that we would be together "crawling" our way to the end :D
LAMBAT. Calculating Risks.
Tip: Feel safer climbing up via the smaller knots. But your shoes might get caught. It would slow down your pace but hey, it is not a race.
I really love how the Park Rangers ensure that the park is maintained. They even ask visitors to "clean and brush" their shoes before climbing the ropes. Just a little courtesy to other visitors. Who wants to crawl on a rope filled with mud anyway?
Just one of the many hanging bridges.
I felt like a pro at crossing these bridges after this trek!
Faking confidence at the top of the cliff.
I haven't really experience hardcore trekking, although I did a few farm tours. While everyone got scared of the Sapot/Spider Web and crawled their way down to the center, I felt that it was the easiest part for me. It is all about a balancing act.
SAPOT. The most photographed place in Masungi Georeserve.
I thought it was an easy trek to get to this spot.
The hardest part of the trek for me was starting the climb down the rope at Duyan. How do you turn your back to the edge of a cliff? I heard someone cheering for me "Go Ruth, you already jumped off the plane. You could do it". I stayed focused. I couldn't even exchange banters. I think it was @rodelflordeliz (thank you!!!)
DUYAN. I was thinking, "... it was like rappeling. Except that I don't have a harness :D"
Tip: Make sure that you are holding tightly at the big ropes before slowly going down. Rest your feet on those big rope knots.
#IllegalBloggers: Ana, Rodel, Ruth, Earth, Charles, Yuki, Gus and Rhea
It was funny when the Park Ranger thought I have a fear of heights (so he guided me the whole time going down Duyan :D). I think I have developed a fear of slipping through wholes and planks of wood (because of the Kayangan Lake experience where I met an accident - watch it on Wil Dasovich's vlog!), and somehow - the ropes remind me of that horror story.
I was scared that because my muscles were already tired, I would slip through the wholes (but seriously, the worst that could happen is to get your legs stuck - that's it. There is no way you would slip through the rope holes!).
Thinking about it now, I think I could do it again with
less no worry and panic.
One of the few stations where you can take a 5-minute break :D
with Ana, Rodel and Earth (read her blog)
Quick Cave Break with Gus and Rodel
Thank you for being sweethearts!
We felt like Geologists, Paleontologists, Archeologists and Botanists the whole time.
But Ana was obviously sporting the look.
BAYAWAK. When we thought it was all over - we still had to do the newest discovery trail.
Then we were treated with food! Yay! Banana and Tuna Sandwich!
I didn't plan this blog to be this long. :p Can I end this post and give myself a pat on the back? I feel so proud of what I have accomplished (haha). I never doubted myself but I know when I am not physically fit - and at one point I got worried that my body would fail me (then I would quit). I think I am still strong and capable for someone whose only mean of exercise is taking a shower :p
I am glad I said yes to this adventure (well, I can't remember an adventure I turned down no matter how unfit I am :p). Masungi Georeserve offers a different playground for those who want to be close to nature and experience a different thrill. YOU MUST GO!!!
I don't want to be a human blogger echo to the same stuff that you read online about Masungi Georeserve. Check out the site here to know more about the place: http://www.masungigeoreserve.com/
Please do book in advance and plan your adventure.
Thank you @anagon, @rodelflordeliz @omygusgus and @earthlingorgeous for the photos!
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