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The Trailblazing Trails of Masungi

The innovative geopark earns a spot at the U.N. Tourism World Organization Awards

Updated

By VIANCA GAMBOA 

Looks like we’ll be seeing more adventure and discovery trails at the Philippines’ award-winning, top conservation spot anytime soon! The United Nations Tourism World Organization Awards recognized Masungi Georeserve, Rizal as one of the top three privately led sustainable tourism projects among 200 global finalists at its recent awards ceremony held at MariinskyTheater in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Masungi Georeserve’s trustee Billie Dumaliang and project officer Ann Dumaliang along with Department of Tourism Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat graced the most prestigious award show for the global tourism sector. They presented Masungi’s environmental impact through the team’s concrete innovative concepts for conservation. One of the project highlights was the geopark’s engagement with over 100 local full-time park rangers that escort guests who go on a discovery trail and ensure the long-term protection of 3,000 hectares of denuded land.

In an Instagram post by the admins of Masungi Georeserve, the caption read, “When we first started geotourism at Masungi, we hoped that guests would see something special in it like we did. Fast forward to today, the project is receiving its third international nod from no less than the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Our wish came true, for the world to see something special in a piece of rock that was abandoned many years ago, and for the world to come together to protect it. The challenges persist, but these big and small wins give us hope. We will not, as we have not, shy away from facing the complex challenges in conservation and innovation in the Philippine setting. On behalf of the Masungi family, we thank you for supporting us in your own different ways!

SEE MASUNGI

Masungi is located in Baras, Rizal and it’s just a two-hour drive away from Manila. You can take a day or night trip in private packs, that takes three to four hours depending on your preference, and your company’s leg work, of course. A group must make a request through their website and pay a conservation fee of P1,500.00  per guest for the weekdays, and P1,800.00 per guest for the weekends, with inclusions of a guide or park ranger, trail kit, and refreshments.

This geopark sanctuary offers a trail experience and a meditative respite along its stunning rock gardens and preserved rainforests like no other. Here’s what you can spot along its innovative fully paved pathways:

SAPOT
You may have spotted this before on one of your eco-conscious buddy’s Instagram posts. This lets you see Laguna de Bay in all its glory and re-enact that Mary Jane scene by lying down in a web with majestic rock formations underneath.  
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YUNGIB NI RUBEN
What’s cooler than an artificial small cave complex in a karst landscape setting? This hideout from the sun lets you observe intricate details that surround cave formations up close.
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TATAY
This rock formation perfected by nature and the wind is the tallest peak in the area.
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NANAY
This much smaller rock formation of five piled-up limestone rocks serves as another peak accessible by interconnected bridges.
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DITSE, PATAK, AT DUYAN
This air house serves as a layover bliss amid the discovery trail, featuring an age-old preserved cactus garden underneath.

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BAYAWAK
A rope course perfect for team building and conquering fear of heights, what makes this extra challenging than rock climbing is its netted obstacle course that makes for extra wobbly knees and trickier finger grip.
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LIWASAN
This supposed endpoint is perfect for bird-watching as raptors and exotic birds make a pit stop along its bird baths—like a mini swimming pool for thirsty birds, you know.
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SAWA
This hanging bridge that transports you back to the starting point offers the perfect vantage point for viewing Liwasan’s glistening waters.
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All photos courtesy of masungigeoreserve.com

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