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!”
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: