Last February 12, I suddenly found myself tripping somewhere in the province of Bulacan. Thanks to sir Sony of yobynos.wordpress.com for inviting me in this adventure-ful trip at Sitio Madlum, San Miguel, Bulacan.
Crossing the River: Monkey Bridge Style
To experience the thrill of adventures that the Sitio Madlum could offer, one must cross the river first. And based on what I've seen around, there are 4 different ways in crossing the great Madlum River:
1) Ride a raft - for a fee of course (P5 one way)
2) Zipline - again for a fee (I forgot the price)
3) the Monkey Bridge - thrilling and fun
4) walk by foot - the effortless way
For the thrill lovers like me, crossing the Monkey Bridge is highly recommended, it's fun and thrilling. It was a bit shaky when I gave it a try, but isn't that where the fun comes from. Wearing a pair of gloves will be a smart choice too, the cable can be abrasive if crossing is done recklessly.
|the Monkey Bridge|
|that's me crossing the river. photo by Sir Paul Basco|
Rock climbing is another fun and challenging activity that Sitio Madlum can offer. Just a few meters from the registration site, is a huge rock ("grotto" as called by the locals) that enthusiasts would definitely enjoy. Like an appetizer for a bigger meal, this rock will fire you up for your next activity which is climbing Mt. Manalmon.
|Rock climbing, the rock's edges are pretty sharp. I got cuts on my feet after climbing this rock|
Mt. Manalmon is an easy climb actually, I'm not even sure if it's really a mountain (being 196+ MASL only). At its peak, you'll be able to see the great Mt. Arayat peeking on the horizon. Strong winds brush the summit of Mt. Manalmon, hence it's really cool on top. The huge piece of dome-like rock of this mountain is the gem that attracts the mountaineers.
Mt. Manalmon's twin mountain, Mt. Gola, is a possible double dayhike.
|the large dome-like rock of Mt. Manalmon|
|at the mountain's summit, with the neighboring Mt. Gola at the background|
Since Sitio Madlum still covers a part of Biak-na-Bato Cave System, spelunking activity is not new to this place. The popular ones are Bayukbok cave which is good enough for cave-lovers, and Victoria cave which is longer and can probably drain all your strength. However, the larger Victoria Cave has been closed to the public for quite a long time already (details on its re-opening is unsure).
|inside Bayukbok Cave|
|our group inside the Bayukbok cave. Photo by Paul Basco|
How to get there:
There are buses in Cubao and Pasay that are bound for Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. Five Star and Baliwag Trans are the popular ones. All these buses will pass by San Miguel, Bulacan. Just tell the driver to drop you at Brgy. Kamias in San Miguel. From there, you can ride a tricycle to Sitio Madlum.
Budget for this trip can be as low as P500.00 (if you're in a group of 10)