Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mt. Manalmon | Fun Climb And More At Sitio Madlum

Read my previous post about our adventure at Sitio Madlum. Part of that adventure is this fun climb at Mt. Manalmon - actually, I'm not sure if it is really a mountain being 196+ MASL only (based on Pinoy Mountaineer's specs). It's more like a huge hill rather than a mountain. Anyways, it is still one of my priority mountains because of the following reasons: 1) easy access from Manila, 2) student-friendly aka low-budget climb, 3) lots of sidetrips. With only P500 at hand, I conquered my 6th mountain, thanks again to sir Sonyboy for inviting me in this memorable climb.

Mt. Manalmon is actually just an easy climb. With its beginner-friendly trail, newbies in the field of mountaineering won't find this mountain a pain in the ass.

I arrived too early at Baliwag Trans Terminal in Cubao (sabit lang ako kaya nakakahiya naman na ma-late). It was only 5:00 in the morning so I sat on the waiting shed to snatch some sleep. The next thing I remember was that sir Sonyboy was tapping my shoulder.

We still waited for about 30 minutes before we finally boarded a bus bound for San Miguel, Bulacan. Like what I'm always doing on a morning bus trip, I slept almost the entire travel time (P117 - about 1 hour trip). It was around 7:00 AM when we reached Brgy. Kamias, and there we met half of the climbing group. Of course, we had breakfast first at a carinderia before proceeding to the jump-off. 

We then rode a tricycle to Sitio Madlum (P240) which took us about 30 minutes. The road was ok during the first 15 minutes, but it became rough as we near Sitio Madlum. We also passed through a gate that required us to pay P5 per head.

rough ride to Sitio Madlum
By 8:00 AM, we reached Sitio Madlum and its great river, Madlum River, welcomed us.

the river gives life to the locals

Before anything else happened, we crossed first the river. Most in our group took the raft to cross the river, while others (including me) chose to cross it via the famous monkey bridge. Crossing Madlum river via the monkey bridge looked simpler at first glance, a person must just grip firmly on the cable, maintain his balance, then cross the river. But when I tried it myself, I realized that its quite a challenging stunt, especially when the cables shake. Also, gripping on the cables could hurt you hands so wearing a pair of protective gloves is a smart decision.

Monkey Bridge - thrilling!
Raft - effortless
When everyone made it to the other side of the river, we registered and paid a fee of P5 pesos only, however, you're required to get a guide albeit the easy trail to the summit of Mt. Manalmon. 

registered at my 6th mountain
As a warm up, we first climbed the Madlum Rock/Grotto, an approx 30 feet high rock that has sharp edges and really steep. I got abrasions on my foot during my attempt to stand on its top where we can view the length of Madlum River. We did not spend too much time on this rock, after a few photo ops, we proceeded to our main target, the dome-like rock summit of Mt. Manalmon.

reaching the top of the rock.

Conquering Mt. Manalmon

To start the trek, we traversed the Madlum Cave, a short cave under the Grotto, then another short walk along the river bank of Madlum River. Huge boulders on the river are the usual scenes we saw in this part of the trail.

mabilisang pag-tagos sa Madlum Cave
stone hopping at Madlum River

We then crossed the shallow rocky part of Madlum River. And from that point, we started the gradual ascent, stress-free trekking to the summit, ugh what a piece of cake.We rested for about 5 minutes in a grassy area before assaulting "the rock summit".

the trail is established and easy to follow
on the right is the peak of Mt. Maanlmon, on the left is Mt. Gola

In less than an hour, vwalla, we reached the windy summit of Mt. Manalmon. Views of the nearby mountains as well as Mt. Arayat's peak. An eagle (or falcon?) was seen by the group soaring in the sky above the forested area of the nearby Mt. Gola.

Victoria Peak, where a cave system is located
gusto sana namin i-explore kaya lang closed daw sa public
the summit, Madlum River is snaking at the center
sumisilip ang Mt. Arayat's peak
neighboring mountain - Mt. Gola
After about 30 minutes of relaxing and and sitting on the mountain's edge, we started the descent. This time, we used the other trail along the bamboo forest which is steeper. In less than 30 minute minutes, we reached the ground.

Lunch break at around 11:00 before noon. Picnic by the river that is. Then after lunch, we headed inside a kubo to prepare for our final adventure - spelunking the Bayukbuk Cave.

We walked for about 10 minutes from the registration site to the cave. When we reached the mouth, our guide briefed us a little, buddy-buddy system was applied on this activity.

Bayukbuk Cave

Once inside the Bayukbuk Cave, we rappelled, we crawled, we ducked, we squeezed, etc. It's just a small cave actually, it took us 30 minutes to venture inside. Nothing so special with this cave, except for the part the guide called "Music Hall" - because music can be created by just tapping the rocks. At around 2:00 pm, we're done with the cave.

exploring the Bayukbuk Cave to complete our day.

*for budget and itinerary, check out this link.


Success, another mountain has been crossed out on my list.




  1. Ang ganda! nakapunta na ako ng Mount Manalmon pero hindi ko nasubukan yung monkey bridge at pumasok sa mga kweba. Thanks Ivan for some details kung paano pumunta. :)

  2. Grabe wala naman palang harness yung monkey bridge!!! Pero sobrang naa-attract akong subukan yun.

    1. Wala ngang harness pero sarap ng feeling kapag nalampasan mo na....

  3. Sir, may contact person ba kayo sa guide dito? Punta kasi kame this April, TIA!

    1. you dont have to contact them.. organized naman ang mga guides dito kaya ok lang na doon na kayo kumuha ng guides. punta lang kayo sa registration area sa Sitio Madlum.

    2. Question lang Sir, pwede ba maligo dun sa river?

    3. Pwedend pwede....maraming ilog dyan na pwedeng paliguan...pumili na lng kau ng hindi masyado matao para hindi masyado bulabog ang tubig.

  4. I see, wow thanks Sir! Such a big help. Keep on posting! =)

  5. sir pede ba ako makasama sa mga lakwatsero nyo,, kung pede maki join sa groups salamat. ^^

    1. visit ka lang sa FB page ko. minsan nag-aanounce ako dun ng lakwatsa :)

  6. Thanks sa page na to,.....naging madali para sa tropa ko ang pag punta sa mt. manalmon...Very informative site!...Good job sir!

  7. Hi! How much did you pay the guide? Thanks.

  8. kung sa pasay ba mangagaling anong biyahe bus ang pwd sakyan.. ? balik 600 pesos kung dalawa ang taget na pupuntahan. sir

    1. not sure kung meron bus sa Pasay. and yes 600 kung pareho nyo gagawin.

  9. very informative with matching great photos.

    Frm: http://makakatingpaanigeejay.blogspot.com/

  10. Parang alam ko kng san yng photo mo... been there!!! 😄



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