How to get there?
The mountain is located in the town of San Miguel, Bulacan. So if you're trying to visit Mt. Manalmon and you're from Manila, take any Cabanatuan-bound bus at Baliwag Transit, ES Transport, or Five Star Transport in Pasay or Cubao. Then just tell the bus conductor to drop you at Brgy. Camias. The travel time from Manila to San Miguel, Bulacan is around 2 hours. A long travel time but it will be all worth it as soon as you reach Mt. Manalmon. From Brgy. Camias, you still need to ride a tricycle going to Brgy. Madlum. Prepare 5 pesos because along the way you will need it as a registration fee. As you reach Brgy Madlum, you need to decide whether you want to raft across the river (5 pesos also) or you want to try the monkey bridge (free) to reach the jump off point of Mt. Manalmon. We chose to raft since we have our carry on things and we don't want to get it wet if you we make a mistake passing through that cable wires (but we tried it on after the hike). As you get to the jump off, another registration should be taken and it is worth 5 pesos again.
|One of the two ways to reach the jump off|
|And here's the other one|
Mt Manalmon's peak reaches at 196 MASL (based on Pinoy Mountaineer's specs). A minor climb that you can trek in 2-3 hours (back and forth and including picture taking). By the way, even though it is treated as a minor climb and the trek is just short, people who wanted to explore the mountain are mandatory to have a guide. Kuya Bong, our guide, explains to us why and it is because there is a myth that lies to this mountain. You can ask you're guide about it.
Trekking to the summit will start from passing through Madlum cave (other called it Manalmon Cave). Bats are the main attraction here so prepare your headlights to see them. You will also pass through a river so be ready to get your feet wet. (sometimes, knee high). Then the rest of the trek will be the normal hiking trails. When I say normal trails, it doesn't mean that the view as you go up is normal as well.
|My friend Julius as he put back his shoes after we passed through the river|
|more water trails ahead|
|View from Mt Manalmon peak|
|That's me from the view deck of Mt Manalmon|
Mt Manalmon is a great destination if you want to have an extreme sidetrip after a hike. Yes, extreme trip after another. After the hike and reach again the jump off, we asked Kuya Bong to bring us at Bayukbuk Cave. Note: If you are claustrophobic (fear of having no escape and being closed in small spaces), think twice in trying this out.
|This photo reminds me of the movie 127 Hours (photo from Khai Bautista)|
We also tried crossing the river using the famous activity in Mt Manalmon, the monkey bridge style. Crossing through that cable wires isn't easy. As you go and reach the middle part, the wires begin to shake so make sure to maintain your balance. It is also ideal to use gloves because gripping firmly the wires could hurt you.
|That's us waiting for our turn in the monkey bridge|
|Me and Superman, I mean Baron crossing the monkey bridge|
|The fearless boys of Brgy Madlum|
|We're proud to say that we conquered Mt Manalmon... ahmmm rather Brgy. Madlum|
Bus - P117.00 (Manila to San Miguel, Bulacan)
Tricycle - P250 (Brg. Camias to Sitio Madlum) good for 5 pax
Raft - P5.00 per head (optional)
1st Registration - P5.00 per head
2nd Registration at Sitio Madlum - P5.00 per head
Guide to Mt. Manalmon/Bayukbuk - P300.00 - P500.00 (will be shared by the whole team)
Before I end this blog entry here is my favorite shot of myself during this trek:
|That's me and our guide, Kuya Bong (photo from Khai Bautista)|