Masungi Georeserve, a conservation area and rustic rock garden hidden in the rain forests of Rizal, is no doubt one of the most popular weekend destinations near the metro. By now, you’re probably familiar with duyan, the giant rope hammock and sapot, a spider web-style viewing platform which have made the rounds on social media.
But behind the refreshing scenery are deep messages of conservation. Masungi Georeserve is committed to the conservation of land, heritage and biodiversity through research, geotourism and the development of local communities. They also hope to influence more destinations to protect the country’s natural landscapes through sustainable and responsible tourism. They just launched several new trail features this 2017, giving nature-lovers even more reasons to visit.
Bayawak, the local term for monitor lizard, is a steep rope course shaped like its namesake. Trail visitors have to crawl like lizards as they climb up or down this rope course outlined with a lizard’s sleek and slender body. Since this course poses a challenging climb, the bayawak is best tackled by those who are more physically fit and not afraid of heights.
Barangay Dahon is an area that contains a collection of hammocks and swings inspired by the different leaves and fruits that you can find inside the georeserve. After a tiring climb through the Bayawak Walk, you can just hang out, relax and catch the breeze as you enjoy the refreshing surroundings. Some of the cool hammocks here can even fit two or more people!
Sawa, which translates to python, is a long circular hanging bridge safely enclosed in nets and ropes.
It provides a quick shortcut for handicapped or elderly trail visitors who may find the rest of the course too challenging to complete. Visitors can stroll through the belly of the giant beast hanging in the forest to get back to the starting point of the Discovery Trail. Think of it as a warp zone or easy escape hatch should you be too tired to finish the trail.
One of the most exciting new developments here is Silayan, a sustainable restaurant that aims to help local farmers and producers around Masungi Georeserve. The restaurant serves local and indigenous cuisine inspired by the landscape. In fact, meal ingredients are all sourced within a 20-kilometer radius of the project.
Silayan serves appetizers making use of livestock sourced from the municipality of Baras garnished with herbs from their own greenhouse; red/black/purple organic heirloom rice sourced straight from nearby farmers; and fresh fruit shakes from the Kanlungan farm.
One of the unique local dishes you can try here that’s part of their set menu is special version of Sinigang that uses the indigenous katmon, a type of fruit used by locals as a souring agent.
The restaurant is currently open exclusively for confirmed trail guests and reservations are required at least three days in advance. Dining in Silayan costs an additional PHP600 per head. Click here to view their menu and dining reservation policies.
Who’s excited to try all the new trail features of the Masungi Georeserve Discovery Trail? Share this story with your adventure buddies!