Rizal, Philippines | Day Hike to Mt. Balagbag – Licao Licao Trail

Yesterday, we set foot on this mountain located in the boundaries of Rodriguez, Rizal and San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. Some of you might be confused where Mt. Balagbag is really located. Well, we’re actually quite on the same boat. The jump off point is in Brgy. Licao Licao which is in San Jose Del Monte Bulacan. But as you progress your way to the summit, mostly are already part of Rizal.

HOW TO GET THERE

Via Private Transportation

From EDSA, we drove to Tungko then head on to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. After about 2 hours on the road, we finally reached Sitio Balagbag in Brgy. Licao Licao.

Via Public Transportation

Take a bus from EDSA going to Tungko. Then from Tungko, there’s a jeepney going directly to Brgy. Licao Licao. I’m just not sure how much you’d have to pay. I just actually observed the public vehicles while I’m sitting pretty on the passenger seat. Tee-hee!

WHAT TO EXPECT

As beginners, expect that we chose the easiest trail to the summit. Other blogs you’d read might give you a rating of 3/9. But I’d like to say that the trail we took is probably just a 2/9.

From the jump off point, you could actually take a tricycle ride to Sitio Balagbag Health Center where you’ll be required to register.

We decided to hire a tour guide as we are still traumatized by the last trip we’ve had where we encountered men with rifles that can possibly be mistaken as NPAs. Knowing Balagbag is previously a haven of NPAs, we didn’t take the risk to hike by ourselves. Not that I’m scaring you haha! But what is Php300 against death right? Jk. We just wanna make sure. But Mt. Balagbag is safe, yes (as of writing).

The trail is really wide and flat. By flat, I meant no difficult obstacles, just a little slope about a degree of 45.

It took us about an hour to reach 3/4 our way to the summit where you need to register again as they said from that point onwards is a private property. I didn’t know someone could own a part of a mountain. To whom did they bought it? Government eh?

Mt. Balagbag

Our guide mentioned about a helipad near the summit. I can’t really fathom who could have own a piece of Mt. Balagbag. Enlighten me, Mr. Horsey Horsey.

Mt. Balagbag

Anyway, it was already 3pm back then and there so we’ve decided to just enjoy the view and take photographs.

The Mountaineer

Mt. Balagbag
Shirt courtesy of pinoymountaineer.com

My Mountaineer

Don’t change the mountain. Let the mountain change you.
– Pinoy Mountaineer

The Dancer

Mt. Balagbag

The Anonymous

Mt. Balagbag

Muni Muni

Mt. Balagbag

Oh I forgot to mention we were with my favorite third party, again. Good thing Kuya is there, I guess them, both wearing white, is destiny. Jk, she’ll never forgive me saying that. Tee-hee!

Kuya and Meanne

Mt. Balagbag

T&D

Little Stranger

Mt. Balagbag

Charlie’s Angels ‘to dapat anyare

Mt. Balagbag

One of my favorite emoji for real!

You can actually already see the Sierra Madre range at this point.

Mt. Balagbag 

Mt. Balagbag is also known by the bikers and motorists community. While resting on the registration area, we met three motorists. If only we had the courage to hitchhike our way to the summit, we could have done so. Haha!

Mt. Balagbag

In as much as I’d like to wait for the sunset, we decided to return early. Going down, it took us only about 30 mins. I don’t know but it’s always like that. It’s almost as if time is being bent everytime we return back from the top. Gravity, you might say eh? Hate you. Jk.

Mt. Balagbag

It was indeed a day well spent. 

SUGGESTED ITINERARY

1000 ETD from Manila

11oo ETA in Tungko + Lunch

1300 ETA in Sitio Balagbag + Ascend

1400 Entrance to Helipad + Meryenda/Rest+ Photo Ops

1500 Ascend to Summit

1600 ETA Summit + Photo Ops

1700 Descend 

1730 Quick Sunset Photo Ops

1800 ETA in Jump Off Point + Dinner otw home

2000 ETA in Manila

ESTIMATED BUDGET BREAKDOWN

Php 10 – Registration at Sitio Balagbag

Php 20 – Registration at Helipad

Php 300 – Tour Guide Fee

Php 200 – Food

Php 100 – Public Transportation (estimate)

Php 500 – Gas

Estimated Total Expenses: Php 500 / head

Thank you for reading. I hope to have inspired you to travel more.

P.S. Leave no trace but memories.

With Love,

Danica


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