Manila in itself is an overpopulated city filled with locals, provincials, and expats making a living for them and their families in the bustling city life of the Philippines capital. With all the traffic, hustle, and the go-go mentality of Filipinos, the need to do more and keep busy has become first nature for people. Finding time to let loose and just break the habit of constant work is often a challenge since many of the most touristic and go-to places to get some is usually a far drive or flight away from Metro Manila itself.
However, many new scenic and nature-induced adventure tours have been popularized by locals, with many more young thrill-seekers looking to experience but also make a good impact on the environment, the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal is here to help you get your much-needed break while doing some good for mother nature. The Masungi Georeserve is a conservation area and hidden gem inside the rainforests of Rizal, with its rustic rock gardens and “Instagram-worthy” spots have been frequented by many locals and tourists alike over the last three years.
Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility
The sanctuary brings people the closer to nature, helping them reenergize and center themselves while encouraging corporate social responsibility. Many companies who practice CSR in Manila visit the sanctuary to participate in its communal efforts to preserve the sanctuary. Masungi’s vision is “to become the top geo-tourism destination and respected conservation area in the Philippines for the international community,” while working towards its mission “to sustainably manage the Masungi Georeserve limestone formations and biodiversity in perpetuity through the triple strategy of conservation, education and sustainable development.
The georeserve in itself is led and funded by Blue Star Construction & Development Corporation, alongside the foundation body of Masungi Georeserve. Most of its conservation efforts take place in communities of Pinugay, Baras, Cayumbay, and Tandang Kutyo. Since its restoration efforts in the early 2000s, the georeserve’s rehabilitation journey from illegal land grabbing and deforestation has led to a fruitful outcome with more trees growing taller and wildlife gradually getting richer, people’s involvement in conserving Masungi has been a positive one to note.
For over 2 decades now, the Masungi Georeserve strives to maintain its strong commitment to preserve one of the Philippine’s best kept rainforests and with more people continuously being educated in every visit to the sanctuary, the higher the chances of retaining its place on mother earth.
Conserving a Sanctuary
Masungi Georeserve is located in the upland area of Baras, Rizal and is a privately-led conservation area that attracts many visitors from the city and other provinces. It’s an hour drive from the center of Metro Manila and has two trails to choose from if you wish to go with your co-workers, your family members, or your “barkadas” for a fun nature-friendly adventure away from the city.
A day trip to the georeserve must be booked a week prior in order for the staff to accommodate groups properly. Guests can choose from the Discovery Trail and the Legacy Trail where visitors are given the chance to customize their skill levels and special needs before booking a trail. Activities include trekking, sunset views, moonlight views, campfire breaks, which start at PHP 1,800 per guest on weekends, and PHP 1,500 per guest on weekdays for the day trail. For the night trail, guests will be charged PHP 1,800 a head for weekends with a requirement of 7 to 14 guests for private guests willing to do the day trail, and 7 to 10 guests for those pursuing the night trail option.
The same rates and estimates apply to groups who wish to try the Legacy Trail which gives guests the chance to climb up a mountain ridge, visit grassland restoration sites, enjoy hammocks, and floating huts, while immersing themselves in active nature preservation activities. Some activities include tree planting and land nurturing, while also getting the chance to enjoy panoramic sights at the ranger station. Both trails take 3 to 4 hours and will require each guest to PHP 1,000 for the conservation fee that applies on both weekends and weekday visits.
Hitting Two Birds with One Stone
Taking a break from your toxic work life and stressful city hustle doesn’t always mean laying by the beach or a pool, it can also mean immersing yourself with the best of what nature has to offer. Joining a group of people and exploring how far your body can go on an active day trip away from the city is a great way to start. At the Masungi Georeserve, locals and tourists alike are welcome to indulge in the impactful experience of having to make a difference for the environment, while challenging yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally to get through the sanctuary.