Maranat is the exact opposite of its neighbor, Mt. Balagbag. It is not bare, it has more beautiful and cleaner trails, it has wonderful views, and it offers a worthy challenge that every outdoor enthusiast long for. Although bamboo harvesting and coal mining is very eminent in the place, the forest of Maranat is still green and luscious.
Compared to other mountains where you must ascend to reach your destination, you’ll have to do a series of steep descends to reach the campsite of Maranat; the assault will happen on your way home. Be careful as the trail can be muddy and very slippery during rainy season. Mt. Maranat is an unrated mountain (maybe because it is not a mountain. Maranat is actually the name of the falls which is covered by Mt. Oriod) and there is no reference as to what level its difficulty is. I think it will pass a trail class of 3 on which requires climber to use hands for balance.
(above visuals are the river crossing for Mt. Maranat) Every step is exciting as you find your way to Mt. Maranat. No wonder, several of my mountaineering friends already considered it as one of their favorites and must-climb mountains; I do agree with them. Maranat is indeed one of the most fun, exciting, and cheapest destination near Metro Manila.
How to Get to Mt. Maranat
- Maranat is very near Manila. With you own vehicle, simply head to Rodriguez, Rizal.
- Upon reaching Brgy. Macabud, take the uphill road to Licao-Licao, the jump off of Balagbag and Maranat mountains.
- You may leave your car there or you can drive to Sitio Balagbag and leave your vehicle in the Brgy. Hall after registration.
- From Cubao take a bus with “Tungko” signage and get off at the last bus stop.
- When you reach Tungko, look for a jeepney terminal near the public market and take the one bound for Licao Licao. First trip is around 5AM and last jeepney trip from Licao Licao back to Tungko is at 6PM.
- Mt. Maranat is the same jump-off of Mt. Balagbag, the last stop of the jeepney trip.
Aircon Bus from Cubao to Tungko
Php 55 per way (2-3 hours)
Jeep from Tungko to Licao-Licao
Php27.00 per way (45 minutes to 1 hour)
Php10.00 ( I dunno what they do with this)
Sample Itinerary (Overnight Camp)
0900 From Cubao, take bus to Jolibee Tungko
1000 From Jolibee Tungko, take jeep to Licao-Licao
1100 ETA Licao-Licao 1200 Start Trek
1230 ETA Mini Wet Market; Buy Supplies
1330 Resume Trek 0300 ETA Nursery
1600 ETA Ippo River (River crossing)
1800 ETA Campsite (Tatay Nestor House); Register; Early Lunch
0600 Wake Up Call/Prepare Breakfast
0700 Start bouldering at Maranat Falls
0900 Head back to campsite
1000 Break Camp Start Descend
1230 Back to Jump off/Wash up/Lunch
1400 Take jeepney to Tungko
1500 ETA Tungko; Dinner; Back in Quezon City
*Day hike and night trek is possible. Please do necessary adjustments according to your preferred time.
- Neither permits nor guides are required. However, since there are a lot of misplaced trails, I suggest that you get a guide in the registration area (Brgy. Hall). There is no standard rate for the guide so have to have an impressive haggling skill.
- Mt. Maranat has a big campsite, but mountaineers tend to flock in the area during weekends so make sure to be there early.
- Network availability fluctuates all throughout the trail.
- Water sources are abundant along the trails.
- Last trip of jeep going back to Tungko from Licao-Licao is at 6PM.
|Maranat Falls as viewed from the trail|
Maranat is actually not the mountain itself but the name of the falls covered by Mt. Oriod. Going to the peak of Maranat (which is actually Mt. Oriod) will take around 4 hours of trekking from the campsite. Since a lot of mountaineers flock in this new hiking destination in Rizal, many have referred to the site as Mt. Maranat. There is a nipa hut in the campsite which is owned by Tatay Nestor, the caretaker of Maranat.
My Two Cents Worth of Thoughts
Maranat is a beautiful place which can pass under the classification of “paradise” for mountaineers. I hope the local government can do something to lessen, if not stop, the bamboo harvesting and coal mining in the area. I was really saddened by how easily locals cut and burn trees in exchange of Php100.
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