A Rainy Solo Hike to Mt. Maranat (826+)

NORZAGARAY, BULACAN, PHILIPPINES — Supposedly doing a traverse to three mountains: Maranat, Balagbag and Lubog. Although I have not seen any entry on the internet about this specific traverse, I have read Balagbag-Maranat traverse is possible since they are coming from the same jump-off. According to Pinoy Mountaineer, a Balagbag-Lubog traverse may be possible but isn’t fully established yet.

 

Having the itch to do a hike, I decided to continue this trip eventhough it rained the night before. Luckily, the heavy rain have been diminished to occasional drizzles during dawn. Although I woke up quite late, travel time to San Jose del Monte City proper is shorter than those coming from Manila since I am currently living in Guiguinto, Bulacan. I got off at Licao-Licao in Rodriguez, Rizal and headed to Sitio Balagbag with a group of three persons whom shared with me the tricycle fee. They met with their group at the registration area and registered for Mt. Balagbag. I, on the other hand, decided to take on Maranat first before Balagbag. Without a guide.

 

(On a side note, I felt the need to correct the info we usually see in several blog sites: the jumpoff, Sitio Balagbag, is not part of Rodriguez, Rizal nor Norzagaray, Bulacan but rather a part of Brgy. San Isidro, San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan.)

 

Mt. Maranat (or so it’s called) is a pseudonym for the location of Maranat Falls. The area is actually a part of Mt. Oriod, which is the highest point of the Sierra Madre mountain range in the Bulacan side.

 

The trail was very easy to follow, but is muddy because of the rain during the dawn. If not for the rain, it may pass at the 3/9 difficulty level. I overtook and was overtook by several groups of mountaineers along the way.

 

Mount Maranat
Mount Maranat
Mount Maranat
Mount Maranat
Mount Maranat
Mount Maranat
Mount Maranat
Maranat Falls
Mount Maranat
Mount Maranat
Mount Maranat
Mount Maranat

 

I have reached the campsite in less than two hours. Maybe walking alone really boosts your speed. After setting-up the tent and decided to do a splash in Maranat Falls, rain started to pour. What a downer. I didn’t even got the chance to go to the falls.

 

The rain continuously poured throughout the afternoon until the night. Having nothing else to do and since I was far from the other tents and too shy to approach them, I just watched a few episodes of a TV series (Scandal) the whole night. Worst is I forgot to bring my blanket. It was a cold night. I wished you were there, beside me.

 

It was almost 9:00am the next day when I finally had the chance to get out of the tent and visit a portion of the falls.

 

Maranat Falls
Maranat Falls
Maranat Falls
Maranat Falls
Maranat Falls

 

Seeing it hard to do a traverse even to Balagbag, I just decided to wait until noon before packing up my things. During the descent, rain started pouring again, leaving me shelter-less and vulnerable to the strong winds and rain. Posted this on Instagram an hour after the descent:

 

 

I know its a must-not to hike solo, especially on a rainy day. I am not discouraging you from doing so, but I would like you to think carefully and deliberate between the pros and consAlways prioritize your own safety.

 

 

 


The blogger hiked Mt. Maranat on July 4-5, 2015.

Powell Abogado

On weekdays, I wear a lab gown. On weekends, I hoist a backpack.

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