“Go where you feel most alive”

Once you get through the entrance of the main cave, and cross a small river, Mt. Manalmon can be completed in a steady pace of 45 minutes going up one way for novice hikers. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll probably need to catch your breathe from time to time on the incline, but just the out of breathe that’ll gently remind you that you may be a tad bit out of shape, so keep on going!

Once you make it to the first viewing deck, you get your first glimpse of the
Biak-na-Bato National Park below you! It’s incredibly satisfying to see such
massive grounds without any concrete obstacles in sight! Very Lion King-esque
minus the animals and background music! Back in the day, this was the same area where our fellow soldiers camped, hid, and fought during revolutionary times.
What a privilege to be sharing similar sights that they must have seen.

Look
out for the lightly painted white dots on the edge of the viewing deck/rock.
This marks the point where you shouldn’t go past and not just some local
minimalist design.

We
took a few pictures and after a 15-minute break, continued our hike and finally
got to the summit of Mt. Manalmon, which was close by. At the summit, there’s a
small area where you can repel, which leads you to a higher point of the summit
with a better vantage point. Since we were the only ones there, we all went up,
and visually soaked in the 360 degree view surrounding us!

The
hike to Mt. Manalmon is great for beginners, kids about 7 and up, and “light”
trail running. You can end your hike there or continue on to Mt. Gola, which is
a few more hours of hiking, or descend and head over to Bayukabal Cave and get
a little thrills and adventure in your day!

Bayukbak
Cave takes about an hour to go in and out of the cave, and involves a lot of
listening to the guide, caution, and contorting your body. The cave is jagged
and dark, so rent a helmet and flashlight in the Brgy. Hall! Get ready to
repel, crawl, suck in your stomach, to get around this perfectly jagged
sculpted maze filled with sparkling stalactites and stalagmites! What makes the
cave exciting is the lack of safety measures that were made to secure the area,
making your adrenalin kick in so hard through focus and balance.

After
the hike, we topped off at the adventure walking on the “Monkey Bridge”. As we
waited in line for our turn, we asked our guide how they had come up with this
gimmick. He shared that years ago, in much humble circumstances, people from
the barangay, especially students, once used a rope as a bridge, especially
young children who go to school every day! That was mind blowing as it was
probably only about 10 years ago when they had stopped doing this, and probably
wasn’t referred to as a Monkey Bridge! These days, when people cross the Monkey
Bridge, they are required to wear a harness on a more secure metal rope. If
you’re scared of heights, you might want to avoid this, but if you’re not,
you’ll enjoy this!

After
going through the mountain and getting my fix of adrenalin, it was definitely
time to unwind and to enjoy the scenery around us. Feeling absolutely complete,
we spent the next hour sipping on some red horse and swimming in the river.
Always the best way to finish a hike!

Ratings

 

Kid Friendly – Yes for Mt. Manalmom for ages 6 and up. But no to Bayukak Cave, which is rigid with sharp edges. With the Monkey Bridge, kids will have to be tall enough to reach the rope.

Dog Friendly – For Mt. Manalmon, yes.

Bathroom Friendly – They have several basic bathrooms / showers readily available

Food Friendly – By the registration / Brgy. Hall, you’ll see a few stalls selling local food

Difficulty Scale: – Yes, Mt. Manalmon for beginners

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