I Almost Died Gagging at Masungi Georeserve

You’ve read horror stories of beautiful destinations being opened to the public and ending in disaster as the influx of people got out of control.

Apparently, someone in Masungi Georeserve is into horror stories, taking notes on how to avoid similar pitfall: unlike other destinations where you pay and get to experience them right way, Masungi needs reservations a few weeks ahead of the visit.

Doing so is a great strategy and makes Masungi very desirable. For one thing, it screams of exclusivity. For another, limiting access to it strikes balance between conservation and sustainable tourism.

If I could describe our visit at Masungi Georeserve in five words, it would be Reserve. Your. Damn. Slots. Now.

Here are three notable impressions:

Quality is consistent
Having experienced the well-maintained helmets and ropes used for the trails, posh bathroom facilities and the food (and their presentation), Masungi Georeserve has this vibe akin to being in an exclusive resort.

That meant obsessing about being consistent up to the tiniest details. Masungi quite achieved that, without the price associated with exclusivity. 

This didn’t stop with the bigger things. The smaller ones, like branding—I particularly love the font in the signage, pamphlets, staff uniforms, etc.—and the use of Filipino (since we’re all locals), were done with constant finesse.

The staff are fun and courteous. Being greeted with ‘Magandang Hapon’ sounded so warm that I feel like a butter sliding on a hot pan.

Trails are paved yet challenging
Don’t let the breathtaking view fool you into thinking the trails would be like Barney shopping for meat at the grocery.

Fifteen minutes into the trail and some of the people in the group had whining more bizarre than a thirteen year old’s; from constantly harassing the guide on how many trails left to go, to pleading death because some jerk could barely fit through one of the jagged cave-like enclosures (that was me), Masungi Georeserve is not one to be taken lightly.

Also, if you have fear of heights, Masungi is a nice avenue to test your nerves. Ladders and foot bridges made entirely of durable ropes present themselves like picture-perfect obstacles, teasing and cheering you along the way.

The trick is not to look down. 

But even that is a challenge itself. Flowers in unison of yellow and orange puncture through blankets of green, like diamonds in the night sky, while layers of lime stone and rock formations fight their way toward the light, urging onlookers to pick the victor.

Before you know it, you’ve looked down.

For complete trail guide, check Masungi’s official press here.

The view is totally worth it
Like an under-powered computer freezing when the RAM gets too hot and bothered, several times the sheer majesty of Masungi will have you speechless.

The flowers have no interest in your feelings about a friend; the birds couldn’t care less if you’re failing at dieting; the mountains indifferent to the hardship of budgeting. Your problems irrelevant to her stoic pace.

Before her, you’re a nobody. 

And it will feel incredible.

I’ve always preferred the mountains than the salty humid sea, and the three hour excursion at the georeserve highlighted this affinity. And like the title of this post, yes, I almost died gagging at Masungi’s beauty.

For updated Masungi itinerary guide, AWonderfulSole have it here.

Here are some pictures.
We started around three in the afternoon, so naturally we get to experience Masungi at night. Three words: Holy. Fairy. Tales!
At this point, it’s no longer about having the best selfie picture. It’s about that nagging responsibility to present Masungi Georeserve in the best possible light, because you’ve accepted the trip is no longer about you or your FaceBook or Instagram posts.

And you’ll be OK with it.