More like a hill than a mountain, Mount Manalmon has a very low elevation as compared to other mountain peaks. However, one must not belittle this hike because it boasts wonderful sceneries along its trail. This is part of the Biak-na-bato national park. Located in San Miguel, Bulacan, this day hike is near Manila and is a perfect getaway for families and group of friends. A short and easy hike, it takes only 1 to 2 hours max before you reach the summit. Up there at the peak, hikers will get a glimpse of the Sierra Mountain Range and Mount Arayat peaks. The view is a refreshing sight as you relax and enjoy the rewarding feeling of reaching the top.
Nevertheless, the hike up the peak possesses most of the attractions Mount Manalmon has to offer. Caves, rivers and rocky landscapes are only few of the many surprises of this mountain. Make sure you follow your local guide and all will be well. After your descent, make sure to check out the different side trips you can go to near the area. Check out the different caves and historical sites in Biak-na-bato to maximize your sightseeing trip. One attraction you might consider would be the Bayukbok Caves 1 and 2. Here, you get to experience spelunking and all sorts of crawling and sliding through rocky columns.
Elevation: 196 m above sea level
Days needed to complete hike: 1 day
Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 1 to 2 hours
Major jump-off point: Sitio Madlum, Brgy. Sibul, San Miguel, Bulacan
At the start of the trek, hikers are immediately treated with the beautiful Madlum cave. Explore a bit around this area and take a lot of good photos before continuing on the trail. After which, you will reach the Madlum River. The rock formations surrounding this body of water are the main attractions of the trail. The summit quickly follows after that. Enjoy the view at the peak for a few moments before descending the mountain.
Alternatively you may opt to continue on to Mount Gola. A nearby peak, taking only 30 minutes from Mount Manalmon. This quick detour also offers nice scenery and a refreshing trek through shaded areas. After this, follow your guide as you descend and go back to the previous trail. Usually, hikers go back to Madlum River for a quick swim after the trek. You may even try the Monkey Bridge, which is a nice experience itself!
How to Get There
It’s important to plan your trip in advance to make sure you know exactly what to do and where to go on the day itself. Here are some ways to get to your destination:
(Barangay Kamias, San Miguel, Bulacan – Jump off point)
From Manila, take a bus bound for Cabanatuan City. Get off at Barangay Kamias, San Miguel, Bulacan and proceed to tricycle terminal. From Barangay Kamias, you may take a trike to get to the jump-off point in Barangay Madlum. This is where you will make necessary registrations and secure your guide. You will receive a quick orientation about the do’s and don’ts in the area. They are taking extra precautions nowadays, especially after the tragedy that befell the area a few years back. Guides are required for this hike with a fee of 300 pesos per group of 5.
However, another alternative way would be to use private transportation. This is much more convenient especially since this hike would only take one day at most. There is a parking lot available near the jump-off point.