Mt. Balagbag
Hiking Itineraries,  Mountains

Mt. Balagbag in Rizal
Why It’s Perfect for Newbies

Last updated: 7th July 2020

Are you looking for a mountain to hike this weekend but don’t want to go far from the metro? Or are you planning to hike with your friends who are beginners and do not know where to go? If you agree in any of those two, then you’re on the right track.

Mt. Balagbag has an approximate elevation of 777 MASL and is part of Bulacan and Rizal. As part of the Sierra Madre range, it provides a scenic view of other mountains, as well as Ortigas and some parts of Metro Manila. It has been rated by Pinoy Mountaineer with a hiking difficulty level of 3/9.

Mt. Balagbag: How to Get There

Mt Balagbag licao-licao jeep
Waiting to ride a jeep bound to Licao-Licao

From EDSA Cubao, ride a bus going to Tungko, Bulacan which will cost around P50 or more. Drop off at the Tungko Jeep Terminal where you need to ride a jeep going to Licao-Licao. Fare is around P32. The estimated travel time is 2.5 hours.

You’ll have no problems in riding a bus going to Tungko because there is plenty of them in EDSA. The jeepney bound to Licao-Licao however has a “punuan” scheme where it would only take off if it already met the maximum number of passengers. The jeepneys are already waiting for passengers as early as 5:00 AM.

Once the jeepney has dropped you off, pay the registration fee for P10 each. Then, you can start trekking up until the jump-off or you can opt for a (bumpy) tricycle ride for 10 minutes which costs P30 each.

Preparation at the Jump-Off

Barangay hall
Roaming around. Barangay Hall at the back.

Proceed to the Barangay Hall and log your name on their records. There is another fee as well that you need to pay for P10.

However, this amount might change depending on when you’re hiking because I have a few friends who hiked Mt. Balagbag recently on a Sunday and they were charged P20 each. It was P10 when we hiked there on a Friday.

If you’re planning on doing an overnight hike (which is great because you’ll get to see the city lights), you need to pay an additional P30 for the camping fee.

As for the guide, you can actually reach the summit and go back to the jump-off without the need of one. It’s pretty straightforward and you will never get lost as long as you follow the trail.

Forgot to bring water and food? You can buy snacks at the sari-sari store located beside the Barangay. But of course, we always recommend that you bring your own.

The Trail: What Should We Expect?

Mt Balagbag TrailThe trail is full of rocks and it has a gradual assault. It is perfect for beginners because the trail is wide as a road which means that you don’t need to worry about falling off from a cliff.

A lot of mountain bikers love Mt. Balagbag as well because of this challenging and rocky trail.

It can be very hot when it’s sunny because there are not much trees that can cover you from the heat. Thus, it is recommended to hike Mt. Balagbag before the sun rises or sets.

After 20 minutes of trekking, you will reach the “Welcome to Mt. Balagbag” sign. The locals have put some reminders for the hikers such as no littering, no vandalism, no drugs, etc.

Follow the trail and you will reach another stop after 30 minutes. You can sit and buy snacks here. We paid P20 per head because going further means passing a private property. Going back to my friends who went here during the weekend, they paid P50 each.

You will reach the summit after 30 minutes of trekking. The beautiful Sierra Madre will welcome you and will feast your eyes.

You might also get a sight of Heidi, the local dog. She’s friendly and has grown bigger ever since we saw her on 2017. She’s been well-fed, we thought. Honestly, I’m not sure if her name is really Heidi. I just got it from my friends (who also got it from other people). 🙂

Here’s a quick video from our Mt. Balagbag hike.

Sample Itinerary for a Day Hike:

  • 3:30 AM – Meetup at Cubao
  • 4:00 AM – Bus ride from Cubao to Tungko
  • 5:00 AM – ETA Tungko
  • 5:30 AM – ETD going to Licao-Licao
  • 6:30 AM – ETA Licao-Licao Terminal; ride tricycle
  • 6:45 AM – ETA Barangay Hall (jump-off)
  • 8:15 AM – Summit
  • 9:00 AM – Start trekking
  • 10:30 AM – ETA jump-off
  • 11:00 AM – ETD to Tungko
  • 12:00 PM – ETA Tungko, ETD to Cubao
  • 1:30 PM – ETA Cubao

If you want to do an overnight camping, we recommend that you arrive at the Tungko Terminal at 3:00 PM so you can catch the last jeepney ride.

Estimated Expenses in Hiking Mt. Balagbag

  • Bus from Cubao to Tungko – P50
  • Jeep from Tungko to Licao-Licao – P32
  • Registration fee – P10
  • Tricycle ride to Barangay (jump-off) – P30 (optional)
  • Another registration fee (jump-off) – P10*
  • Overnight camping fee – P30 (optional)
  • Entrance fee to summit – P20*
  • Tricycle to terminal – P30
  • Licao-Licao jeep to Tungko – P32
  • Bus from Tungko to Cubao – P50

Total budget: P294

Please keep in mind that the amount above is just estimated and might change on when you will be doing the actual hike as explained on the previous sections. Total budget was acquired assuming that the hikers opted for the tricycle ride and overnight camping.

Mt balagbag rizal
The author at Mt. Balagbag

Mt. Balagbag: Our Final Thoughts

If you are not convinced at this point about visiting Mt. Balagbag, well, I don’t know what to do. This easy-to-hike mountain is beginner friendly, and is open to all hikers who want to have a quick escape from the city life without being away for too much from their homes. It’s a great mountain to hike before trying out the bigger guys like Mt. Ugo and Mt. Pulag.

Experience the majestic views of Rizal, Bulacan, and Metro Manila all at once in Mt. Balagbag. Mountain ranges in the morning and city lights at night could never go wrong together. You can enjoy all these while sipping a fresh cup of coffee at the summit. Can you make the eggs sunny side up for me too, please? 🙂

Check out more of our hiking itineraries at ChamTravels.

I'm an online freelancer who has a passion for hiking, traveling, and photography. Cham believes that having an adventurous life makes our soul happy and fulfilled. She travels with her super-old Nikon D3100 and her new baby boy, GoPro Hero 7 Black.

35 Comments

  • Kramy fulgar

    Hi cham,

    Nice review, cute ng video mo.. Well detailed.

    Ako na magpeprepare ng sunny side up mo at kapeng barako haha.

  • Josh

    Hi, great blog! Do you have any contact number na pwede kong itext or tawagan? Planning to hike here kaso baka gabi na makapag-start ng trek since manggagaling pa ng office. I wanted to know sana if may byahe pa and kung bukas pa yung registration sa gabi. TIA!

    • Cham Joven

      Hi Josh! Thanks! Sorry, wala akong contact number sa Balagbag. 🙁 Pero ang jeep kasi dun hanggang around 4-5 pm lang. Yung last time na nag overnight kami dun, sumakay kami ng jeep around 3 pm. Hope this helps!

  • Katey

    Hi Cham!

    Kelangan pa ba ng guide? First time namin mag hike sa Balagbag on November.
    Also, we’ll use private car. Pwede yung car dumiretso sa Barangay Hall? Or masyado rough road?

    Thank you!

    • Cham Joven

      Hi Katey, no need for guide! Madali lang sundan ang trail. About sa car, we tried this before pero hindi kami tumuloy hanggang Barangay Hall kasi bak-bako na talaga yung daan eh. Naki-park na lang kami sa may tindahan then from there, sumakay kami ng tricycle worth P30. I’m not sure anymore sa parking fee pero I believe mababa lang naman yung rate. If you happen to know kung magkano once you get there, please let me know! 🙂 Thank you!

    • Jen

      Thank you for this.😊

      Planning to hike soon.
      Anong bus po ang pwedeng sakyan from Cubao?
      May contact person ba para makapag heads up?

      Thanks so much. 😊

      • Cham Joven

        Hi Jen! Sakay ka ng bus pa-Tungko, northbound sya. Sa Balagbag naman no need na mag heads up, open naman sila anytime for hikers 🙂 Thank you!

  • Novipatts

    Hi Cham,

    Me and my friend were one of your avid reader and follower of your blogs. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are planning to visit Balagbag next month. I hope that you can also share about how you manage to escape from your bpo life 🙂

    • Cham Joven

      Hello Novipatts! Thanks so much for the support. Sure, I’ll make an article in the future about escaping the BPO life and joining the freelancing world. 🙂

      Enjoy Balagbag! <3

  • Maureen

    Hello Cham,

    We’re planning mag overnight sa Mt. Balagbag. Would you know if there is tent, cooking materials available for rental? Or if there local po na can cook for us? Thank you so much.

    • Cham Joven

      Hi Maureen! As far as I can remember, walang tent at cooking materials dun so you have to bring your own. About sa food, you can ask sa Barangay if they can cook. Sa mga naexperience kasi namin before, always may dala kaming cooking materials eh. If not, may dala kaming food.

    • Jethro

      Hi miss cham, safe ba magovernight dito magisa? Planning to do camping this weekend pero di ko sure if ikay ba magisa ng gabi thanks

      • Cham Joven

        Hello Jethro! Ummm dati kasi nagkaron ng issue sa Balagbag about sa nakawan. That was years ago pero ngayon I think naayos naman nila yung issue na yun. Pero hike at your own risk na lang siguro. And better na mag overnight hike ng weekend para mas mataas yung chance na may kasama kang ibang tao sa campsite. Thank you!

  • Angel Cadungon

    Hi, thanks for this guide, planning to go there soon. Ask ko lang if allowed kaya magluto ng food? and if meron marrent na tent para sa mag oovernight? Thank you! 🙂

    • Cham Joven

      Hi Angel! You can bring cookset naman dun para makaluto kayo ng food. About sa tent, as far as I know walang for rent dun. I suggest bili na lang kayo ng tent para at least sa future magagamit nyo pa. Magandang investment naman sya if you’re into hiking 🙂

    • Aizalyn

      Hi po Ms. Cham! Ask ko lang po, safe po ba doon sa may tuktok ng Mt. Balagbag kung sakaling mag-cacamp? May iba pa po bang tao don? Or may guard? Thank you po.

      • Cham Joven

        Hi Aizalyn! Safe naman for overnight. Walang guard, pero may locals banda dun sa may tindahan na medyo malapit sa summit. Better kung marami kayo para mas safe. 🙂

    • Jen

      Thank you for this.😊

      Planning to hike soon.
      Anong bus po ang pwedeng sakyan from Cubao?
      May contact person ba para makapag heads up?

      Thanks so much. 😊

    • Cham Joven

      HI Reynald! Sorry pero hindi po advisable na mag-siga run sa bundok kasi baka kumalat yung apoy. Ang marerecommend po namin is to bring cooking materials po like hiking stove para makapagluto kayo ng food sa campsite.

  • rico

    Hello. ask ko lng ung parking ba na mention mo is really a paid parking at safe ang car or makikisuyo lng sa tindahan as you had mention.

  • Borgy Garcia

    Hi!

    i-allow kaya kame mag night trek sa Mt Balagbag? Ang plan kasi namin is dumating sa jump off site around 1am, then relax lang sa summit until sunrise, then descent na.

    Thank you!

    BTW – content is very imformative!

    • Cham Joven

      Hello Borgy! I believe they will allow night trek naman, ang issue lang ay yung transpo papunta run. Kung may private vehicle naman, better. 🙂

    • Cham Joven

      Hello Bryan! Wala akong direct contact sa guide eh, pero for sure pag pumunta kayo run, mabibigyan nila kayo ng guide.

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