Our Trail Run To Mt. Manalmon

Running buddy June Santiago didn’t mind making the two-hour drive from Quezon City to San Miguel, Bulacan and i didn’t mind tagging along with him as all i was thinking was getting my hands on some of the town’s famous pastillas and their crispy chicharon-laman (pork rinds) when we get there.

Chicharon BaboyThe best chicharon baboy is said to be that of Tia Pina’s in San Ildefonso, Bulacan. Chicharon baboy is pork skin (with the pork fat and meat in this case) deep fried until crisp and best eaten with a vinegar-garlic di(via ~MVI~)

Super special “suntok-batok” chicharon

No, we didn’t travel this far just to buy these delicacies. June had this idea of scaling a mountain peak and running the trails that led to it. Mt. Manalmon in Sitio Madlum, San Miguel, Bulacan offered some great sights and the trails along the way offered a little bit of everything. Gorgeous river ponds, boulders, rock formations, mostly single-track technical trails, river crossings, rocky ascent climbs and a hosts of many other delights nature has to offer.

A young boy, named Jerome acted as our guide and he kept insisting to run and climb with us even if we repeatedly told him that we could manage the climb ourselves.  Before we arrived, June and i took breakfast of congee, eggs, bread, tofu and coffee at a small restaurant near the entrance of the Biak-na-Bato shrine and this fueled us up  for our run and climb up Mt. Manalmon.

The run-climb up this mountain just took about 5kms one way but it had one of the most treacherous trails i had ever done. Good thing, i was wearing a new trail shoe for review, the Viking Anaconda-Boa II which really held on very well to slabs of rocks on descents and ascents, protruding tree roots, uneven soft surfaces covered by fallen leaves and river crossings.

The mountain hike is so called beginner-friendly and although the ascent was quite manageable, i took some rests in between those climbs as the trail was undulating, non-stop zigzagging where you hold on to vines and barks of trees to protect you from falling. Alas, i was always trying to catch my breath.

The view up the mountain was breath-taking with the Madlum River criss-crossing within the foothills of the Sierra Mountain range.

The trails here are awesome as you can see on the pictures below. This is a must run for trail runners who also wants to scale up a mountain for good measure.

Hope you enjoy the pictures of our trail run, below:

Vehicles are charged when entering the site. Car fees will cost P20.00

The first river basin you see upon entering

Nice rock formations

June finds his way along the rocky trails

Rocks, uneven surfaces and a misplaced rock on the middle of the trail. A trail shoe here is a must.

One of the small caves along the route

Trying to balance myself on a slant trail

More of the rock formation 2 kms east

Good idea to wear trail shoes here

Wooded area provided our cover from the heat

Boulders of rocks where walking is a must

We could almost hear the slightly gushing river nearby

This scene is what greeted us upon reaching the banks!

Taking a step at a time

A balancing act!

Crystal clear water

Great views along the trails

Approaching the northern side of the river

Postcard scenery

Time-out for a pic

June’s river-crossing

It would have been nice to take a dip if not for time constraints

June at the other side of the boulder

A view up Mt. Manalmon. Boy in picture is Jerome, our guide in waiting

Various trails on our way up Mt. Manalmon

At the top of one of the peaks

At the second highest peak!

At the hump-back rock, the highest peak!

Made it on top!

Highest peak of Mt. Manalmon

The Sierra Mountain range on the background

Praying to the mountains

The view from the top

We tool another route going down and the trails were less technical

A lone pineapple along the trail

On level ground, at last..

June inspecting one of the caves

(Photo credits: Chicharon pic fr tapsilogatbp dot tumblr dot com)


5 responses to “Our Trail Run To Mt. Manalmon

  1. wowww.. wowwww.. and another wwwooowww!
    I think your plantar fasciitis was completely bitten off by your Viking Anaconda-Boa II. Was the shoe venomous? =D

    Sir Rene, pwede po bang sumabit minsan sa mga ganitong adventures mo? 🙂

    • Pedz, i had an anti-venom shot on my plantar so it was immune to any venom!:-)

      Sure, pwede sumama, ikaw lang naman ang laging busy, maski labor day nagtratrabaho ka!:-)

  2. Sir Rene,
    The pictures were great…..How do we go about looking for Jerome if we want to do this climb ? What is the usual charge of a guide for this trail?….Thanks.


    • Dette, Jerome is usually just around the first lagoon after the entrance. Ask for him DISCREETLY. Be forewarned that there will be hustlers insisting that they guide you for an outrageous P300.00 or more. Tell them that you won’t need a guide anymore as you have visited the trails before. Walk further and ask for him at the sari2 stores. Jerome will be there if you ask around. Nice and patient kid. We gave him half of what the hustlers were asking.;-)

  3. Pingback: Shoe Review: Viking Anaconda Boa II GTX | JAZZRUNNER

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