San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.. that is! There’s a lot of trails to discover in this part of Bulacan, just a 15-minute drive from SM Fairview, particularly in the municipality of Tungkung Mangga where subdivision development is fast rising up, taking over what little there is of existing forests and woodlands.
Running buddy Jun Santiago and i were supposed to re-visit the trails within the Tungkung Mangga area but guards at a checkpoint had prevented us in entering the Ciudad Real Subdivision entrance gate so we had to skirt a few kilometers more towards the town proper along Quirino Highway. We managed to park the car at a Jolibee food joint and made our entrance towards an outpost in San Isidro.
We were able to find our way to Tungkung Mangga by venturing into unknown trails inside Sitio San Isidro which were surprisingly beautiful…shaded by tall acacia trees, a pond on one side and greeneries that bounded the whole area. Here are some of the pics below:
On our way to the Ciudad Real/Tungku Mangga trails, we passed through the Colinas Verdes Subdivision which was still expanding its hold on the many road constructions in its area. But before reaching it, we saw spectacular scenery and some tough going as we made our way through some secluded sections in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains.
Ciudad Real embodies everything that is great about trail running: rough and cragged tracks, uphills, solitude, post card sceneries and the one element that every asphalt, cement or tartan strider should experience: adventure!
I’ve brought many road running friends to these trails in the past and they sure loved the ambience, unfettered fresh air and the woodsy residential communities that mark the place. Its rolling terrain is as good as trail running gets. It can be muddy when it rains, the footing uneven because of jagged rocks embedded on the soil and the scenery is an intriguing blend of pastoral views with relics of horse stables and farms.
We completed the loop by running a concrete road back to the pond. Jun and i took about 3 hours to navigate the place and covered about 16.5kms on its various terrains.
It was a great way to start the long week-end and we’ll be scouting other trails on the week-ends to come. Here are the rest of our pics. Hope you enjoy the journey too!