Being one of Albay’s famous beautiful mountain trios, the Tulong Bulod (three mountains), Mt. Masaraga of Ligao City creates a dramatic presence seen throughout the province. Its stunningly formed landscape with an elevation of 1,328 meters covered with nature’s woodland is one of Bicol’s best kept hiking secrets. The summit exposes the splendour of Mt. Mayon, revealing Mt. Asog, Mt. Isarog and Lake Buhi. Hikers and bloggers testify of the exquisite experience felt in this overwhelming mountain.
The Masaraga adventure starts by passing through exposed fields and then arriving into Amtic’s sporadic forests. Along the trek, the topography gets steeper and steeper. The climb to the summit usually takes 3 to 4 hours. Challenging as the hike may be, the end reward of fulfilment and the visual experience is comparable to nothing. The suggested time to start the trek is about 2 AM for the sunrise or around 2 PM for the sunset.
Though it has been said to be a stratovolcano, it has no historical record of eruption documented. Tectonically, Masaraga is part of the Bicol Volcanic Chain of volcanoes and part of the Pacific ring of fire. It truly became a magnet for trekkers who wish to take the challenge just to see nature’s beauty.
Hikers usually take the major jumpoff at Sitio Sabluyon, Barangay Amtic. It is a 25 minute drive from Ligao City’s poblacion area taking the Bicol 636 or the Ligao – Tabaco Sabluyon Road. Ligao Irrigation Road and Mabini Road can also be access points to the Mt. Masaraga. A 23 and a 28 minute drive respectively.
How to get there?
From the Legazpi Central Terminal, buses, jeepneys or vans are a mode of transportation towards Ligao City. The fare varies depending on the mode of transportation used. Php 50.00 for buses and vans, and Php. 40.00 for jeepneys. Travel time on buses and vans are approximately 45 minutes and it takes an hour to arrive when riding jeepneys. Upon arriving Ligao City, a jeepney ride to Tabaco passes through Sitio Sabluyon, Barangay Amtic.
Accredited guides are required in climbing Mt. Masaraga. A permit in the climb is necessary. One must register at the City Hall or Police Station before proceeding to the trek.
Registration to the climb is at Amtic’s Barangay Hall. A minimal climbing fee is charged for the purpose of protecting the mountain and for maintaining its cleanliness.