Bulacan Ultimate Weekend Challenge I

We choose to go… not because it is easy,
but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to measure
and organize the best of our energies and skills,
because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept,
one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.
– John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Instead of spending a lazy weekend at home, we challenged ourselves for some fun, extreme and action packed outdoor adventure.

The destination: Mt. Manalmon in Sitio Madlum, Barangay Sibul, San Miguel, Bulacan


Participants: 15 (Jen, Rob, Flor, Precy, Mac, Rod, Pat, Tevan, Kathe, Dale, Ada, Toni, Malen & Moi) with our super guide Bong Stone.


Jan 23, Saturday
0600 Assembly Time at Baliuag Transit bus bound for San Miguel Bulacan
0700 ETD San Miguel, Bulacan
0900 ETA San Miguel, Bulacan ( Palengke)
*** Last buying provisions (packed lunch)
0930 ETD San Miguel Palengke to Madlum
1000 ETA Jump Off
*** Registration | Briefing | Preparation
1100 Early Lunch
*** Briefing for Rappelling
1300 Rappelling
1500 Packs on back, start of Trek
1630 ETA Camp site, Rest, Pitch tent
1700 Peak Assault | Picture Taking
1800 Prepare Dinner
1900 Dinner
2000 Socials
2200 Lights out

Jan 24, Sunday
0500 Wake up Call | Peak Assault
0600 Prepare breakfast
0700 Breakfast
0800 Break camp
0830 Descent to cave | River Crossing
0930 Spelunking
1130 Back to Training Center | Prepare for lunch
1200 Lunch
1300 River (Tubing | Monkey Bridge | Swimming | Balsa Ride| Bouldering)
1800 ETD Manila

Some of us weren’t first timers in this ground and some are newbies whose eager to take the challenge.

It would be too cool if our itinerary were followed on schedule but circumstances get in the way and we were behind our timetable…  in short, merong late.

After two weeks of  planning, change of venue, event promotion and pre-climb meeting, our group was conceived. Precy who is single and ready to mingle will be leaving again soon for overseas work and a change of career. She was with Flor, her younger sister and a grade school teacher. MALEN (yes, in all caps) who lost contact with Mouhics after College, can’t wait to RAPPEL. She was with Toni, the giddy girl in the Men’s Room. Ada, the Manalmon-Madlum Survivor (except for the Monkey Bridge), Kathe, high energy happiness and Dale, the super blessed human being. Pat, the Spam and Imported goodies Man, who is on vacation till end of this month, Rod, the quiet first-timer. Mac, who can’t get over the hearts on our super guide Bong‘s eyes. Someone to watch out for is Rob, who took beautiful photos. Jen, who is better late than never. Ferdie, the mountain shet este the mountain chef and Me, whom you’ll never wish to take on a rappel challenge unless you’re willing to wait 30 minutes as I get myself ready.

All set, we took Baliuag Transit in Cubao going to Kamias, San Miguel, Bulacan at 9 AM. From there, we hopped in to our arranged jeepney to take us to the town market. We used our last minute chance to buy our packed lunch and ingredients for  dinner and breakfast.

We reached Madlum at almost 2 in the afternoon. The low water level at Madlum river let us crossed to the other side on foot.

Registered at Madlum Training Center, had a quick lunch and prepared ourselves for rappelling activity.

We watched how Bong, Mac & Pat set up the rappel venue. Ropes and System: check. The jump site is lower than what we’ve conquered on 2006. When everything was ready, Mac did the first rappel down, while Bong and Pat gave us an introduction to Rappelling.

The fearless girls followed through and all of us survived the challenged even with wobbly knees, cold feet and sweaty hands. When I thought I could push myself easily down the jump site thinking this is only half of what I conquered last time, it still took me minutes to make the first step off the wall. Feels like the first, eh?

After more than 2 hours, we’re off to the Training Center, packed and set ourselves for a night trek to Mt. Manalmon camp site.

The trek wasn’t rigid, we passed through the river and off to the wilderness.

I guess we’re all on the same stamina level, newbies and oldies alike. The lack of training and outdoor activities for so long made our ascent a little strenuous. Climbing together again after so many years brought along some good and funny memories along the way.

Ada got a sprained leg but still managed it to the camp site.

A different group ahead of us occupied half of the camp site while we settled at the lower half. Its like a war site later, everyone battling to pitch tent right away and rest.

After the sudden commotion, our chef, Ferdie, lead the cooking session for dinner. We had grilled liempo and tinola for dinner. We gathered around for the yummy feast.

At socials, everyone loosened up over the BaR vodka and Generoso brandy. Sharing something about ourselves and reminiscing old times are great starter for new friendship and bonding sessions.

We call it a night at around 2 in the morning.

Watch out for Bulacan Ultimate Weekend Challenge day 2: Spelunking at Bayukbok Caves & Crossing the Monkey Bridge.

Photo Credits:

Ferdinand Teves
Roberto Lagmay Bernardo
Valerie Teves


Expenses (P700 each / estimated for 15 pax)

228 – per person, bus fare (Cubao – Bulacan vv)
1800 – Jeepney rental (Kamias to Madlum vv)
300 – food/guide fee/ registration/ miscellaneous

high five madlum!

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  • Reply Bulacan Ultimate Weekend Challenge II | Weekend Haven January 31, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    […] Day 2 of Bulacan Ultimate Weekend Challenge […]

  • Reply derek February 5, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Pwedeng rafting lang sa river? May we have the contact numbers? Thanks.

    • havenhunter
      Reply havenhunter February 5, 2010 at 11:14 pm

      Hi derek, puwede naman yung activity is swimming lang sa river and rafting. Meron lang registration dun and may picnic area din. Let me know kung ilan kayo so I can check with my friend kung available sya to assist you. You can email at v@weekendhaven.com

  • Reply IV'S May 14, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    hi … i told my friends about your adventure and everyone’s got interested with that kase we’re planning din na by the end of june to have an outdoor trip and we would like to go there sana and do the activities… i just want to ask you how much yung budget.. kase 7 lang kame… tsaka saan yun and do we have to pay ba for every activities like for rappelling etc… and what about sa monkey bridge… gusto rin kase namin gawin yung same activities na ginawa nyo sa bulacan-ultimate-weekend-challenge 1 & 2 … please tell me everything from the food, itirenary up to the budget for the activities tsaka kung overnight ba… thank you

    • havenhunter
      Reply havenhunter May 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

      @ IV’s thanks for reading. will email you the details :)

  • Reply IV'S May 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    please email me the details…thank you

  • Reply IV'S May 15, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    thank you.. =D kala ko di nyo mababasa…

  • Reply jhe cabrito August 24, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    hi tanong ko lng po kung pwedeng mag pictorial for wedding sa site nyo???…paki send nlng po ung mga kailangan tnx….

    • havenhunter
      Reply havenhunter August 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      Hi Jhe, you can go directly in San Miguel Bulacan and register and hire a guide. alam ko wala namang problem if you do pictorials there.

  • Reply emil September 8, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    hi, good day!!

    nagpaplan po kasi college namin to have Leadership Training Seminar this December, and i think maganda ang location and activities nyo para dito.. ok lng po isend nyo po sa email ko ung mga details and ung contacts nyo??? salamat.. im hoping for your response.. we are about 500 students and some professors to attend.. ^^

    • havenhunter
      Reply havenhunter September 9, 2010 at 12:45 am

      Hi emil, thanks for reading. I’ll email you :)

  • Reply Leo Teves January 27, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Hi havenhunter,

    me and my friends is planing for an outdoor activity too, this is a great venue to have bonding activities again with my kababata, can you send me the information regarding this? (same as Emil and Jhe requested) Thanks a lot in advance

  • Reply e January 28, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    we’re interested in going there as well, may i have the contact details please?
    and would it be possible to drive there?

  • Reply Joyce June 21, 2011 at 7:21 am

    me and my friends are interested in going here on the 2nd week of july. we love to try rapelling and the monkey bridge and caving as well. sa training center po ba magbabayad if ever? hopw much fee each activity? please kindly e-mail me with details. thanks. :)

  • Reply Rolly January 17, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Hi, Emil.

    we are planning to have our summer outing and i suggested this place and hope that everybody will be on the go..

    have some questions on how much would be the budget per person (approximately 20 pax)? are we renting the tent or we are to bring our own? do we have to pay each activity (rapelling, etc)… senya at dami tanong…

    • havenhunter
      Reply havenhunter January 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      Hi Rolly,

      During our last trip, we spent about P700 per pax ( i think the least you can go). It already included our fare & guide fee for an overnight trip. We were around 15 pax then. We had our own tent, arrange for our own food. There are no rappelling activity included unless you hire someone who have the gears. The local guides can only bring you to the caves and up the mountain to camp and show you around the area. try the monkey bridge!

  • Reply Ren May 2, 2015 at 2:53 am

    Hello po, this is TOO SUDDEN but I hope na mabasa nio po to.
    We’re to go there po tomorrow (May 2, 2015) and I was hoping if your contacts there are still the same so we can try to reach them. I would appreciate it po kung mashashare nio po samin ung details nio and some tips po. We’re really running out of options po kase in terms of finding something adventurous yet cheap for our barkada’s summer trips, then I read your blog, I can’t help thinking I’m too late but I still wanna try. thanks po super in advance ‘:/)

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