Montalban Travels: Mascap and Puray roadtrip and things to do



We are a strangers to our own hometown to some extent. There's probably a road, a river, or sceneries and communities somewhere in our town that we didn't know exist, practically separated from the busier downtown life. Being a big and mountainous town, Montalban is just full of that — areas waiting to be visited by locals and tourists alike.





    The location



    The mountains of Puray, Montalban, Rizal

    Mascap and Puray are the two remotest barangays of Montalban and every Montalbenos who live outside these areas has his or her reasons for not knowing much about or not seeing them. I myself had never gone to these places until 2021 when my tatay decided to bring me there for a quick roadtrip.



    Montalban Barangay Map

    Map of Rodriguez (Montalban) Rizal and its Barangays.
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodriguez






    Things to do in Mascap and Puray


    1. Trail and mountain biking. The mountains and trails of Mascap and Puray has become a go-to bike enthusiasts, both the bicycles and motorcycles. 

    2. Nature sightseeing. You also cannot disregard the sceneries. For me, as a first time, sightseeing was enough. 

    3. Rivers and streams. There are rivers and and streams as well to swim in or have picnic around. 





    Bikers's haven


    Motorcyclists and mountain bikers can be seen (lots of them) in Mascap.


    The roads that lead to these far-flung barangays are relatively new and, thanks to that, more and more adventure motorcyclists and mountain bikers have now access to these places. 

    The main roads are now concrete but there are still many parts that remain rugged, rocky and not suitable for any car and best left to be enjoyed by trail and mountain bikers

    There were hundreds of mountain bikers during our visit (it was a Sunday) and you would find them on the roads or resting or eating, or on the way to some riverside resorts.

    A must-visit for mountain bikers is the Rivera Trail. I wasn't able to pin its exact location (and is nowhere to be found on Google Maps, but it's easy to spot once you are on the Mascap-Puray Road.





    Rivers and streams


    A man jumps off a hanging bridge into a pool.


    It is summer and the streams and rivers are not at their best but are more than enough for visitors to refresh from the the heat. 

    There are a few small resorts or cottage-renting establishments along the Puray River.

    A popular spot in Mascap with cottages and a hanging bridge where people jump off to the river below can be found in these coordinates: 14.764526,121.1777372.

    To go to this place, enter and follow the path starting from this point on the Mascap-Puray Road. 




    Nature sightseeing


    (Left) kaingin or the burning of trees and plants to clear for cultivation. (Right) a shallow stream.


    Tatay, maybe a bit sorry for the current less than luscious state of the place, kept on repeating how everything looks different and more vibrant when it's not summer. 

    To me, everything was fine (especially after more than a year in the desert) but I understood what he meant --many grass have dried out, the streams and rivers are shallow, and there are several kaingin spots.

    But me being me, I appreciate and see everything, including the nests of green tree ant or locally known as antik/hantik

    Occasional animals like goats (I even spotted a horse!) can also be seen roaming or grazing in this part of the town, which unfortunately isn't as normal as they did way back then, so it was a sure treat for me.





    Mascap and Puray in photos


    Enough with the ramblings, here are the rest of the photos from our short roadtrip.










    Kaingin









    Pulang tutubi (red dragonfly)


    Maruya, 12 pesos isa.






    Bahay ng antik o green tree ant.







    Conclusion


    This is definitely a first. I haven't even experienced what's really to be experienced when in Mascap and Puray, as these are just merely a glimpse of what await in these remote places.

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