Best Kept Secret- The Beauty of Minalungao

Nueva Ecija, a province north of Manila and known or its vast rice fields. But unknown to many it is the home of one wonders of Philippine nature. Who could have thought that this province is not just merely the “Rice Bowl” of the Philippines? There lies in the middle of the scenic Penaranda River is the sculpted wonder of Minalungao National Park. The towering rock formations of limestone and marble plus the jaded waters that reflects the green hues of Sierra Madre mountain range brings admiration to those who visit the park.

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The park covered 2018 hectares and was recognized as a protected area on 1967.

ImageLocal guides are readily available around the area, we picked up kids to be our guide. The park can be explore by riding bamboo rafts or hike the huge rock formation through a sculpted trails. The kids, knows the place very well and lead us to where we should land our feet. Yes, the climb is quite hard for some trails are narrow and piercing.

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If you want to have a comfortable and relaxing trail, you can rent a bamboo raft for Php500.

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At the near end of the park, we camped and set our belongings for a short rest. We planned to eat our lunch first before swimming in gushing clear waters of the river.

ImageAfter consuming our lunch, we couldn’t resist to have a dip in this natural pool. Shimmering pebbles and colorful stones laid on riverbeds. The current of freshwater and the relaxing breeze, AH! Free SPA!

Another activity that you can do is spelunking the cave situated in the high limestone rock formation of the park. Our guide told us that some tunnels and cavities of the cave remains undiscovered. The entrance of the cave is narrow that you thought but inside, the real view awaits.

ImageCool air greets you inside, of course spiky rocks will always be present. And the price of the spelunking? TADAHH!!! Multitude sparkling stalagmites and stalactites.

ImageUp above the cave, the pristine beauty of the rivers can be seen. PRICELESS!

ImageGoing back to the trail we’ve started and gearing for another activity, the volume of tourist increase. Once again, trekking the rock formations is a challenge!

ImageWe’ve crossed the other side of the river for we’ve decided to hike the mountain with almost 1,000 steps.

ImageThe ascend upward is not so hard but tiring. Let’s apply the gravitational pull and the thinning of oxygen as you goes up šŸ™‚ But the reward of your ascend? The marvelous skyline and the whole view of Penaranda River and Minalungao National park.

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ImageAnd to the final destination…

ImageHuge cross, gleaming as the sun rays in high sky. Make a wish šŸ™‚

Minalungao National Park is 3-in-1 adventure trip. Hiking the cliff and mountains, swimming at the clear river and spelunking. Through the efforts of the local government, Minalungao is gaining attention of becoming an eco-tourism hotspot. But as tourist flock, many undisciplined tourist just dumped their rubbish anywhere. So if you try to visit the park, please maintain the cleanliness of the park. Do not vandalize those towering walls of rocks. Leave nothing but experience.

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