Who said you can’t do something fun in a typical province such as Nueva Ecija? Then I guess they are wrong. Here is another hidden utopia you can get to visit with your loved ones during this summer season or any day of the year.
If you are a nature enthusiast like me, this could be your para-para-paradise! (This was seriously the song currently playing while I’m writing this lol)
Pictures above are to give you a hunch on what the road looks like on your way to Minalungao. Very countryside, eh? Another hint for you to make sure you’re not lost is that you’ll get to pass by Brgy. Papaya. From there, you’ll just have to find the signage directing to Minalungao National Park, it’s a bit far but yeah you’ll get there too.
A day is enough to visit and have fun in the area. Leave home early in the morning. When I say early, I mean like 3:00AM-5:00AM. Then perhaps spend time for your activities until afternoon like 5:00PM. There are plenty of sari-sari stores in there, but still better to bring your own food.
In our case, we had a breakfast appointment so we managed to leave Pampanga by 10:00AM. We arrived there by 1:00PM including our lunch stopover.
As you reach the place, you will be asked to pay Php40/head. Senior citizens are free of charge. This is going to be a sort of an entrance fee. At the same spot, you will be offered to hire tourist guides which are commonly kids, and so we hitched CJ and Albert in. Other guides might lay their rates, but these kids let us give them any amount we want. (I gave them Php200 each.)
Prepare yourself for the unexpected beauty Nueva Ecija can feed your eyes and soul!
If you wish to swim, you can rent a bamboo raft which is Php400/hr.
The kids told us prior the walk that the water is “mala-suka“. I didn’t quite get it at first, but when we saw it I just had to say, okaaaay yeah it looks vinegar-ish because of its whitish color. Cool! Reminded me of the famous lake Kawah Putih in Java, Indonesia.
Now, the kids were leading the way to the cave for a mini spelunking activity. Brace yourselves because you are about to see the real thing on your way.
At this point, I still cannot believe what my eyes are seeing. The scenery is so spectacular you could ask yourself, “Am I in another dimension?” Lol. Exagge but true.
It was only approximately 10min trek to the first cave. The kids said there was another cave wherein the stones make sound. But due to our limited time, we have only entered the first cave.
Your tour guide will bring flashlight for you, but you can bring your own too.
There was also this giant cross you can visit, but you have to climb 1000 steps to reach it. So, instead of going to the cross, we decided to just cross the bridge going to the other side of the lake. (Terrible pun intended. Haha)
At the other side of the lake is where the zipline tower is located. It rates Php150/head for two-way trip. But the kids told us we can haggle down to Php50/head. We didn’t try, though. There is also this unfinished building which is said to be a restaurant.
And so I’m ending this post here hoping I have convinced you that it is indeed fun in the Philippines especially for nature trippers. Ready to bask in the sun now?
By the way, here are couple of photos Albert took from us. I can see this kid has an eye for photography. Praying for these kids success in life someday. 🙂
Minalungao National Park
General Tinio, Nueva Ecija