Summer never ends. Supposedly, summer isn’t done yet until May of 2019 but it started raining since the first of May. We decided to get somewhere before it’s too late. We planned to travel right after our shift and since we kinda sleep as to why we chose the nearest place. At first, you wouldn’t think Nueva Ecija has nothing to offer but rice paddies, if you thought that the province is all about the rice fields, Minalungao National Park will change your perception about it.
Minalungao National Park
is a protected area and one of the few remaining natural environments in the region north of Metro Manila. Spanning over 2,000 hectares, it lures travelers with the picturesque sight of the emerald-colored Penaranda River that runs across most of the park and the towering limestone formations that border it.
How to get there
Minalungao National Park is located in the town of General Tinio. From Cubao, catch a bus bound to Gapan City. Five Star, ES Transport, Baliwag Transit, and Golden Bee bus lines serve this route. The fare costs ₱160.00 and the travel time is about four to five hours. Once you’re in Savemore Gapan City, hire a tricycle to take you to Minalungao National Park. The going rate for a tricycle ride to and from Minalungao is about ₱600.00 to ₱800.00 (Back and Fort) depends on how you negotiate with the drivers. But that’s because the ride takes about 45 minutes to an hour or so.
Note: Travel time from Manila depends on the traffic. I thought about the traffic ends after EDSA but I was wrong. Along the way, you’ll be encountering some traffic ahead.
The second option is something that I haven’t tried yet. From Cubao, catch a bus bound to Gapan City. Five Star, ES Transport, Baliwag Transit, and Golden Bee bus lines serve this route. The fare costs ₱160.00 and the travel time is about four to five hours. Once you’re in Savemore Gapan City, catch a jeep bound to General Tinio. Please take note that this isn’t available all the time. Locals said jeepney operates mostly in the morning. Once you’re in General Tinio, ride a tricycle going to Minalungao Park. Not sure how much the rates are but pretty sure this is a bit cheap than hiring a tricycle.
Breakdown of Expenses
|Bus RT (Cubao to Gapan City)||₱320.00||4 – 5 Hours|
|Tricycle RT (Gapan city to Minalungao)||₱300.00||1 hour or so|
|Minalungao Entrance Fee||₱100.00||Per Person|
|TOTAL per person||₱720.00||Back and Fort|
Fees at Minalungao
|Entrance fee||₱100.00 per head|
|Raft rental||₱800.00/4 hours (for 8 people)|
|Cottage rental||₱300.00 – Table / ₱400.00 Kub|
|Kayak rental||₱200.00/hour (for 2 people)|
|Life Vest||₱35 per head|
Just a reminder, they wouldn’t let you swim without a life vest. For some reason, this has been implemented and it’s a must follow-rule because you’ll be penalized unless you’ll rent a Ralf that includes life vest and you can take it off if you’ll just swim around the raft.
Thousand steps to Cross
It’s getting dark already and that what makes us stop from not reaching the top. They’re tricking us, they said it’s a thousand steps to reach the cross on top but it’s not. Stairs are thousands but the steps you’ll be making is more than that. Why? because there are stairs that are long and you’ll have to make more than one step to the next stair.
River and Rock Formation
This was taken at the bridge where you could see how long the river is. I read some blogs about it prior to going there and pictures were posted to give an idea to readers how it looks like. Don’t be blinded by pictures. I can tell this place offers a relaxing vibe, but expect that the river isn’t long and there are many rock formations around it. I was disappointed because I thought the river is huge and long.
This spot is where you can jump off. Again, they wouldn’t allow you to be on the water without lifevest. I haven’t tried it because there are too many people jumping off. I’m not afraid it’s just that I don’t like doing it with many people. This cliff is not that high, I think it’s around 10ft.