WANDERFUL/ Minalungao National Park

Feb 5, 2016 | Only Berlin

I’ve been to a place called Minalungao National Park.  It came from the local terms “mina” and “lungao” which mean “mine of gold in caves.” Tatay Tasyo, our  amiable tour guide, relayed to us that there are alleged Yamashita treasures hidden in the caves and underground of the national park.

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Sprawling over more than 2,000 hectares of land in the quaint town of Papaya in Nueva Ecija, Minalungao National Park has great potential for recreation and ecotourism.  Very distinct are its 16-meter high limestone walls bordering the narrow Penaranda River.  Its pristine calm emerald water along the Sierra Madre mountain range is another sight to behold.

From Gapan, Nueva Ecija, we hired a tricycle to bring us to Papaya (formerly General Tinio).  Travel time was about an hour and 45 minutes.  As we alighted from the tricycle, a serene riverbank greeted us, inviting us to take a short stroll and appreciate the calm water and green surroundings.  Such a charming sanctuary that for once, I felt I was in another world away from all the hustle and bustle of city life.

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To get to the end part of the national park, one may opt to glide along the side of the sharply uneven limestone walls.  Though one may have a great view of the surroundings and the water from above, the trek was a challenge.

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As we went back to the national park’s main entrance, we requested Tatay Tasyo for a much easy and relaxing way — rent a bamboo raft.  We traversed the Penaranda River and had a more overwhelming view of the towering limestone formation bordering the river.

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Minalungao was declared a national park in 1967.  More than its tranquil charm, Minalungao National Park is a treasure trove in itself offering exciting possibilities from trekking, spelunking, swimming, cliff diving, and bamboo rafting.

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Now, whenever I pass by Nueva Ecija, more than its vast green rice fields, I picture the province as my top-of-mind weekend escape from the busy and noisy metro.  Not any more a simple transit stop from those long trips headed North as Nueva Ecija is home to a natural wonder that made me say “It’s indeed more fun in the Philippines!”

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So here’s to more travel and adventure!  See you when I see you on my next trip.

* This Minalungao trip was, I guess, two years ago.  I was by then too eager to explore the beauty of the Philippines and yes, no baby to look after.  I am writing this for my boys to see how beautiful our country is and should they want to go on a quick adventure, they may perhaps consider Nueva Ecija’s Minalungao National Park.

32 Comments

  1. mysliceofcake

    Enjoyed reading this one. The Penaranda River looks awesome.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Ganda sya. Ikaw ata Dapat kasama Ko, right? Kaso nag back out Ka. Hahaha. Medyo nakakatakot Lang Ung trek sa gilid gilid, feeling mahuhulog.

      Reply
  2. Mommy Queenelizabeth

    Wow! Amazing place! This is really picture perfect.. Masarap mag-photoshoot dito kung malapit lang 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Haha, Medyo malayo nga byahe. If I remember correctly, 6 hours from manila Ito.

      Reply
  3. Cheryl F.

    wow. such a beautiful scenery. I thought at first this is somewhere in Palawan. Would love to visit this place soon.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Yes, visit it. And enjoy once there. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Patty | MrsC

    Wow, look at that water! So pretty. 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Yes, very calm too.

      Reply
  5. Nicole Paler

    Someday soon I’ll be able to come here too with my kiddos… Your shots are way awesome by the way, I hope that I can make my dream of hiking with my kids and husband come true sooner 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Thank you for appreciating the photos. And your someday will do come true in a few years. I just hope Mother Nature isn’t a disaster pa. Most travelers kasi would just leave their trashes anywhere.

      Reply
  6. MommyPehpot

    I’m from Nueva Ecija and I haven’t been to Minalungao Park.. ang gandaaaaa

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Huwahat?!? Punta na, pagkatapos manganak.

      Reply
  7. Melisa Sanchez

    wow this place looks so adventurous. Ang ganda and very relaxing. Parang ang sarap tumira jan ang ganda ng ilog at green na green ang paligid.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Yes, very relaxing ang place. Kaso peeps within the vicinity only get food from the water or mountain. Wala masyadong source of income aside from being a tour guide; peak season is holy week.

      Reply
  8. Ayi

    Very nice 🙂 The Philippines has a lot to offer and yet to be discovered. I would love to visit this too 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Yes, indeed. Visit soon and surely you will enjoy.

      Reply
    • msbolin

      me too until this. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Lique Dimayuga

    Wonderful! Places like these are underrated, dapat talaga napupublicize 🙂 thanks for sharing this with us 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Thank you too for appreciating the place. Yes, the local tourism of nueva ecija should do something and same goes with other provinces for their own tourist spots.

      Reply
  10. Maan Laxa

    It looks simply breathtaking! I should visit the place someday!

    Reply
    • msbolin

      It is. Very serene. Good for soul searching.

      Reply
  11. Viva Kitchen Goddess

    I’d love to visit this place .. so serene! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Yes, serene is the right word to describe it. Thanks too for dropping by.

      Reply
  12. jennie villanueva

    beautiful place! I wish i can bring my family there too, i guess it takes a lot of courage and prepapartions hehe esp when you’re with a toddler.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      You bet, exactly right on the preparation. 🙂

      Reply
  13. den

    Enjoyed reading your post and the photos. What a must visit place for everybody!

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Thank you. Yes, Minalungao Park is a nice place to visit.

      Reply
  14. Joy Domingo Gurtiza

    ang ganda-ganda ng place! parang paradise!!! awesome share! thanks! 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      You are welcome 🙂

      Reply
  15. Ralph

    Nice post, Berlin! Love it!

    Reply

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Motherhood, as I live it, is a gift not everyone can appreciate until she learns to truly live it. More musings and realizations, fun discoveries, and mommy tips at Momi Berlin's blog.

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