Minalungao National Park

Hidden in Nueva Ecija, Minalungao National Park is one of the few remaining natural environments in the North of Manila. I had no idea that such a beauty existed in such a small town. This just goes to show how little I know and how much I still need to explore places in the Philippines. From Manila, Minalungao Park is around 3-4 hours away by car.

As soon as you enter, you'll see the Penaranda River bordered by limestone walls of the Sierra Madre Mountain range. You can either do the 15 minute hike or rent a raft to go around the place. Since we we're six and a lot of us were carrying very expensive cameras, we opted to take the easier way which was to ride the raft. It costs P500 to rent for the whole day. There's no official tour guide. You can just approach the locals in the area to tour you around. Ours was a 12 year old little boy who had skills better than Tarzan. 

After cruising around the river, we parked our raft near the cave. There's no other way to see the cave other than to hike up. It was a challenge because it recently rained. The trail was slipper and steep. I suggest you just wear rubber slippers. Those wearing rubber shoes had a harder time. 

We were all pretty exhausted and sweaty already from the hike. It was time to swim! I was so excited to jump into the river that I forgot there was a strong current. It's a good thing our tour guide is part fish. He is half my size and yet he was strong enough to hold on to me to stop me from floating away. I know I am a good swimmer but I'm not gonna lie, I almost drowned a couple of times.

Our tour guide

This is just the first part of trip to Nueva Ecija. I'll be blogging about where to stay and places to eat next.

Photos by Andrea Beldua
Sponsored by BESM Travellers Inn

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