Sunday, April 7, 2013

I conquer Minalungao Park

The Lenten Season is one of the times I  look forward to every summer. Basically, it means bonding and relaxation time with my family. Last year, I was not able to be with them for two days as I was with my office mates going to Quezon province.

This time I took pride to explore the other side of my province, Nueva Ecija. I know most of you might think that my province is just a vast land of rice. You are wrong.  In this part of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija,  lies a gigantic rock formation and serene water of Minalungao National Park.

Last Holy Friday, we decided to go there with my two siblings, cousin and a friend. My brother and I (back ride) used our Mio, hubby used my brother-in-law's motor and the rest with a friend's car. During our drive, we passed by some who practiced "penitensya".

Penitensiya at Cabanatuan City
Before taking the route going to San Leonardo-General Tinio, we have a stop-over where the gigantic soy sauce stands. At this area, a man talked with my brother and said, " boy, ingat lang" and gave a thumbs-up sign.

silverswan san leonardo
SilverSwan soy sauce statue

It was cloudy during our road trip, but it does not keep us from getting thirsty along the way.  I'd like to say that most of the roads are cemented, only at the part near the national park was a rough road. Take note that traveling there using a motorcycle should need an extra care as some part of the roads are hilly. Do not forget to ask for the directions if you think you are lost because the area lacked signs.

general tinio nueva ecija
One-way bridge going to General Tinio.
At our last stopover, my brother and I had an accident. We were thankful that we only got minor bruises. That's also when we remembered the man who talked with my brother. Is it a premonition or simply a warning to a young lad like my brother?

road accident
Minor bruises of my brother from the accident
At last, after a long drive, we were at Minalungao. We paid for the entrance fee of 25/person and 50/car. The cottage is just right beside the flowing river, and the rental fee is around P300. After eating our lunch, we wen to explore the area. Some parts of the river are rocky, except on the deeper portion.

minalungao river
Clear water coming from the river
This whole trip would not be more enjoyable without seeing the cave. We were thankful on the two kids who went with us up to the cave. I almost quit going into the cave. It was my two siblings who told me to get going because we were near the cave.

minalungao adventure
Geez! I love this portion of Minalungao, rocks and water.

The cave is located at the top of various rock formations. There are two ways to get there. One is to walk /climb along big rocks, and the other is to walk on cemented passage and climb on the rocks. We went by the last one since my brother was injured. 

cabanatuan to minalungao national park
Cave opening

When we stepped into the cave, I was expecting something different. Actually, there was nothing exciting on the cave except the adventure that you have entered one.It was so dark with very cool ambiance.  We don't found any stalagmites but there is some crystallized stones, which was not captured on my camera. It is best to have a flash light with you. 

minalungao national park with the peƱaranda river
Our tour guides inside the cave

We found some vandalized walls along the path. It took us around 5 minutes to reach the end.. Its end  is composed of a pile of various large stones. You have the option to climb or go back to the opening. We chose the latter simply because I found the stone pile not safe for us. 

minalungao map
The end of the cave
As we were going into the cottage, I found it easy to walk on the rocks unlike on our first time. We told our group how beautiful the rock formation, and the water is on that portion of the park. That's also the time when we started to experience the clear water of Minalungao. 

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