Minalungao National Park (5.1.2014)

Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Another day spent with mother nature! May 1, 2014 was my dear boyfriend's 24th birthday. Since it's a holiday here in the Philippines ( Labor Day), we set a day trip to Minalungao National Park in General Tinio, Nueva Ecija. According to our forever friend, Wikipedia, Minalungao National Park is "a protected area covering 2,018 hectares centered along the scenic PeƱaranda River bordered on both sides by up to 16-meter high limestone walls in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range. It was established in 1967 by virtue of Republic Act No. 5100".

We rented a van to take us to and fro General Tinio, N.E. Actually, the planned time of departure was 5:00 AM, however, there were a lot of things that were bought along the way plus no one from the group really knew the road going there so we indeed up arriving on the site around past 11:00AM. That's after asking a lot of people for directions and hearing different answers. Mind you, it's such a pain in the a** not to know which road to take so better do a lot of research before heading there because it's a remote place and you might get lost in the winding road.  Fast-forward, this was the view that welcomed us there. There were a lot of people already when we arrived so we hurried to find a place we can rent for our stay.

In the end, we rented a bamboo raft to take to the other side of the of river where the rock formation lies because there were no available cottages anymore plus the view is much beautiful on the other side. If blessed with strong knees, you can trek along the rocks to get to the other side but it's quite dangerous and tiresome. 

We found a shade on the left side of the river and prepared our foods and other stuffs. We usually bring our own cooking and grilling set whenever we do these kinds of trips to save money and also so that we can cook our own food. While the others are cooking, my other friends are already in the river swimming. 

Our raft and our driver, EJ (the one in black jersey)

Here are my shots of the rock formations. I don't know what it is exactly made of  but people said limestone and it's white. 

Island Girl! :P

The entrance to the other side of the river

This one is called Reynang Bato (Queen Rock)

The gym boys + Sir Benjo :)

Beautiful holes

That's our food! Grilled fish and we also had Bicol Express and fruits

After eating, we pretty much spent our time in the river. And we also climbed a small cave found in the upper part of the area near us but I don't have pictures for it. Also, one of the highlights of the trip was the first rain of May - which they said was to bring blessings and cure away illnesses. It was pure fun taking pictures while the rain poured (we had a waterproof camera that's why). That was the first time in years that I had bathe in the rain and it felt nostalgic and refreshing.

In summary, if I were to rate my experience in Minalungao National Park, it would be 7/10. What I liked about it was the white rock formations, the bamboo raft ride, the trek and the cave encounter whereas the things that I don't like much are the fact that there's no clean, running water for drinking and bathing and the water in the river is kind'a malumot. But aside from that, it was a wonderful trip over all! :)

The birthday boy, Jose Mari

Rosario Family :)