Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Minalungao National Park : One of Nature's Many Wonders

Penaranda River and two great walls on either side

Nature has a way of surprising us. And surprised I was when I saw Minalungao National Park, and immediately understood why it is the most prized tourist destination of the province of Nueva Ecija. It definitely is beautiful and it was such a great experience appreciating this wonderful work of nature.


The park is a protected area established in 1967 by virtue of Republic Act No. 5100. It can be found in the municipality of General Tinio (Papaya), Nueva Ecija. The park's main attraction is the scenic Penaranda River bordered by up to 16-meter high limestone walls on both sides. The limestone walls provide a perfect backdrop for the green river flowing between them.

Upon seeing the limestone walls, one can readily see how nature works its magic. The flowing water between the walls sculpted them beautifully that one may really say that nature is the greatest artist in this world. 


People from Nueva Ecija and nearby provinces flock here during summer to enjoy the park's pristine, emerald water. The local government has already put up facilities such as picnic tables and rafts for the increasing number of visitors. Guides are readily available to tour the visitors around the park and do many different activities such as visiting a view deck with a large cross at the top of  hill, spelunking in a cave found just at the side of the limestone wall, fishing, rafting, and in the future, cliff diving.


Visitors have the option to explore the place by trekking or by rafting. Trekking is a better choice if one wants to really explore the area. It is more tiring but is more exciting because one will be able to experience straddling the limestone wall to get to the cave, and to the other part of the river where the water is more shallow and is more suited for swimming.  



1. Going to Minalungao National Park is very easy. From Cubao, get on a bus going to General Tinio (Papaya). Only Baliwag Transit has a direct trip to Papaya so if there's no available trip, you can also ride Five Star or ES Transport up to Bucana, Gapan (Php 150.00). From Gapan, ride a jeep going to Papaya (Php 27.00) or tricycle (Php 120-150.00). 

2. Once in Papaya, look for a tricycle that will bring you to Minalungao National Park. Normally, it costs Php 400.00, round trip, but be sure to use your haggling skills (we got ours for Php 300.00).  You must also haggle with the driver the length of your stay in the park because they would have to wait for you. You have no choice because there is no available public transport from the park except the very same tricycle that you arrived with.

3. Bring food. There are available stalls in the park but the price is slightly higher than normal. 

4. Hire a local guide. Php 100.00-150.00 will be enough and will already be a big help especially to the young guides.

5. Entrance fees: Php 20.00 for every person and Php 30.00 for the tricycle.

6. Don't deface the walls and caves and don't leave your trash.

7. You may have a short tour around Papaya Town Proper as a side trip. Don't forget to visit the century old bells of the Old Papaya Church as well as the huge and beautiful New Papaya Church.

8. Prepare for a 100% fun and adventure-filled day! :)

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About the Author

I am ROMEL RAFOR JAIME, the man behind San Josenyong Gala. My travel blogger name came about because I am a proud resident of the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. In real life, I am a licensed librarian who works in a college in Gapan, Nueva Ecija as a librarian and teaches general education subjects from time to time. My goal is to visit all the 81 provinces of the Philippines before visiting other countries. As of 2017, I have already visited 73... :)

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