The Gem of Nueva Ecija
I’ve been planning to visit Nueva Ecija for the longest time but schedule just doesn’t allow me to do so. Then comes 4th of March 2017 and I have exactly nothing to do so I decided to go ahead and go to Nueva Ecija. However, there is one problem, I don’t know how to get there and I have a very limited cash on hand, nevertheless I am fully decided so I boarded a bus headed for Gapan, Nueva Ecija and that’s it. I don’t even have a clue where will I ask the bus driver to drop me off that I have to ask several passengers to help me out.
With the help of the locals I was able to arrive in General Tinio, I never expected the travel to be far and long considering it is just near Manila. It took me a jeepney and a tricycle ride a total of around 30 minutes from Gapan.
The charm of Minalungao is different, it is not something that will take you off guard immediately but rather it slowly builds, the more you stay and the more you get captivated by its beauty.
The park covers an area of 2,018 hectares which features include the calm-emerald-green waters of Peñaranda River slithering between 16-meter high limestone walls in the foothills. Notably the limestone hills have caves on them which can be easily explored.
Minalungao Park is really a place to visit especially on weekdays when the place is not overcrowded. you may also rent kayaks, rafts, zipline and they are really affordable. I just opt not to at this point as to I want to do them when I get back, when the place is not crowded, when I can have the stillness the river projects.
The one thing I learned with this travel is that one can co-exist, a symbiotic relationship with nature, like the trees that grows on solid limestone, we can also grow have our hands reach the heavens while our roots stands firmly on the ground. Like the river that flows quietly, so gracefully but undeniably deep.
How to get here?
- Board a bus from Cubao going to Gapan- costs around Php 200
- Take a jeepney from Gapan to Papaya- costs Php 40
- Take a tricycle from Papaya to Minalungao costs Php 200
There are no jeepneys going to Gapan from Papaya after 3:00pm. Tricycles are available though but it costs Php 200 to Gapan really expensive compared to Php 40 with a jeepney ride.