A green pristine river and unique rock formations bordered by high limestone walls is Minalungao National Park of Nueva Ecija.  And so I thought.  That picture in my mind was altered as a chocolate-brown water replaced the emerald green on one morning after the continuous rainfall.  The rainy season may relatively alter the landscape but not the experience and the natural settings.

“Are you sure you want to continue?”  Half-asleep and positioned at the farther end of the van, I overheard a lady on one stopover asking our driver such question with conviction.  She must have been concerned with the tourists’ expectation such as ourselves.  But we continued nonetheless.  Otherwise, our devoid-of-sleep morning jaunt would be put into waste. 

Aligned cottages at the riverbanks were offered as rendezvous and dining area of visitors for a minimal fee.  I was nursing a hangover or rather drunk following the early morning dismissal (6am) of the drinking spree and call-time was at 8am.  But we all managed to make it despite the circumstance.  That was how eager we were to visit the Minalungao National Park.  I actually literally dragged myself from the comforts of my bed towards the van provided by Microtel Inn & Suites Cabanatuan, our home in Cabanatuan City. And the next few hours was a trip to the dreamland.  Travel time was approximately an hour and thirty minutes.  If not for the service van, we would have encountered difficulty in commuting given our condition at that time.

Floating cottages aligned amidst a crowd of tourists were the first sight upon alighting from the van.  We rented two cottages and I sat on one corner to breathe fresh air and to rejuvenate.  After a few minutes the group decided to take the path leading to a cave.  Majority went to the farther end to discover the caves guided by children of the community.

Photo and effects by: Doi of the
Jerik, Christian, Carla and I decided to rest and people-watch in one corner of the paved pathway with limestone walls serving as refuge while others continued their journey to the mini-caves up for exploration.  Apart from the potential unexplored subterranean caverns, there are facilities for bamboo rafting, swimming, fishing, cliff diving, picnics and even zipline.  A signage is further posted to serve as warning that death toll has increased on the said river.  We need to be extra careful.

The Minalungao National Park is a protected area of the country specifically situated in the municipality of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija.  It is considered one of the few remaining natural environments that a visit to Nueva Ecija would not be complete without passing by this national park.  The raw and rugged state of the parks’ pathway has been replaced by concrete ones as shared by friends who visited the park before, a sign that local government is now open for the increasing number of tourists.

Midday came and back to our rented cottage, we feasted on the food prepared by Microtel Cabanatuan.  It was a typical provincial setting that friends and family experience during Sundays.  When I was young, I remember going to the beach at my hometown every Sunday with my family, as we share the food prepared.  This time, I was with my friends and we were on the bank of a river – a national park to be specific.    

Photo by: Doi
“At walang makakapigil samin”.  No one can stop us indeed even the rainy season causing a drastic change in landscape, to visit Minalungao National Park of Nueva Ecija.


For hassle-free visit to the Minalungao National Park, check-in at Microtel Cabanatuan and inquire for an arranged trip with them. (This will depend on number of visitors and availability of service vehicles.)

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  1. What a beautiful place! Check out all those rock formations. :) Even with developments around it, the Minalungao National Park seems to retain its charm.

    1. It's really beautiful despite the change in rivers' color. Hehe

  2. Such bizarre rock formations.. I remember there are similar ones in San Mateo, Rizal. Is the water always in that state?

    1. no. Only because it has been raining for days prior to our visit but it changes to emerald green under a good weather condition. Hehe