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Sunday, April 10, 2016

LAKAD PAMANA:Minalongao eco-tour

I missed MIAS (Manila International Auto Show) day 3 for this. yes, I could go
to 4 days of  MIAS next yr.  but I know a repeat of today's adventure will take
a little while. After our Gapan Heritage tour with LAKAD PAMANA's Mister D;
it was a hot sunny afternoon and the next activity in our itenirary is to go somewhere
different, a place to relax, enjoy nature.  its called MINALONGAO.

you know, Nueva Ecija is more than just a vast greenery rice fields, more than the
stretch of heritage houses in Delos Reyes Street., but also an ecotourism spot, where
hidden natural wonders such as the Minalungao National Park found 10kms from
the Gapan countryside its natures great masterpiece that is sculptured out of the scenic

Penaranda river. you could turn your head and look up high as the marvelous 16 meter
limestone bordered the narrow calm waters of Penaranda along the Sierra Madre
mountain range.

When we arrived at Minalongao, I was surprised by what I saw.
a Parking lot! its so different form the last time I visited, 8 yrs back!
this is the video. its like a parking for a theme park only difference is that
the parking area is not cemented, so dont bring your fresh from the carshow
fresh from the detailer, or fresh from the carwash service vehicle there!
dont bring your bling car with 22inches VIP magz, and low profile tires.
you wont be happy.

here in this blog, I will show you a BEFORE(taken 8 yrs ago) and AFTER(Taken
as of this writing), yes its still beautiful but you will be dissapointed when you see
the BEFORE shot.(taken when android phones and iphones are still in the
drawing board) here are the videos [vid 1]  [vid 2]

The park covers 2018 hectares and was recognized as a protected area
around 1967. Located in Brgy. Minalungao at General Tinio, Nueva Ecija.

 In touring the park you choose between two options by foot or by boat. So if
you want relaxation trip within the park, it is better to choose by boat by renting
bamboo raft (please rental fees below). Or you may choose the newly cemented
trail path to tour the park. Both trails will lead you to the shallow swimming area
with refreshing and cool waters of the river.

The rocky trail before is now established and already cemented path for the tourist
which is younger and older ones much enjoy the scenery

Here are some BEFORE SHOTS of Minalongao National Park taken
8 yrs ago. click the video to see the pic.(for comparison only)

I onced visited this park during our Feroza club's roadtrip. 8 yrs ago, this park
is tranquil, peaceful and really really beautiful in its undeveloped state now?
its a commercial tourist destination. with huts, kiosk, stores and cottages
all around the once beautiful landscape where we were our vehicles were the
only ones parked.

Now? uhmm... I choose not to post the pics.. and decided to just post the
few beautiful ones. but a little description of how it looks like now?
that area you see in the picture is now a big commercial parking lot with
parking rates  similar to what the the big boring mall charges. entrance is 40.00
and the local Barangay is not responsible for any damage or whatever  valuables
you may loose inside your car, as you go around, you will notice scattered
around the area are foils, plastic and even beer bottles.

Preserving the cleanliness of the park is of utmost importance here, for the future
visitors like YOU. Please dispose your garbage properly for we observed rubbish
in the trail.(even cans of beer and black used shorts found in the mountain trail!)
Let us help this National Park by promoting it as a tourist attraction, and by doing so
we can also help its local with their livelihood, and kids with their school needs.

We had late lunch there as we rented a cottage, here is our lunch courtesy of
Arki's Tambayan

As you go around the park you will see this when you choose to go to the caves.
you climb around 300 narrow steps and as you climb, you could see the people
in their rafts enjoying the waters and relaxing. [video]
this is the video midway to the cave entrance, sad to say, I didnt make it. my
muscles starts to hurt with old age. haha!

here are some more pictures I want to share taken by our friend Allan Martinez

This is one of the attractions in the park: the suspension bridge.

there are some new improvements like the hanging suspension bridge
here are the videos of how it looks like to be crossing the suspension bridge
[VIDEO 1]   [VIDEO 2]

and the 947 steps that will help you reach the summit where you can get a view
of the lake from above.
here are the videos of the 947 steps: which will take around 45mins up the summit.
[video 1]  [video 2]

here are some of the pics taken by maam Lani Concepcion thought of sharing
this just click on the video.

as you continue your ascent.... you will notice that you will have ur celphone
signal back...
after the 947 steps climb: this is what you see above.
[vide 1]   [video 2]  [video 3]  [video 4]
and atop the summit? this is what you see.

Hope that in next years to come, the park will stay as is right now because am
afraid it wont, since its now opened to the public, a few years from now, it may
become another smelly , trashy Liwasang Bonifacio, but I hope not....

going to Minalongao in a summer day will be an experience, first, the exercise
and calorie burning wont be a problem. and as you go around the park, you
really appreciate the pretty ladies all around yes, all around. everywhere we go,
there are pretty friendly faces smiling, greeting you..... I don't know if  my friends
notice it. but I did. and they all looked ...LOVELY. mwah mwah tsup tsup!

We all had fun! heritage tours in the morning and Nature eco-tour (beautiful ladies 
sightseing) the whole afternoon! and lunch and dinner is free ! yes! thanks to
Arki's Tambayan, its a day with great food. (breakfast lunch and dinner)

Thanks again to  LAKAD PAMANA(misterD) for this can contact
him for another adventure like this, just group yourselves to 10.- 0923- 346-7575

This is your LOVERBOY Dennis signout out.

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