Minalungao National Park (Nueva Ecija)

MINALUNGAO. I heard of this tourist place just last year and when I found out that it wasn't really a long drive (not that I know how to drive or anything because I don't/can't lol), I immediately shared a post about it to our family's group chat. I was hoping they'd get the hint that it was an awesome place and that I lowkey wanted to go there but as expected, I was seenzoned. None of them replied so I took it as a NO. LOL

I guess it was after a month when we finally went there. It was a spontaneous trip for my mama's birthday last January! Actually, this post is one of  my backlogs and should have been posted 4 months ago. hahaha But, NO PRESSURE! Here's what happened:

It was just an hour and a half drive from Victoria, Tarlac to Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija so it was less hassle especially that it was not an entirely sunny day. 

Entrance fee is P50 per head.
No fee for parking since the place is spacious enough, I guess. Some kids will offer to look out for your cars/motorbikes. The payment for it depends on you since they will not demand any price.

After we parked, we decided to eat first. There's a canteen in the place but we have our baon with us so we just had to find a cottage. 

Cottages range from 200-500.
200 - near the entrance, souvenir shops and canteen
250 (small) and 500 (big) for BAMBOO RAFTS along the Penarada River

Since it was a very spontaneous trip, we just brought our supposed lunch from home and chose the cottage near souvenir shops instead of bamboo rafts. We didn't swim and we did not stay for long after some activities at the park. Luckily, a lady from the S Shop agreed to watch our stuff for us and got us a tourist guide. You don't have to worry about the fee for the guide since they told us they do not demand a specific price. It is really up to you. They are really kind. Our tourist guide was ate Rona. She's not really the guide who will talk about the place but of course, I had to ask a lot of questions to squeeze out trivia and information from her hehehe. She was really kind and a bit shy.

We crossed a long bridge and hiked thousand steps to reach the top of the mountain and to get a view of the river and the park. It wasn't really that challenging and hard since the view is amazing and there is already a path to follow. Just make sure to bring your camera with you. There's a big cross at the top but I was saving battery life so I wasn't able to take a picture. I just used my phone to take a video of it.

I am just so fascinated by these rock formations. I was actually expecting a green Penarada River but since it was after a rainy day, the river's color was different. It's looking like a creamy one. MILKnalungao, it is! This was our view while we were on our way to the cave. We went inside and saw a lot of stalactites and stalagmites!

After all the hikings, my brother and I decided to try the zipline. The fee is 100 per head. I used my phone to record myself! hahaha You can watch our quick getaway to Minalungao National Park here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA0VRu6aKok&t=178s

That's it! It was a very fun day for adventures! If you're a nature lover, you'll definitely enjoy this place although there's nothing much to do! Hahaha BTW, it's a bit crowded during the weekends so try to go on weekdays.  It's a good place for relaxation and simply chilling. :)

Potipot Island (Candelaria, Zambales)

Happy Easter, Everybunny! 🐇
Planning a family camping trip? 
          Well, you might want to check out one of Zambales' islands! Here are some photos of our getaway in Potipot Island, Zambales. I was wondering why it is called Potipot until one of the locals told me it came from "Puting ipot". Why? Well, you just have to see it for yourself! It's really just a small island. You can watch this: POTIPOT GETAWAY (Youtube Video)
          We went on a holiday season so it's quite packed during the day. Don't worry! It's safe for an overnight stay. It's either you bring your own tent or just rent one! Kuya Steve (our friendly and very accommodating boatman) and his assistants could help your family when it comes to car parking, boat travel to the Island, tent rentals, etc. You can reach him through this number 09102652053 especially for directions and pick ups. 

Boat service: 400php (back and forth) and just 100 for all the help of kuya Steve
Entrance: 100php: 300php for overnight stay

          There's no water source that's safe for drinking/cooking on the Island so I suggest you buy your water supply at the jump-off point. Also, just bring powerbanks as there's no electric supply for those who are going to pinch tents. There are cottages but I guess it's pricey so just get the full experience and go camping! :) There's also a small store but again, some are quite pricey since it's the only one on the island. You can also purchase some souvenirs there.
            Sadly, I don't have any idea on how you'll get there via public transportation. I don't know which bus offers trips to Zambales but for those who want to drive, just take NLEX-SCTEX. Just take the Tipo Exit (last toll plaza and exit) of SCTEX then drive to Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales. Thanks to gadgets for we now have Waze and Google maps, you can rely on that. We actually just used Google Maps.
          That's it. If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle in the city or work, Potipot Island should be on your list! <3Stunning views, Kayaking, swimming with fishes, candy-colored skies and camping! 

Have a quick weekend relaxation! 
(if you have questions, just comment below!)