Spelunking at Balete Cave Minalungao National Park - Gen. Tinio Nueva Ecija
Renante MinaMonday, March 21, 2016 1 comments

     There's always a reason why we are coming back to a place... it brings back all the memories and even remembering the people we met. Yes it's also people.

     The reason why I came back in Minalungao? To see again our good friend Darine, our guide and also our trike driver the first time we visited Minalungao back in 2014. He's not a guide or resident in Minalungao actually, it just so happened that while we were looking for a trike to take us in Minalungao he was the first one who approached our group. At first, I doubted on how he looks while we're haggling with him going to Minalungao... sorry sir Darine. Hehe. But as the saying goes, "looks can be decieving", because of his good service during our Minalungao trip we mentioned to him that we will post his number and name in my blog.

This photo taken  year 2014 Minalungao Before

     March 10, 2016, our group visited again the Minalungao, ofcourse this time with my partner. She really loved to go to this place, she even envied my photos that she also wanted a perfect emo shot in Minalungao. Haha.


     I felt dismayed on what they did to the rocks, they ruined the rock formations because they cemented the walk way part. They said that their concern is about the safety of the visitors, I'm just curious why DENR or other NGO group allowed this matter. This thought is haunting me, is there any best alternative way not to ruin this rock formations?


     Around 7:30AM when arrived in Minalungao. I was shocked with the entrance fee 40.00 each, it doubled the price, they also built an establishments and other facilities.

Before the Cross


     While waiting for sir Darine, we visited the Cross, you need to pass the 1,000 steps where the big Cross is situated. Exactly 11:00AM we went back to the restaurant to check the food we reserved for our lunch, since no mobile signal in the area we can’t contact sir Darine where he is. After 20minutes of waiting for the food in the restaurant, fortunately sir Darine saw our group in the restaurant and brought some food for us. 


     We met again, he still remember our advice back then on not to be greedy, huwag kang magsasamantala sa mga guests, di baleng kaunti kung alam nilang mabait ka at hindi ka nagsasamantala irerekomenda ka nila. And as he recalled, after I posted his name and number in my blog, his weekend started to get full and guests continously coming and booked to schedule for his service. Plus, the best bonus when he got featured to different TV shows many times like Jessica Soho, I-Witness and I-Juander about the myth of Minalungao. He has always been thankful to me and to my group, we keep on reminding him to be nice and humble to his guests. He promised to me through text message that we will explore the other part of Minalungao one day when I will visit again.

     Two years has passed, we see each other again and a mini reunion happened for the 3 of us. He shared good news to us, as he said he applied all the positive reminders we adviced to him. We met also his lovely wife, she's also thankful to our group, she even started to cry while talking to Ma’am Weng.

Balsa/Bamboo raft

     Sir Darine has a complaint about the issue in Minalungao, as "ordered" by the "real" residents/locals of Minalungao that he has to share a percentage of his income. They called it “butaw”, everytime he is bringing guests to Minalungao he needs to pay a fee, their reasons is he is not a resident of Minalungao and not member of the organization. When he asked the president of the organization if he will still pay if he become a member? They said yes he need to pay a fee when entering in Minalungao. They can’t answer though when he asked them if for what purpose.

     As sir Darine said hindi siya pinapayagan pumasok sa Minalungao order daw ng DENR. Thats the reason why he is paying a fee in Minalungao. I think we need to help sir Darine about this issue, he needs proof and know the reason why they are not allowing him do his job as tour guide in Minalungao even if he brings a lot of tourists and capable of his job as tour guide. 

"When man will return to nature, nature will return to him." -Grigoris Deoudis

     After our lunch and conversation about the issue we started our spelunking and of course briefing the number one rule before the adventure starts and some history about the place. Naks tour guide na tour guide na ang datingan.

Entrance of the cave


     I thought this cave was not too technical but I was completely wrong. Its more on rappelling and the most challenging part, you need to crawl inside the cave, for you to pass through the gap of each rocks and fit it your body.

First challenging part


     You also need to be alert of the fallen rocks and ravine inside the cave, you really need to follow the instruction of your guide because one mistake you can be trapped if those rocks get loose or worse it can be fatal. 



Small hole exact to your body


     We explored the area for more than an hour, all in all the experience was very amazing, its another remarkable adventure. What can I say about the spelunking? It was very challenging especially for the first timers, expect a nerve wracking experience during your spelunking adventure, yes that’s true, but worth it after you finish the adventure.


     As you promised, Thank You Kuya Darine for sharing to us and letting us explore your newly discovered cave, the Balete Cave. You never fail to share this again with us. More discovery and adventures with you! 


My first visit in Minalungao National Park - Gen. Tinio Nueva Ecija

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1 comment:

Pepe v2.0 said...

ahhh. glad that generally you enjoyed your experience in Minalungao. Been there three times. The first was the most exciting. Hehe. I just recently wrote my own story about Minalungao, you might want to check it out and let me know if you noticed those that I observed. I have to backread your posts. Seems I would find many adventure stories here. :)