Back when we were at Minalungao National Park, I found myself walking and walking under the scorching sun. It wasn't an easy task at all yet I managed to struggle and persevere until I reached the final destination due to the curiosity of what lies ahead. I feel that the place is a perfect hike especially for pilgrimages, a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance, because it made me remember a certain pilgrimage in Negros where we have to hike to reach the destination under the summer heat. And yeah, I believe the serenity and view from the cross' top will give you an ample time to reflect and ponder.
Interestingly, the cross also holds a story of kept promise. It overlooks the mountainside and the lush greenery of Sierra Madre range. An interesting folklore surrounds the area due to locals belief that a female deity lives in this mountain. She is said to have a watchful eye over the activities of the townspeople and maintains the peace in the area. When the stone formations have been discovered, they thought of giving the deity something to prove that they will help protect this reserve. The cross was built as a sign of keeping that promise.
HOW TO GET THERE/TIPS
Ride a Five Star bus bound to Gapan from either Pasay or Cubao (Php 150) that will take you there at around 2-3 hours. From Gapan to Minalungao National Park, rent a tricycle for Php 500 round trip. Travel time will be around an hour or so. The park has a registration fee of Php 20 per person and another Php 20 for the entrance of any vehicle too. For exploring the aprk, hire a local who can take you to either: Minalungao's Cross, Minalungao's Cave, traversing the Peñaranda River or trekking to the furthermost side of the river.
Read more about our Byaheng Nueva Ecija by clicking here.Minalungao photostory also found here.