-- worth a day trip
18.02.2017 - 18.02.2017
Biak-na-Bato National Park is located in San Miguel, Bulacan about 2.5 hours drive from Manila. This protected area is more than 2000 hectares and covers the towns of San Miguel, San Ildefonso and Dona Remedios Trinidad in Bulacan. In 1937, President Quezon declared it a national park due to its ecological and historical significance (it was the site of the Biak-na-Bato Republic).
The park is of mixed use... there are hundred of caves (some still remain unexplored), rivers and well established hiking trails and picnic areas. Some of the most popular caves for day hikers are the Aguinaldo Cave (where President Emilio Aguinaldo used to have his headquarters), Paniki Cave, Reception Cave, Hospital Cave, Ambush Cave, and Storage Cave.
It is also popular destination for bird watchers and photographers. Several species of birds, bats and mammals make the national park their home. There are also interesting trees and other flora that grows spectacularly well inside the park. Having said that, do not be surprised to see thriving vegetable gardens and orchards while out on a hike inside the park. Our guide told us that the farms and orchards were established long before Pres. Quezon declared it a national park .
There are picnic spots dotting the whole trail going to the Bat Cave which is convenient for families who opt to bring their own food into the park. There are also a couple of carinderias serving simple fare for park visitors. The vegetable dish I tried for lunch tasted quite good because of the fresh ingredients sourced from the vegetable gardens located inside the park perimeter.
Weekends are busy and the park office prefers that guests book ahead so that they can arrange the tours properly. The entrance fee is P50/pax and the guide fee (max 10pax/group) at a sliding rate depending on how many caves you want to see. BTW, there is an additional standard entrance fee per cave (P150). The park management does offer a great all-in price if you want to explore several caves in one go like what my friend and I did when we went to the park on a day trip.
All in all, Biak-na-Bato National Park is worth a day trip with an option of staying overnight for a more thorough exploration of its caves and wilderness trails.