Initao is known for its beach strip in Tubigan. This is where people go on weekends to chill and unwind and enjoy the sun, sea and its white sand.
Not known to many, Initao have also another place to visit where people can commune with nature in a different way.
The Initao National Park is a forest reserve a few kilometers farther from the beach strip. The attraction here are the long walks you can take under a canopy of decades old trees while enjoying the serenity of the area.
The main road of the park
You can also go spelunking if you are adventurous. They have several caves where you can explore. Except for birdsongs and the sound of the cicadas, the place is totally quiet. Scattered around the park are sheds where you can take a rest as you explore the forest. There are also several sheds facing the sea which is really perfect for sunset watching with the barkada.
One of the sheds facing the sea.
My friends and I spent the whole afternoon strolling around the park and the experience is enjoyable. Usually, when people think of a walk in the forest they associate it with rough trails or muddy pathways but this is not the case at the Initao National Park since all the roads from within are cemented.
If you want to stay overnight, you can camp out at a designated area near the beach or if you don’t want to sleep in a tent they have a chalet with several rooms for you to stay. Providing accommodation right inside the park has its own appeal. Sometimes people would love to stay close to nature even for the weekend but don’t want to sacrifice comfort. So I guess the chalet is perfect for urbanites wanting to get away from the city but doesn’t like the idea of sleeping in a tent.
The Chalet where you can stay overnight.
A few meters away from the National Park, there used to be an adventure themed facility where people can climb a spiral staircase up to viewing deck, do a canopy walk, and ride the zipline within the forest. But due to maintenance issues it was discontinued.
What stands there today is Echavez Kitchenette that offers pinoy food fare that you would probably love. Aside from serving meals, they have also a coffee shop and a function room for seminars and parties.
The Courtyard facing the woods.
The Coffee Shop
So if you are thinking of doing something outside your routine, try to check out the Initao National Park. Wandering around the forest is a soothing experience. And who knows, you will get to meet a few “diwatas” who probably lived there.
Hi! I am Michael, a development worker hopelessly hooked on social media and photography. I am passionate about food, travel, technology and politics. Based in Iligan City, I manage capability building projects as well as policy advocacy initiatives aimed at promoting good governance and sustainable development. In recent years, I am heavily involved in promoting social media optimization and coaching small business owners to help them grow their business in the digital landscape.