Monday, April 09, 2012

Mambukal Resort

When I saw Mambukal Resort as one of the must-visits in Bacolod, I made sure to check out its website to see what could be in it for us. When I saw there was a sulfur spring, I made up my mind to go for the therapeutic possibilities for us. Having my son enjoy a nature walk there was a grand bonus considering that it was just raining most of the time we were there.

We had contracted a car (taxi) for our site visits and the cost for the day was around P1,500. It sounds steep but when you consider that the taxi meter showed P800 just going there, that's just right. And we were four adults and two kids so we weren't really up for a commute. We could have rented a jeep, probably, but the people at Saltimboca kept referring us to taxi drivers. Hehe.

Anyway, Mambukal Resort was really a nice resort. The place was huge and it offers so many different activities. People can stay there overnight, their cheapest room costing P600 per night, but that kind of lodging would also mean you'd be so far from the pools.

Visitors pay P30 each as entrance fee (P10 for kids 11 years and younger) at the reception office (far away from the pools, this was also a hassle since my hubby had to go back and forth) and would also need to pay for every pool they want to swim in (P50 per pool per adult, P20 per child), so it is quite a hassle to be bringing money on you when you're wet and want to pool-hop. But, once you've paid, you need not pay again in case you want to dip in other pools and come back. Initially, we wanted to get the P600 fan room so that our kids would have somewhere to sleep in during the day but we can only check-in at 2 PM and we also found out that it was so far away from the only pool that has a kiddie pool. We decided to rent one of the cottages surrounding the kiddie pool instead for P300.

Because it was raining, it was also cold.

the right portion of this pool is the kiddie pool part at 2 feet, the other side is 4 feet deep

one 'treat' of swimming in this pool is that you get to watch 3 different species of bats and swallow birds all a-flying over you (these ones are perched on a tree, zoomed in using an iPhone)

the sulfur pool is just about 2 minutes away from the kiddie pool, which was fortunate.

best to start where those jets of water are, because that's the cold water

There's also a spa there for those who want a massage (for rates at The Blade Spa at Mambukal, click here)

Now, upon arriving, an old man got us under his wing and aaid he'd be our guide for the day. It turned out that he isn't an official employee of Mambukal (none of the guides are, I think). I forgot his name but he was one of those who were displaced when they turned the area into a resort. His 3 kids were all born in an area near the start of the trek to the falls and has been serving as guide for around 30 years. Of course, we all felt that Mambukal should make them official guides instead for them to have a regular source of livelihood. In fairness, we did love how careful and attentive he was of our four-year old as he brought us up to the second falls (we could only trek up to the 3rd that day, trekking up to the 7th was forbidden because it rained). We decided not to go up to the third anymore because my son slipped somewhere and it ruined his adventurous mood, plus we didn't want to risk Tatang's heart (he was 66 years old and pretty hail compared to us who gasped for breath, haha). Later on, he would tour us around the resort.

You register before starting the trek up to the falls

Tatang who kept a firm hand on my son all throughout the trek

you pass by hanging bridges where one can go on a canopy walk for P50

most of the trail going to the first to third falls have makeshift bridges, steps and support railings so it's a real easy trek

the first waterfalls

the second falls (you can only go swimming in Falls 4-6 I think)

one of the highlights of the trek was watching the bats (yes, I was creeped out but it was just purely beautiful too)
After the trek to the falls came the tour around the resort. Since it was cold from all the rains, all we had to mind was the long walk around. It might be hot on usual sunny days but the resort being as lush as it is, you also don't run out of shady places.

the parking area and restaurant area (3 different vendors, nothing fancy but quite expensive fare)

these lodgings near the canteen/restaurant area cost around P1,200/night, which is a fair deal...

bridge connecting the big pool area to the kiddie pool area

everything is lush and wet in this gateway to the Mount Kanlaon Volcano

sulfur pool that's not open to the public (but someone was boiling an egg there) and most definitely not for swimming as it's too hot (notice the steam!)

sulfur pool at its purest

I only had some P300+ on me when I went to the food kiosks for some lunch. Most of the offerings were the usual seafood, pansit fare and none looked palatable so I decided to just buy chicken inasal (P65) and this ham and egg sandwich (P130). The food was okay and the sandwich proved messy to eat. Yes, feel free to bring in your own food as cottage rentals come with use of grill/barbecue area and Mambukal doesn't charge any corkage fee anyway.

plant sellers just off the kiddie pool and on your way to the sulfur pool

under the bridge (between the sulfur pool and the food kiosks), swallow birds built their nests
perfect for the outdoorsy and athletic ones, yes?
the hotspring lagoon, mud of which is sometimes harvested for therapeutic/vanity purposes
for a fee, one can shower in this grand casita
or rough it out your way at the camping site
I would definitely go back if ever we were in Bacolod again, preferably on sunnier days where we can really explore and just marvel at the symbiotic relationships going on in trees there. I would really want to reach the seventh fall and get that vantage point to capture Mt. Kanlaon's majestic beauty. And although you sort of have to pay for every activity you want to engage in there, when you consider how cheap the tariff rates are, you'd have to agree that it's still a really cheap price to pay for so much. For more information and reservations/inquiries, just contact Mabukal Resort through their Facebook page: Or call: Tel. (034) 473-0610 Bacolod Booking Office: Old Capitol Building, North Capitol Road, Bacolod City, Neg. Occ. Tel. (034) 433-8516

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails