|Location: Brgy. Minoyan, Murcia, Negros Occidental, Philippines|
Elevation: 366 MASL (1,200 feet)
Descriptive Summary: Mambukal Resort is the gateway to Mount Kanlaon Natural Park. It was originally developed by a Japanese architect named Kokichi Paul Ishiwata in 1927 which started its operation as a bathhouse and picnic garden providing cool haven for Negrenses and their guests. It is currently maintained and managed by the local government of Negros Occidental. Its vast expanse of more than 23.6 hectares is dominated by verdant landscape and refreshing beautiful natural features which includes a big mountain stream fed by several tributaries, descends in a series of seven waterfalls which cuts through the center of the resort that feeds the water holes and boating lagoon.
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This is a part of my April 11 – 15, 2014 Mount Kanlaon – Negros Occidental Trips which includes: Mount Kanlaon Climb; Bacolod City Tour; The Ruins of Talisay; and Balay Negrense .
Guests can avail of many types of accommodation facilities like the Villas, LGU Cottages, Family Cottages, Tourist Lodge, Dormitory, Picnic Huts/Trellis and Conference Hall which is entirely versatile with audio-visual, lighting and meeting equipment for seminars, conferences and banquets. It also has a food court which offers catering services with set meals and buffet choices.
The entrance fee of P100 a day in the Japanese Ofuro Hotspring is not that much as its medicinal waters provides a therapy particularly for highly exhausted bodies. While dipping on this pool, one may see the resident bats of different species on top of the trees which totally arch the totality of the pool. In fact, guests can also enjoy bat watching with species to include: the golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon Jubatus), the large flying fox (Pteropus vampyrus) and the common island flying fox (Pteropus hypomelanus). As of this writing, there are more than 4,000 fruit bats around the area.
Aside from hot spring pools, guests can also enjoy recreational activities like: the challenging slide for life and wall climbing; boating; canopy walk, butterfly watching on is butterfly garden and have the trekking to have a close encounter with the seven water falls. The Canopy Walk can be done through interconnected hanging bridges.
It was my August 26, 2013 visit to the resort that my group of six including Connie Vasquez, Marie Jane Gumba, Dr. Cesar H. Garcia, Rome A. Frias and I enjoyed for almost four hours at the Japanese Ofuro Hot Pool but we missed the seven water falls trekking then. Thus, in this recent visit, April 14, 2014, I only accommodated the latter activity.
Trekking to the seven waterfalls will take just for two hours back and forth with an almost cardiac assault trails though the trails are already concrete equipped with metal railing. The time may exceed if you guests will enjoy a swim or a cool dip. The location of the Canopy Walk precedes the Seven water falls trekking. Engaging into this forest trek, one may see the slopes and dips forming interesting rock formations and lush forests of tropical and semi-tropical trees. The first three water falls are just for viewing and dipping or bathing is not allowed. The fourth water falls is not accessible as there is no trail to view it. The fifth water falls can be viewed only on its top and guests can only enjoy it if they know how to dive from atop its viewdeck. The sixth water falls is the only water falls where guests can enjoy a swim but it is surrounded by shanties which sells food and snacks. The seventh water falls is not accessible as the trail towards it is being inhabited by private residents who might cause trouble to tourists as per the tour guide advice.
Boats for rent are available for guests for P30 per head which is only good for 30 minutes. After the boating, the next activity is to visit the adjacent Butterfly Garden to see the abundant species of butterflies in their splendid and marvelous colors.
Guests can enjoy the resort either through a day tour or an overnight. Entrance fees vary from: Adult – P50; Kids 11 years and below – P20; Light Vehicles – P15; and Trucks and Buses – P30. Regardless of a day tour or overnight, guests will pay these fees. It would be convenient if a reservation for accommodation is booked at (034) 213-2715 before the day of intended visit to avoid problems.
One thing I like in Mambukal is the availability of food services which are affordable. It is like a food court located in one part of the resort accessible to some other facilities. You can afford to have sizzling and grilled food with rice at a rate of P150. You can also have a pork belly of P85 with rice. Fruits shakes are available at P50 only. Eating breakfast is like dining in fastfood chains like McDonalds at P75 per order. You can also have the option of having your food delivered to the convenience of your room.
Parking lots are spacious not to mention that roads inside the resort are also wide with well-developed pavements where joggers can enjoy. The whole place is just so shady with lots of trees and ornamental plants around.
If the guest is not contented with the hot pools, he may avail of the services of the Blade Spa just adjacent to the Warm Sulfur Dipping Pool and the Japanese Ofuro Pool. Here, the guest is assured of a refreshing massage to invigorate himself from an exhausting city life.
Guests may also have the chance to buy a variety of flowers and ornamental plants at affordable prices. These includes a variety of pines, ferns and orchids that thrive on its cool climate and rich soil known as Mambukal clay.
The map above will help you visualize the whole picture of the resort so that you can plan out the activities you will have depending on the location and accessibility of the facilities.
So far, this is my second time to visit Mambukal Resort but I am considering to go back to witness its annual Mudpack Festival – a unique event which celebrates the harmony of man and nature which features Mambukal’s distinct multi-colored clay to stir the people’s awareness of the importance of our environment.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Take any daily flight from Manila to Bacolod (Silay International Airport). Then take a minibus going to Mambukal for P35 only (one way) with a travel duration of 55 minutes from the city of Bacolod. You can also hire the services of chartered vans from Bacolod to Mambukal or vice versa. You may either contact Mr. Charles Ea at 09173092985 or Mr. Dante Nono at 09394494041.
Contact the following numbers: Mambukal Reservation Office (034) 213-2715, (034) 433-8516 and (034) 709-0990; Mambukal Resort (034) 473-0610