Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mambukal Mountain Resort, Negros Occidental

Boating Lagoon @ Mambucal Mountain Resort, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Mambukal Mountain Resort is one of my favorite nature escapes in my hometown, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. As far as I could recall, this place awakened my love for hiking and nature exploring! Back when I was a child, I often heard stories from elder relatives how they would do rope bagging to explore the 7 falls in Mambukal. I knew that the 6 falls were near each other, but the 7th is a long way from all the other 6. When I was 13 years old, during one of our family outings there, instead of spending all our time swimming in the pool like most people would do, I talked to my two younger brothers about discovering the 7th Falls. It gave me confidence after that hike about the powers of my legs in exploring our wonderful world. My trip back to my hometown is always not complete without spending some time in this cool mountain oasis.
Bats @ Mambukal Mountain Resort
Mambukal Mountain Resort is in Murcia and is about a 30-40 minutes drive from Bacolod City, and about an hour by public transportation. It has one of the largest colonies of flying fox bats in the Philippines.
The three species of bats include the Island Flying Fox (Pteropus hypomelanus), Large Flying Fox (P. vampyrus) and the endangered Golden-crowned Flying Fox (Acerodon jubatus). The Large Flying Fox is among the largest species of bats and feeds exclusively on fruits, nectars and flowers. Aside from being a bat sanctuary, Mambukal Mountain Resort is also a butterfly sanctuary.
Paper Kite (Idea leuconoe) Butterflies @ The Butterfly Sanctuary, Mambukal Mountain Resort
Paper kite butterfly is among the popular butterflies that are bred in captivity for Butterfly Houses all over the world. I actually first saw these beautiful butterflies in the Butterfly Jungle of San Diego Safari Park. However, I learned from my butterfly garden visits in the Butterfly Jungle that these beautiful butterflies are native to Philippines, Malaysia and other South East Asian countries. 
Imagine my excitement when I was taking photos of these butterflies in their hometown. Aside from butterflies and bats, my visit to Mambukal always is not complete without hiking to the waterfalls.
 1st Fall
Mambukal's mountain stream descends in a series of 7 waterfalls that cuts through the heart of the resort feeding the boating lagoon and cool water holes. Among the seven waterfalls, the 1st fall is the easiest to go to. It is a short distance from the heart of the resort.
The trail winds through the wooded forest in Mambukal crossing some river streams on gentler mountain slopes. However, from the first waterfall to the 6th, the trail climbs on stone-path staircases. I am glad for those stone steps, otherwise, the climb would be more difficult because of the soil erosion that would occur because of the steepness. The hike would take the breath away literally of those not so used to hiking uphill or walking in giant staircases. Though the trail is steep, but not very long since round trip hike to the 7th falls is only about 2 hours. My 7 year old niece completed the hike to the 7 waterfalls without problem!
 2nd Fall
3rd Fall
We were not able to get to the 4th falls because of the erosion in the area. So, from the 3rd Fall, we continued climbing up to the 5th and 6th Falls. 
Swimming @ the 5th and 6th Fall
Swimming is not allowed in the 4 lower falls, but people could already take a dip, enjoy the water from the 5th to the 7th Falls. There were a lot of people swimming at the 5th and 6th falls when we were there. From the 6th Falls, we climbed a little bit more, crossed one river stream, then, we reached a plateau which overlooked the valley below.
View from the Plateau Above the 6th Falls
After reaching this plateau, our legs got a little break from continuous climbing on stone path staircases since the dirt trail slowly ascends in much gentler slope. There were so many wild sunflowers lining the trail, it was such a beautiful refresher for me of my wonderful childhood memories spent in this mountain resort. One of the flowers that caught my attention was this red flower that looked like a rooster's head! 
Rooster's head? :)
After a more relaxing walk at the plateau though, the trail started uphill again and strewn with a lot of rocks and boulders. It was fun kind of boulder hopping. I forgot how many streams we had to cross since there were several! I got tired from balancing myself hopping from one rock to another crossing the streams that I decided to instead enjoy the water stream rather than avoiding it. When we reached the 7th waterfall, we could not help but take a dip.
Kids Enjoying the 7th Falls

The water was chilly cold, but definitely, liked it after a sweaty hike.
@ The 7th Fall
After enjoying some time swimming and feeling the rush of water falling at the 7th falls, we started hiking down back to the resort. We passed some hot sulfur spring, where if I remember it right, when we were younger, we would test the hotness how quickly we could hard boil an egg! :)
Hot Sulfur Spring
Since we spent a night at one of the Family Cottages in the resort, we were able to enjoy night swimming in the warm sulfur dipping spring. The next day, we went kayaking and ziplining, which are the other activities that can be enjoyed at Mambukal Mountain Resort. 
 Me @ the Boating Lagoon of Mambukal Mountain Resort
Me and My Sister In law Ziplining
Aside from hiking, boating, kayaking, ziplining, and swimming in the various water holes and swimming poles of the resort, other activities include canopy walk, wall climbing, and even trekking to Mt. Kanla-on if one has a permit. There is a Blade Spa for those who come to rest and be relaxed by the mountain spring. 
If in case you wonder we all are mountains in Negros, please visit my previous post on Danjugan Island Marine Sanctuary, Negros Occidental. One of the world's prime diving spots, Apo Island is in Negros Oriental. Hopefully, someday, I can revisit Apo island and the other beaches and mountain escapes in Negros that I had very good and beautiful memories. However, for now, I am back to dreaming again about these nature escapes in my sweet hometown. 

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  1. i always plan to go to mambukal. ;-( walang gustong sumama. ang sasama nila. ang layo kasi daw. balang araw me makakasama din ako papunta rito. i won't stop planning and asking anyone to go to this place. ang gaganda ng waterfalls ate betchai.

  2. Oh this is such a beautiful place! Orly has been there and this makes me so jealous haha, he however was not able to take great shots when he went there so I really did not have an idea how awesome the place is but now that I read this post I think I really have to bug him to take me and the kids there this is where your latest fb profile pic was so defines you...forever inlove with the joys of simple life...yes I can imagine your happiness at taking photos of the kite butterflies! smiling here with excitement with you and laughing too at the flower that looks like a rooster....weeeeeee feeling your fun at ziplining! showing this to Orly as soon as he arrives home :)

  3. What a beautiful place, looks like you had a wonderful time! Of course I love the flying foxes and paper kites. :)

  4. such a gorgeous place, and love your butterfly and falls photos! Very beautiful!

  5. Wow! 7 waterfalls. Huling waterfalls na napuntahan ko was two decades ago na ata, sa Daranak falls in Tanay, Rizal. Ang ganda sa Bacolod.

    Happy weekend! :)

  6. You had such a wonderful time in such a wonderful place which I admire so much.

  7. What a beautiful place, Betchai! We seen that same butterfly here in FL, at the UF Butterfly Rainforest. DJ got some lovely pictures of it.

  8. again some fantastic wildlife shots! thanks for this refreshing tour*happy weekend!

  9. interesting post...

    Mambucal in my language means flowers of mango tree :))

  10. I'd like someday to do the zip line. Mambukal has totalling changed since my last visit years ago.

    Bets, I don;t know if I have told you, I am reconstructing my blogs. I have backed up my files only thru 05/11, and I have to upload all my photos attached to the posts.

    Oh, well.

  11. hi there again Betchai...wishing I could visit the place one sweet day with you....I bugged Orly to take us there one of these days hahahaha....each place you visit gets a touch of joy....because you simply are a joyous, beautiful soul :)

  12. sis, thanks for sharing this amazing experience you have...i haven't been nor seen the place but through your post brings me into the place just like in reality...

  13. Beautiful wonders of nature!!! I wish I'll have the time to spare on our next vacation to explore our very own Philippines.

  14. You shared the beauty of this place quite remarkably. Hope to see this wonder of nature someday.

  15. Such a very relaxing scenery. THe Falls is beautiful. It must be nice to go kayaking there..

  16. Nature has a way to show God's magnificence. very serene ang place and very enticing maligo sa water. The unique floras and faunas sure add beauty to Mambukal Mountain Resort.

  17. YAY! I'd love to visit this place too, Betchai. You're so lucky you are able to go visit and enjoy your hometown's beautiful attractions. I liked the 5th and 7th falls a helluva lot. Thanks for transporting me in this place. It feels like I have been there too through your amazing photos.

    I have to say that it feels great to be back here again. For the umpteen times, I have to let you know that your posts continue to inspire me. I missed being here and I am overjoyed that I am back here once more :-)

  18. I can imagine it's a very enchanting place perfect to unwind. I just hope that the next generation will still see the magnificent beauty of Mambucal Mountain resort.

  19. what a beautiful place. i love all the photos of the waterfalls, the water cascading down looks so white and refreshing against the rocks. i totally enjoyed this post especially the photos of the butterflies and the view from the plateau.

  20. i have never been to negros and i'd sure love to visit the region with my family. hope we can go on vacation to negros next year. it'd just be awesome! :) cheers for sharing! :)

  21. I loved all the photos...amazing! parang inde pinas...:)

  22. You have such a beautiful place Ate Betchai. Nature at its best and it is a actually perfect place to relax and unwind with the whole family.

    Thank you for sharing your hometown's attractions.

  23. never thought that mambukal now is well developed. must visit this place when i go home again

  24. Oh my! What a lovely sight to see. I'm so proud that it is in The Philippines. ♥

    Definitely loved all the shots here.

  25. this is a beautiful place. the rooster head is awesome looking and the kids look like they are having a ball!