Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mambukal Resort: Home of the Seven Waterfalls

Nestled in the foot of a volcano and the sleepy town of Murcia, Negros Occidental, Mambukal Resort boasts of a wide tropical forest area, cool humid climate and a unique encounter with nature.

We left Pension Bacolod early that morning then rode a jeepney going to Libertad Public Market where mini buses plying Mambukal are parked. During the trip, I met Charles, a young mini bus conductor who amazed me with his sincerity and friendliness. After passing several towns and sugarcane plantations, we reached the resort in an hour. Before the bus left, Charles and I exchanged numbers, he and his uncle driver offered to fetch us after lunch. I was thankful because it seemed that there are no fixed time for buses to pass and leave the resort, after all, it's the low season for tourists.

There is a Php30.00 entrance fee for adults and we paid Php10.00 each for the kids we're traveling with. I was just a bit disappointed upon learning that the hotspring dipping pool was closed. We went there Tuesday which is maintenance day. Never the less, we can still opt to use the swimming pool but we didn't bother paying the Php50 for that, we decided to do the trek instead that led us to the series of seven waterfalls created by a long stream coming from the top of the mountain.

I started walking and noticed that there are accommodation facilities in the resort. Should we have longer time and were not bound to leave for Manila that afternoon, we might have opted to stay even just for a night to truly experience everything the resort has to offer. Checking on the rates, it ranges from Php600 with an ordinary lodge to Php 4000 with a luxurious family cottage with 2 bedrooms, a living room, dining and kitchen area.

Even at the start of the trek, I'm almost certain that I will love the place and I was not mistaken. What surrounded me is lush vegetation, everywhere is green. The trails are established and friendly except that it's sometimes slippery and uphill but otherwise, it's like a walk in the park. The two kids easily maneuvered their way up to the sixth falls, even on our trek back when we opted to take a different trail. It was also drizzling which added to the communing with nature experience.

Some of the falls are just small cascades. Reaching the sixth falls, we're all euphoric. Swimming isn't allowed in the previous falls we've passed by and we we're allowed to do so in the sixth falls.

There is a deep gorge filled with water coming from the falls where one can jump, that is if you've found enough courage to do so. :D for it would mean jumping from the top of a 15 feet boulder then dropping into another 15 feet deep pool.

Nikko and his siblings enjoyed doing that over and over after overcoming their fear on the first jump. I on the other hand was satisfied playing in the shallow waters, capturing their pictures and taking videos.

The seventh falls wasn't available for viewing when we visited. There had been a landslide blocking the path on the way there so we spent most of our time in the sixth falls. Few hours had passed and we know time is running out so we had our group picture taken before heading back to the resort. We took the trail crossing the stream near the sixth falls.

We continued on an ascending trail until we reach a ridge where we were rewarded with a picturesque view of the lowlands. It was slippery and muddy on that trail and I'm thankful my Ipanema slippers had been dependable enough. :) There's also a tree occupied by hundred of fruit bats. Some flew after I clicked my camera and it flashed, my bad. But it was a site seeing some of them fly in unison. We continued trekking until we've passed by a local village where Nico, the local kid who tagged along in our trek is residing. He also showed us the narrow path leading to their school.

On our way, I happened to see a marang tree, with its succulent fruit I tasted for the first time on our way to Murcia. It looked like a jackfruit, only smaller. The tree only grows in the southern regions of the Philippines.

After passing the last local house, Nico told us he won't be coming with us anymore. When asked why, he told us, kids like him aren't permitted inside the resort, the guard will be furious if he sees him. That's when we understood that maybe, Mambukal isn't allowing guides especially kids inside their property, something we didn't know upon arriving. He pointed us the way back to the resort and we gave him money, something he didn't really ask but we thought he needed especially only his father is earning a living for their whole family. We told him to use it in his schooling. He thanked us by his wide smile.

We continued walking then reached the boating area. The water is cold, it was coming from the stream. Nearby, I saw some parts of the soil smoking and sometimes bubbling, a proof that the resort lies at the foot of a volcano. Few more minutes and we passed by a cemented pathway with lots of trees planted on both sides, then an area where guests who prefer to camp can pitch their tents.

Upon reaching the parking area, I sent Charles a message and was told they are on their way to fetch us. That's perfect giving us time to take a quick shower at the bathroom near the pool area. The water is ice cold which made my quick shower even quicker. The mini bus then arrived and few minutes had passed, we were travelling back to Bacolod City where we had our lunch then dropped by the pension house to get our things before heading to the airport.

Mambukal Resort is a grand finale to our Western Visayas backpacking trip. It isn't anything fancy but it surely is worth a visit especially for nature lovers and adventurers like me. :)


  1. i will go to bacolod with my friends at the end of april and i really would like to know the best places. one of the areas on the list is mambukal...please recommend other places to me...

  2. Hi Haxieville. :) To be honest, we didn't have time to roam around the area so Mambukal is the only place we've got to see near Bacolod. I planned on visiting Silay City for their old ancestral houses but have to skip it. That might be something that would interest you.

  3. I went to Bacolod 2 months but didn't get the chance to check out Mambukal.
    Thanks for the info!
    Will probably get back to Negros and check this out :D

    1. You're welcome Joann. I hope you'd love your experience there too. :)

  4. hello good day! is there any pension houses near mambukal area..salamat

    1. Hi. I didn't get to see one but you may want to inquire about the rates of the resorts accommodation. If you're in a tight budget, camping in the resort might also be an option.


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