Bakhawan was considered as one of the biggest mangrove park in the Philippines and it didn’t surprise me when I walked 1 kilometer just to view this magnificent place of Kalibo. When we got in Ceres bus terminal we ask the tricycle driver where is the most popular tourist spot in Kalibo and without doubt he pointed Bakhawan Eco-Park. We agreed to pay him 200 pesos roudtrip from the terminal to Bakhawan and to our hotel. When we first saw Bakhawan i thought it was just a typical eco park because of its simplicity and at that time 5pm there are no tourist anymore. I’m quite hesitant because of the 120 pesos entrance fee and the time that we have left but because its hard to resist the itchy feeling of exploring I drop my flag to go in.
The 1 kilometer walk
- Beautiful place for a walk and visit. But, it would have been helpful to have an option for a guide and/or have signage to describe the significance of the mangrove ecopark. I visited a similar park in Bohol so I knew what to expect. However, for those who don’t know, mangroves create an amazing ecosystem for birds, fish and other species. Moreover, they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and, in knowing this, countries around the world are investing in reforestation of mangroves in the Philippines. With more info, I think that people would be willing to spend 150 pesos to enter the park and possibly donate more. In the meantime, my suggestion is to read up on reforestation of mangroves before your visit and then enjoy the 2km round trip walk in quite an amazing place.
2. This is a very big mangrove park. There is a 1km stretch of bamboo bridge until you reach the beachside. The only drawback is their entrance fee is a bit expensive (Php150).
3. Been here a few times when I was in my high school years. Used to come here with friends for a day of bonding. Just recently, we went to visit with family and just got amazed of how they were able to take care and develop the place. The 1km walk full of mangroves around you was just amazing. Beautiful, wonderful nature.
You can also go kayaking from the end of the trail to the sand bar (middle of the beach but don’t worry it’s always low tide) 🙂
The Bakhawan Eco-Park is a 220-hectare mangrove forest located in Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines. The mangrove reforestation project started in 1990 when the local government and several non-government organizations transformed the muddy shoreline of Barangay New Buswang into a mangrove reforestation site to prevent flood and storm surges in the community. The park is dubbed as the Philippines’ most successful mangrove reforestation project. The Eco-park is operated by the Kalibo Save the Mangroves Association (KASAMA). The word “bakhawan”, in the local dialect, means “mangrove”
The Bakhawan Eco-Park was created on 1990, the purpose of the reforestation project was to prevent floods and storm surges during bad weather in the local community. The reforestation project started with 50 hectares of reclaimed land in Barangay New Buswang created by the Kalibo Save The Mangroves Association (KASAMA), a non-government organization, with the help of the local government of Kalibo, Aklan and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The mangrove reforestation project did not only address the community’s flood problems but it also gave a means of livelihood for the local people in the area. The project was hailed as one of the exemplary forests managed in the whole of Asia and the Pacific by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
On January 22, 2014, the Provincial Capitol of Aklan, headed by the Economic Enterprise Development Department, planted 8,000 new mangrove propagules on a two-hectare area of the Eco-park. The mangrove-planting activity was aimed to minimize climate change and to replace the mangrove trees that were destroyed due to Typhoon Haiyan.
Today, the Bakhawan Eco-Park is considered as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kalibo. The centerpiece of the Eco-Park is a 1.3-kilometer bamboo trail that takes visitors deep into the mangrove forest. The park is an ideal destination for Eco-Tourism, it is home to different species of mangrove trees and it serves as a sanctuary for various types of birds and marine species. Other features in the park includes a watchtower, souvenir shop, canteen, massage area, charcoal briquetting, picnic huts and a Center for International Mangrove Studies
Overall Bakhawan Eco-park is a good choice for side trip if you decide to stay in Kalibo before going to Boracay. This place realy makes your nerves relax and the peacefulness will reminds you of your old days. Thank to manong who drove us to get to Bakhawan.
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