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Monday, September 23, 2019

Mambukal Hot Spring Resort: Top Ten Things You Can Do (Murcia Negros Occidental)

Mambukal Hot Spring Resort is one of the top destinations to visit near Bacolod, Negros Occidental.  We, Travel Tripsters, know that there's no need to convince anyone in including in your Bacolod itinerary.  

mambukal hot spring resort
Upon entry, you will be charges for entrance fee and parking fee.

Gate entrance per head is:
a. Adult: 50 php
b. Children: 20 php

Parking fee per vehicle is:
a. Light Vehicle: 15 php
b. Trucks and/or Buses: 30 php
There are so many things you can do at this 23.6 hectares government-run mountain resort.  Some decide to have an overnight stay here while some decide a day tour or even just a half day is enough. 

mambukal mountain resort
Top Ten Things You Can Do at Mambukal Resort

To help you decide your length of stay, we Travel Tripsters shall orient you with the top 10 things you can do during your visit at Mambukal Hot Spring Resort.

1. Bat Watching and Bird Watching

Bat Watching and Bird Watching are free activities you can enjoy at Mambukal Resort.  

Mambukal has several species that are protected by the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act (Republic Act No. 9147).  

Among the bats (also called "flying fox") species in Mambukal bat sanctuary are:
a. Golden-Crowned Flying Fox (Acerodon Jubatus) - this is the world's largest bat specie and is only found in Mambukal resort!
b. Large Flying Fox (Pteropus vampyrus)
c. Common Island Flying Fox (Pteropus hypomelanus)

Among the birds in the area are:
a. Spotted Wood-Kingfishers(Actenoides lindsayi)
b. Dimorphic Dwarf Kingfisher (Ceyx margarethae)
c. Black-belted Flowerpecker or Visayan Flowerpecker (Dicaeum haematostictum

2. Kayak in the Boat Lagoon
mambukal boat lagoon
The boat lagoon is serene and scenic.  You can rent a kayak for 50 php/15 minutes.

mambukal boat lagoon
Although it is a lagoon, the water here isn't really encapsulated.

mambukal resort bacolod
The excess goes back to the spring.

3. Explore the Butterfly Garden
mambukal butterfly garden

Just opposite the boat lagoon is the butterfly garden which opens at 9 am.  The entrance fee is only 50 php so why not spend your 20 minutes or so for an education and photography session there? 

4. Take Amazing Photos
mambukal bacolod
Bench by the Boat Lagoon
There are lots of photograph sites around Mambukal Resort

mambukal lgu cottages
Picket Fences By the LGU Cottages
You just have to explore and you'll be amazed at what you can find.

5. Pamper at Blade Spa
spa natura blade spa
For as low as 450 php, you can get a body massage at the Blade Spa.  It offers cottage services until 10 pm.  If you intend to go there to avail its services, it is open from 10 am to 10 pm. 

6. Eat Your Hearts Out

mambukal food court
With so many activities in a spacious 23.6 hectare area, we're sure that you will need to eat to replenish your energy.  There are many options when it comes to food in Mambukal Resort

mambukal hot spring
Spring Crossing Short Cut to the Food Court
a. Food Court
Hear the beautiful sound f the spring while you dine at the food court.  From the parking area, you could take the short cut stone steps and cross the spring towards the Food Court.  But, if the spring flow is too strong, we suggest you take the official route.

mambukal food
There are many establsihments offering local dishes and fruit shakes at the Food Court

entings mambukal
 We heard the best there is Enting's but unfortunately, only Tita Ed's was available during our time of visit.

mambukal resort food court
The Food Court looks hygenic.

mambukal resort
You can even wash your hands here.

chicken inasal
Chicken Inasal
The food doesn't stand out but if since we're hungry, we try not to be choosy.

avocado shake
Avocado Shake
Shakes are just okay too.

b. Grill
pagoda tellis
grilling station
You can also just bring your raw ingredients and some charcoal and grill you own food.  Mambukal Resort does not charge any additional  corkage when you bring food or drinks.

c. Picnic
You can rent a picnic hut (300 php for a small hut and 600 php for a big hut) where you can enjoy your packed meals.

7. Reach the 7 Waterfalls
mambukal waterfalls
Because the the 7 waterfalls of Mambukal Resort, it's best to visit this place on summer time because they don't allow you to trek up during hard rains since it it is prone to landslide.  

There are two ways to go up and down the 7 waterwalls:
a. Trekking
b. Take the habal-habal or riding on the back of a motorcycle (50 php/person one-way)

You can choose to mix them up depending on your preference.  Either way, you are advised to hire a guide (guide fee is around 200 php).  The trek to the 1st waterfall is one hour.

Waterfall Tariffs as Follows:
1st - 100 php
2nd - 150 php
3rd - 200 php
6th - 250 php
7th  - 300 php

The first six waterfalls are less than 15 minutes apart.  While, the 6th to the7th waterfall takes around around an hour apart.

The 4th waterfall is technically the real waterfall.  While the 6th waterfall, is the best for experience because you can dive into a 14-feet deep pool.  The 7th waterfall is a natural 4-5 feet pool where you can swim.  You can easily reach this by habal-habal.

8. Detoxify with a Sulfur Bath
warm dipping pool
Warm Sulfur Dipping Pool
If you prefer warm pools, you have two choices:
a. Warm Sulfur Dipping Pool - which is the most crowded warm pool because it charges a lower rate:
i. Adult: 50 php
ii. Kids: 20 php

You can avail of the lockers for free upon paying for your entrance fee.   The sign says that this closes every Tuesday for maintenance but we were there on Tuesday but it was open.

japanese ofuro
Japanese Ofuro
b. Japanese Ofuro - we preferred the Japanese Ofuro which is still public but has less people because of the hotter temperature, no kids provision and higher rates:
i. Adults - 100 php

japanese ofuro mambukal
If you're lucky like us, you can even enjoy it by yourselves.  The hot spring water is flowing: in from the higher point and out on the other end.

But, if you prefer privacy, there is the Ishiwata Bath House which was developed by a Japanese architect named Kokichi Paul Ishiwata in 1927.  Unfortunately, because of the heavy rain, we weren't able to check that place out.  The rate here is at 150 php/30 minutes.

mambukal swimming pool
Swimming Pool
If you can't stand the heat but want to enjoy the same sulfur minerals  from the spring water (with a mix of chlorine), Mambukal Resort also has a swimming pool with kids provision.  The rate is the same as the Warm Dipping Pool:

i. Adult: 50 php
ii. Kids: 20 php
9. Be Adventurous with Outdoor Activities
For those who prefer some adrenaline rush or a sight from great heights, you can avail of these outdoor activities:
i.  Wall climbing - 25 php
ii. Canopy Walk - 50 php
iii. Slide for Life (200-meter long zip line) - 100 php/2 Trips

10. Relax and Stay for the Night
There are many accommodation options at Mambukal Resort but we don't highly recommend this since almost every review we encumbered were dissatisfied with the maintenance of the place.  Check in time is standard 2 pm and check out time is standard at 12 pm.  Choices as follows:

a. Camping - For as low as 30 php/person, you can camp and enjoy the natural sounds of nature while you sleep.

b.  Dormitory - For a big group of 20, you can rent the dormitory for 2,000 php/person

c.  Villas
i. Matrimonial  - 1,700 php
ii. 1 Single & 1 Matrimonial - 2,000 php
iii. 4 Single Beds    P2,400.00
iv. Extra Bed    P200.00

d. Family Cottage - 4,000 php

e. LGU Cottage - good for:
i. 2 - 900 php
ii. 4 - 1,200 php
iii. 6 - 1,500.00 php

f. Tourist Lodge Rooms:
i. Ordinary - 600 php
ii. Deluxe - 750 php
iii. Family - 1,000 php

Accommodations require reservations and 50% down payment so make sure you contact any of their offices at

Mambukal Reservation Office
Gatuslao Street, Bacolod City
Tel. No. (634) 709-0990 | Telefax (634) 433-8516
Mobile No. 09082712174
Mambukal Resort
Tel. No. (634) 7100-800 | Telefax (634) 7100-80

Overall, we Travel Tripsters, hope you can now plan ahead for your visit at Mambukal Hot Spring Resort.  We find this a must and affordable stop for your Negros Occidental trip especially if you're coming from Bacolod because it is only a 45-minute jeepney ride away.

Mambukal Hot Spring Resort
Address Minoyan, Murcia, Negros Occidental Philippines
Budget Per Person Swimming Pool
*Adult - 50 php
        Kids 11 years & below - Php20.00
        Light Vehicles - Php15.00
        Trucks/Buses - Php30.00
    Ofuro - P100.00 per person/day
    Ishiwata Bath House - P150.00 per person/30mins
Mambukal Hot Spring Resort Map
Payment Options Cash

Operating Hours Monday to Sunday:
(Maintenance on Tuesdays)
8:30 am-11:30am
1:30 pm-4:30 pm
Reservation Required No (only for accomodation)
Contact (634) 7100-800

Saturday, September 14, 2019

OISCA Bago City Training Center: Sericulture a.k.a. Silkworm Farming Tour (Negros Occidental)

Do you know that the Philippines is fortunate to have only two seasons?  Because of the wonderful climate in the Philippines, Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA) International established its Bago City Training Center in Bago City for Sericulture or Silkworm Farming 31 years ago and just last August 2018, it added Sunflower Farming (around 3,200 sunflowers in a 25-square meter land area) too. The entire farm land occupies 26-hectares of land area!

Without the winter and autumn season, it easy for resilient plants like Mulbery Trees to thrive here.  The Mulberry Tree leave are what silk worms feed on. Why Mulberry leaves?  It emits a fragrant chemical called cis-jasmone which attracts silkworms.

bombyx mori
You can touch and hold them!  They don't bite. =D
There are three variants of the Bombyx Mori Silkworm that are bred and sold by OISCA:

(1) Pure White from China.  These  are the most common kind.  They are bred since ancient times to produce the most quality silk but have shorter life spans

(2)  Tiger Silkworms that are evidently black with white stripes.  These are from South Africa

(3) Zebra Silkworms are a mix of the two to make them more resilient.    

You can buy both the silkworm and the Mullbery plant from OISCA if you want to get into Sericulture.

Cocoon Development

silkworm cocoon
A Perfect Cocoon
After being stuffed and fattened up, the silkworms will be placed in these cocoon holders.  (The cocoon holders can be any texture which their cocoon threads can attach to.) Before they form the cocoon using the liquid protein from their salivary glands, they will first clear their intestines and poop.  This is because they don't want to poop inside the cocoon. How hygienic right?

hatched silkworm cocoon
Defective Cocoon
The silkworms inside have to be killed so they don't grow and hatch out from the cocoon.  If they do, then the cocoons cannot be used to make silk (or only 40% of it can be used to produce silk).

silk moth
These are the moths that were able to grow out of their cocoon - which means they are already past the 10 day growing period so they hatched from their cocoons.  A silk-moth has a life span of only 5 to 10 days which is only enough for it to lay eggs.  A female silk-moth can lay up 500 eggs at a time.

oisca sericulture
After selling the silkworms to the farmers, OISCA buys them back in cocoon-form.  The price is 30 php/kilo which includes the weight of live silk-pupa inside that are yet to be killed.  With this sell-silkworm-and-buy-back-cocoon cycle, Bago City Training Center is able to provide a stable and sustainable livelihood for the farmers and it can also sustain itself.

oica sericulture
Using these machines, the cocoons are heated up to kill the silk-pupa.

oica silkworm farm
All the machines are donated by OISCA-Nagano Japan Chapter.  These are complex machines which require parts from abroad.

oisca bago training center
When the cocoons are boiled, the silk filaments loosen.

oisca bago city
Once the silk filaments loosen, they can reel in the silk threads.  One cocoon can reel in 500-1,000 yards of silk threads.

Negros Silk Producers Association
The silk threads are re-reeled into hanks.

silk hank
This is what one hank looks like.  A hank of silk is 840 yards. 

silk yarn production
They can combine silk thread to make them into silk yarns.

silk yarn
Silk yarns are thicker and tougher.  One pound of silk yarn is composed of around 2,500 piece of cocoons.

kinds of silk threads
These are different kinds of silk.

floss silk
This is actually the first time for us to encounter floss silk.

floss silk
Do you know what it is for?

silk weaving
The last stage of course is the weaving. 

silk weaving loom
They make use of the pedal loom which is typical here in the Philippines. The workers here are paid per piece of produce or pakyawan so they are free to manage their own time and some even study while working.

Finish Products
oisca bago silk showroom
All products produced are sold in the Silk Showroom.  The Silk Showroom and tour are run by volunteers.  These volunteers are trained by OISCA locally and sent to other countries like Japan as well.

cocoon scrubs
The Cocoon Scrubs which contain a protein called "sericin" which is found to improve skin elasticity and several anti-aging factors, including an anti-wrinkle property.  The yellow Cocoon Scrubs is found to have more "sericin" so it is recommended to buy the white one if you have sensitive skin.

sunflower soap
As mentioned above, Bago City Training Center is also famous for its Sunflower FarmingOISCA extracts the sunflower oil and used it to produce products like this Sunflower Hand and Body Liquid.

sericin soap
The products here are well-packaged.

mulberry tea
We bought this Mulberry Tea for only 50 php.  Mulberry tea is hailed as a "Superfood" for having iron, magnesium, calcium (25 times more calcium than milk!), zinc, beta carotene, vitamin b2 and ascorbic acid.  It also has  gallic acid which reduces the blood glucose.  It also helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides and reduce inflammation and ease the pain.  It eliminates the bacterial growth and can treat liver conditions, headache, cough, painful eyes, fever and sore throat.  It also has moranoline (1-deoxynojirimycin) that helps flush out the carbohydrates and starches from the body so that it does not turn to glucose.  It also has  flavonoids and quercetin which reduces the chances of atherosclerosis by lessening the oxidization of cholesterol in blood vessels.

silk footwear
Overall, we Travel Tripsters recommend a tour at Bago City Training Center for their Sericulture a.k.a. Silkworm Farming as one of the best to experience near Bacolod City
You can email them like we did for an appointment for a guided tour (25 php/person).  We are so happy that they reply promptly and are very and accommodating. 

Commuting Guide from Bacolod City
  • From SM you can ride on Pta. Taytay- Cent. Market Jeepney until 7-11 sum-ag
  • From 7-11 Sum- ag you can ask tricycle drivers to bring you to oisca (Regular trip - requires long waiting time: 8-10 php; Special trip: 50 php)
Tips for Those with Private Vehicles
From Bacolod City, you will find the sign of Brgy. Tabunan on the left side of the road as entry point.  There is no visible sign for OISCA Bago Training Center.  Upon entry, you'll soon see a basketball court on your right and that is the entry point to OISCA Bago Training Center's Silk Showroom where you can avail of the tour.

Tour Spots Near OISCA Bago Training Center
  • Laguerta Home of the Vintage Glasses Museum (Tomiko Casiano: [0917] 309-8815) - Brgy. Sum-ag, Bacolod, Negros Occidental, Philippines

OISCA Bago Training Center / Negros Silk Producers Association OISCA-Bago City
Address Brgy. Tabunan, Bago City, Dakbanwa sang Bago, 6101, Negros Occidental Philippines
Budget Per Person 25 per person (purchase is encouraged) OISCA Bago Training Center Map
Payment Options  Cash

Operating Hours Monday to Friday:
(closed on weekends)
8:00 am-11:00am
1:30 pm-4:00 pm
Reservation Required No (Encouraged)
Contact  (0910) 856-0132 | (034)  702-9075

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