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January 26, 2013

KALIBO: BAKHAWAN Eco-Park's 1.1km Mangrove Eco-Trail

January 26, 2013

KALIBO: BAKHAWAN Eco-Park's 1.1km Mangrove Eco-Trail

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Kalibo's Bakhawan Eco-Park is a 220- hectare Mangrove forest which started in 1990 with just 50 hectares of reclaimed land created by the Kalibo Save the Mangrove Association (KASAMA for short)and with 200 members to date. 

I was skeptical at first to go to this Mangrove forest as I thought it was one of those tourist-trap sidetrips. But after walking through the 1.1km. eco-trail and back, we concluded that this is one of the best eco-walks we've ever seen even better than the Mangrove forest in Sabang, Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

It's a must-visit if you have time to explore Kalibo and don't miss to try the mangrove woodworm delicacy called "Tamilok" :)

Here's our BAKHAWAN Eco-Park's 1.1km Mangrove Eco-Trail experience:


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From Kalibo town, you can take a 15-minute ride to the Mangrove Forest for P40/special ride.

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The Bakhawan Eco-Park is open from 8am to 5pm.

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The entrance fee is P20 per adult and P15 for students and Senior Citizens. 

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It's a good educational experiential tour you can give your kids.

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There's a Canteen & Gift Shop managed by the community. 

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You can hire a tour guide for P200 and arrange for a Tamilok demo for P200. 

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"The United Nations’ FAO acclaimed this as one of the exemplary forests managed in the whole of Asia and the Pacific." (see bigger inscription)

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It was a bit scary at first to walk through the bamboo trail especially with the little boy.

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You cross the bamboo bridge into the lush mangrove forest.

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Baby Raphael was not scared, in fact, he was too eager to catch up with his brothers.

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You can explore the mangrove via boat at P80/hr.

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We went here without any info on what to expect; we thought that the trail goes around the park.

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Looking back, it was a beautiful refreshing walk around the forest. 

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The eco-trail appeals to lovers who like a romantic walk through the woods; to families so as to educate and entertain their kids; and to photographers who like to capture the image of a rare bird or refreshing lush mangrove.

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I love the long-stretch portions of mangrove forest along the river. I wonder if the trees are full of fireflies at night?

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Raphael started running towards me and my heart stopped for a minute, anxious if he would clumsily fall or successfully complete his run.

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The huge roots of the mangroves are indication of a healthy forest.

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After 30 minutes of walking, we arrived at the picnic hut areas. 

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I was able to convince the boys to push further for another 5 minutes to reach the end of the trail.

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The eco-trail ends with a beautiful view of the sea.

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Here's a photo of the boys successfully completing the 1.1km trail with Raphael in his babiators :)

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As we returned back through the same trail we came in, we were entertained by the planes landing in the Kalibo International Airport.

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Along the way, you can see people in the community catching mud crabs.

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Tip: Best to bring "trail food" for the kids.

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It took us another 30 minutes to leisurely get back to where we started.

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The boys wanted a final challenge of balancing their way through a narrow bamboo bridge.

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Even the little boy joined in the balancing challenge.

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It was a bit easy for Aidan and Joshua, but ...

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... we were a bit nervous to see Raphael rushing through his steps to catch up with his brothers.

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To cap your trip, make sure to arrange a demo on how to get the woodworm from the Mangrove tree called "Tamilok" and ...

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... to try this popular aphrodisiac that tastes and feels like mussels with a wood taste,  harvested fresh, and served kilawin style with vinegar. Yummy :)

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Allot about 2 hours for this Mangrove eco-trail side trip in Kalibo.

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Overall, the Bakhawan Eco-Park trail is highly recommended for environment or eco-enthusiasts and for those who want to try an exotic food -- Tamilok. Make sure to support the community by paying for the tour guide and the Tamilok demo. 

Good job Kalibo, for your interesting Mangrove Eco-Trail story!


Live an Awesome Life,

anton  signature 
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
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If you have tips on awesome food and travel destinations, please email me at anton@diaz.ph.

Full Disclosure: We paid for our family trip to Kalibo. I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I have no business relationship with any company mentioned in this post or any organization promoting it. As a policy, I don't receive compensation from food and travel places we feature in the blog. 

P.S. There's no food available in the Eco-Park except for a sari-sari store that sells junk food, candies and drinks. Best to explore after a hearty meal in the morning or after lunch.

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