Sleepy and tired, I endured Cebu’s interminable, Friday gridlock. My flight was 10PM, and getting through the slow-moving traffic requires a lot of perseverance, though I wasn’t the one driving. However, instead of getting upset, I thought of the beautiful adventure that awaits at the other end of that journey.
I arrived in Kalibo as scheduled. However, trips for Antique were no longer available. Hence, I stayed in the city, rented a room for 6 hours, and then headed to Pandan immediately before sunrise.
Malumpati Health Spring Resort
Like normal river resort, cabanas are set up for guest convenience. Of course, they came with respective use fees, depending on the capacity and type.
There are stores within the vicinity, rooms for overnight use, toilet and shower facilities, and eateries.
The river bank is concrete. There is a diving platform setup for those who are game for more exciting activities.
As the natural light hit the surface of Bugang River, the green tint of the water becomes more evident. The bottom of the 16-feet deep is pretty apparent, especially during summer.
At the northern end of the resort is a bridge that leads you to the pumping station of Pandan Water District. Yes, Bugang River is the primary water source for the entire municipality.
Less than a hundred meters from the pumping station is Malumpati Health Spring. You cannot see the water sprouting out of the ground because it is coming underneath the calm lake.
The water is so clean that you can drink directly from it.
Some individuals tried to measure it, but failed to reach the bottom because of the strong upward pressure.
Bugang River Water Tubing
Aside from the spring, I visited Malumpati to try the water tubing. After paying a small activity fee, a guide was assigned to me, and then went straight ahead to the drop off. It was just few meter away from the spring.
From there, we paddled our way to the rapids, and then allowed ourselves to be carried further downstream. The activity lasted for about 20 minutes, and it was so much fun.
You may see the video summary of the trip below:
How to Get There
From Cebu or Manila, take a flight to either Caticlan (Boracay) or Kalibo. Flights to Caticlan are usually very expensive, so I suggest that you fly in via Kalibo.
From either Caticlan or Kalibo, hop on a bus bound for San Jose or Antique, and then alight at Pandan town proper. Travel time is less than two hours and the fare is between ₱70 – ₱80, depending on the transport type.
From there, hire a tricycle that will bring you to Malumpati Health Spring Resort. A trike that can carry five individuals can be rented for ₱150. If you are alone, you can haggle it down to ₱100.
If you are coming from Mararison Island, return to Culasi town proper, and then board a bus to Caticlan or Kalibo.
From the Kawa Hot Bath in Tibiao, return to the highway, and then hop on a bus or van to either Caticlan or Kalibo.
The entrance fee for adult is ₱40. Senior Citizens, PWDs, residents of the province, and children do have their own discounted rates.
Cottages and tables with umbrella are also for rent for picnickers. The rate starts at ₱300.
If you want to stay overnight, home stays are also available within the area. You can get one for less than a thousand peso.
If you want to try the water tubing, you may need to shell out ₱200. The fee already includes a guide, and use of safety gears and the tube. It is mandatory to have one guide per guest.
A two-way zip line is also available. You may try it for ₱200.
Notes, Tips, and Reminders
- Bugang River is shallow. On summer, the water level may not be acceptable for water tubing. If you really want to try the activity, make sure that you visit Malumpati in rainy season (not typhoon season).
- Travel in group. You will enjoy it more if you are with friends. You can also save by splitting the transport expenses.
- Cellular signal is available for receiving or sending texts messages or calls, but connecting to the internet is almost impossible. Note that I only tested Globe. I am not sure with other networks,
- The closest ATM is in Pandan town proper. It is COOP-operated and frequently goes offline. Bring enough cash when you travel to remote places like Malumpati.
- You can finish all the activity in a day, but if you wish to stay longer, home stays are available to accommodate you.
- Food and drinks are available in the area. I was able to try batchoy for only ₱35.