Monday, November 14

The Success that is Bakhawan Eco-Park

I have stepped foot in Kalibo many times before but never as someone who would spend a night and care to explore the town itself. It has always just been a gateway to Boracay for me. 

But my week-long venture to Panay Island has allowed me to finally book one night in one of its hotels and encouraged me to finally plan a short Kalibo exploration. It was also inspired by a friend's recent trip.

After my three day stay in Roxas CityCapiz, me and my friend met in La Esperanza hotel in Kalibo. The following morning, we woke up early and headed to 
Bakhawan Eco-Park right after eating breakfast.
My friend served as my tour guide as she visited this park several years ago. She did not hide her surprise when she found out that the entrance fee was already P 150 when it was just about P 20 during her visit. I also felt a little robbed when we were paying but I just thought of where the money will go. And sure enough the beauty of a place like this needed an extra touch of care. And of course that needed continuous funding.
The sky was overcast that day. We were the first visitors which gave us the luxury of spending a long time in the place without being interrupted. We took our time taking nice pictures and appreciating the marvel of nature around us. I noticed in a bulletin board at the entrance that the locals started this project way back in 1990. I read later on that mangroves, just like any other large ecosystems, takes a long time to develop. I observed the larger trees, whose roots are wildly tangled beneath and above the waters. I also smiled as I saw many tiny sprouts, fighting for their right to see the blue skies. 

The walk from the mouth of the mangrove up to the seashore was 1 kilometer. In between the mess of the plant world are small tributaries which lead to the open seas. Some areas of the park have also been utilized to grow tilapias, crabs and other seafood. We spent a short moment feeding the fishes (bangus or milkfish). One fish food bag costs only P 10. 
The world is green and it should stay that way - Pondering Paodaolei
     



We continued on our walk because the skies were threatening to cry. The place's serenity was broken when other tourists started arriving. I still wanted to stay longer but Boracay was beckoning. 
The existence of this eco-park generates jobs for the locals

Mangroves play an essential part of the earth's ecosystem. It harbors both coastal and estuarine fishes, crustaceans and mollusks. In the park's case, it also serves as an eco-tourism destination. Thereby promoting awareness of its importance like protection of shoreline and nursery habitat.

I feel proud behind this project. Bakhawan Eco-park is proof that if people unite for a good cause, the result will be a resounding success. I will come back here when I visit Kalibo again. 


Bakhawan Eco-Park

Brgy. New Buswang in Kalibo, Aklan
Phone numbers: (+63) 262-7696 / 262-8862
Email: bakhawan_ecopark@yahoo.com
Facebook: Bakhawan Eco Park
- Pondering
Isla Panay Tour

Roxas President's Inn 
Coco Veranda Restaurant 
Exploring Roxas City 

Manuel Roxas Ancestral Home 
Bakhawan Eco-Park Kalibo 
White Coral Hotel  
Blue Dawn Boracay  

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