What’s more heartbreaking for a traveler when plans and expectations don’t meet its ends? It really is heartbreaking and downside devastating. Travelling is not always about sunrise and rainbows. Truth is, reality sometimes fails to meet our expectations and I think that’s okay. It’s all part of life and reality slams it hard on our face that we can’t have control over everything.
This happened when I had my recent travel to Boracay with my friend. Boracay as the world’s best island had made standards for one of a kind sunset, powdery sands, and pristine waters. The main reason I was on this trip is it’s striking and beautiful sunset. But, for God knows why, I was given a gloomy weather and threatening rain during sunsets — two days straight. It truly breaks my heart and those thousand prayers didn’t work that time.
Instead of sulking and moping over this unforeseen picture, we changed our itinerary on our last day to cope up with this overwhelming fiasco. And this is when we headed to Malumpati Cold Spring.
THE UNPRECEDENTED RIDE
Lack of sleep and hangover from a chic party, we didn’t give it any room for an excuse. We found ourselves wobbling in a 30-minute motorboat ride to Caticlan Jetty Port from Boracay as early as possible.
The universe might be on our side for immediately giving us a bus ride heading to Pandan — municipality where Malumpati Cold Spring is. So, we grabbed our breakfast and boarded the bus.
Half of the trip gave us a good view of the sea on the left and mountains on the right then the rest was a blanket of grandiose green rice fields. Finally, the universe gave us the satisfying views that cured our eyesore on Boracay’s sea of crowd. But that wasn’t our main goal on that morning.
Unboarding the bus right at the intersection to Malumpati Cold Spring, some habal-habal drivers courteously approached and offered us a ride to the spring.
The road, trailing some nipa palm trees along Bugang River and a view of Chocolate Hills-like mountains, had our eyes feasting. We had a quick stop and admired the demure attitude of Bugang River — fine, simple yet beautiful.
KRUHAY! MALUMPATI COLD SPRING
Upon arrival, the cold air gushing through the winds greeted us first. We can hear the waters nearby rushing between the rocks.
Suddenly, a middle-aged woman, wearing a grin on her face, came approaching us. She then politely greeted and accommodated us. It turned out that she works here in Malumpati Cold Spring. After some little conversation, we started strolling around the place.
The sun slowly radiates the wide cemented pool that encloses the flowing water coming from the head spring. The turquoise green waters glimmered as if pearls are embedded deep in the waters. On a closer look, the bottom of the pool is pretty evident even knowing how deep it is.
Passing by the small cottages to the bridge will give you the exposed simplicity of Malumpati Cold Spring. The water is really inviting and mesmerizing, I was bewitched like a fisherman captivated by a beautiful mermaid.
But, before dipping my stinking body to the pool, we must first try their must-try water activity. River tubing!
TRAILING THE RIVERBANK OF BUGANG RIVER
We started the short walk along the trail canopied by trees. Neat piles of rocks are carefully laid along the trail that leads to the jumpoff area for the river tubing. The trail is beside the magnificent body of water — the Bugang River — which is the cleanest river in the country.
It is the most picturesque river I’ve seen so far. Pristine and clear waters came flowing onto the river that even with your naked eyes, the riverbed is pretty apparent from the riverbank. A quick dip in this cold water immediately sends shivers through your body.
Bamboos and tall timbers gracefully sway with the winds by the riverbanks made the trail even more magical and ethereal with the light mist and the perfect morning sunshine striking from the sky. It is a perfect place to commune with nature, a place to wash away our frustrations of Boracay.
We really admired the unruffled atmosphere of the place that sometimes we gazed with openmouthed wonder. Our souls were really happy that time. Satisfied is a mediocre word to describe what we felt.
During our walk, our tubers — a person who guides in river tubing — shared their small sentiments about cementing the trail to the head spring which they totally disagreed and fortunately, didn’t earned the approval of doing such. I also shared my sentiments about this and showed them that we’re in the same boat. By doing such to the trail, it will defeat the essence of communing with nature and also affects the flora and fauna of the riverbanks.
The leisure trek to the head spring includes crossing bamboo bridges. It’s not that tedious as most part of the trail is flat. The tall timbers shaded the path so trailing was unchallenging even for beginners.
After a while, we reached an open area with verdant carabao grass carpeting the flat soil and decorated with some coco trees where we’re oriented on how to ride the rubber tube and taught some safety procedures.
Our tubers, kuya Boy Dencio and kuya Ruben, doing an epic jumpshot.
We resumed our trek towards the jump off. Before starting our water ride, our tubers led us first to the head spring of Bugang River — the Blue Lagoon.
The turquoise color of the lagoon bedazzled us while giving off an unearthly feeling. The lagoon was so beautiful and enchanting yet too eerie to swim. They said that the waters in the Blue Lagoon have healing properties that cure any illnesses.
Maybe it doesn’t only cure physical illnesses because it already cured the heartbreak that I have from Boracay even before drinking the healing water.
RIVER TUBING & WATER RAPIDS
The real adventure awaits after being enchanted by the Blue Lagoon of Bugang River. It’s time for river tubing! We carefully placed our butts on the donut-shaped rubber tube.
We slowly drifted away downstream. The river was calm and peaceful while we’re floating adrift like freshly fallen leaves.
Our tubers also discussed the names of different floras dressing the riverbanks of Bugang River. Tall and humungous bugang trees flourished both riverbanks thus namesake the river — Bugang River. On its riverbed, distinct kind of water lily is beautifully growing underneath. It’s called payaw-payaw.
We certainly got excited when the calm waters changed into strong currents. A glimpse of the first whitewater lane was on sight channeled our inner water babies on us. Coming together at a leisurely pace before the water gracefully flows downwards in a breathtaking spectacle really build up a tremendous excitement.
One by one, we drifted and splashed onto the water rapids. The cold water that swashed on our bodies made us scream our hearts out with pure pleasure. This river divulged the inner child in us, wanting to frolic the cool waters. We laughed in bliss as the cold shivered down to our spines in every series of water rapids. We were able to enjoy the cool waters while spanning the Bugang river on our rubber tubes.
All too soon, we came flowing back on the calm waters as the sight of the Malumpati Cold Spring came into view. “We want more!” as we screamed before entering the turquoise pool. We absolutely enjoyed the ride and we promise to experience it once more if the universe allows us to visit Malumpati Cold Spring again.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Pandan, Antique resides in the Panay Island which is accessible via plane from neighboring provinces. There are no direct flights to the province, but you can get there via land travel from provinces of Aklan or Iloilo.
- Via Kalibo, Aklan: From Kalibo International Airport, take a tricycle to Kalibo bus terminal and ride a Ceres Bus to Pandan, Antique proper.
- Via Malay, Aklan: From Canticlan Airport, take a tricycle to Canticlan Jetty Port and ride a Ceres Bus to Pandan via Iloilo (P50.00). Travel time is 45 minutes. Unboard at the intersection to Malumpati Cold Spring. Take Gen. Leandro L. Fullon Monument as your landmark. Ride either habal-habal or tricycle (P50.00) from the intersection to the spring. Travel time is 15 minutes.
- Via Iloilo: From Iloilo International Airport, take a van to Molo Terminal (P50.00). Then take another van (P200) or bus (P280.00-P350.00) to Pandan, Antique. Travel time is 5-7 hours. From Pandan proper, ride a tricycle (P50.00) to Malumpati Cold Spring. Travel time is 20 minutes.
Here’s our sample itinerary of our Malumpati Cold Spring experience. We could only spend half-day on Pandan because we’ll be catching our flight back to Cebu from Canticlan Airport.
- 06:00 AM: Depart from Boracay Island.
- 06:45 AM: ETA Canticlan Jetty Port
- 07:00 AM: Breakfast/ETD to Pandan, Antique
- 07:45 AM: ETA Gen. Leandro L. Fullon Monument intersection to the spring
- 08:30 AM: ETA Malumapati Spring. ENJOY!
- 11:30 AM: ETD Canticlan International Airport
Food, souvenirs, drinks, plane tickets, and other miscellaneous fees are not included.
- P20.00 — Motorized Trike Fare to Boracay wharf
- P125.00 — Boat fare and terminal fees to Canticlan Jetty Port
- P50.00 — Bus Fare to Pandan, Antique
- P40.00 — Entrance fee of Malumpati Cold Spring
- P200.00 — River tubing Expense
- P350.00 — Roundtrip Trike Fare (Good for 5pax) For us, 2pax
- P50.00 — Bus fare to Canticlan Jetty Port
- Practice the LEAVE NO TRACE (LNT) Principles.
- During any activity, follow your guide’s instructions to insure one’s safety.
- The Blue Lagoon is restricted for swimming.
- ENJOY YOUR VISIT!