We started out the second day by trying out Bacolod's specialty, the Chicken Inasal. It is basically a chicken roasted on skewers, served with garlic rice and chicken oil sauce.
We headed out to the Manokan Country and found our way to Aida’s, which was favored heavily online by vacationers who stayed at Bacolod. I was initially a bit disappointed by the place as it looks a bit like a beerhouse rather than a resto. Serving time was also quite lengthy, however, this may be due to us being too early. We were the only ones eating along the whole strip as far as I can tell. When the food arrived, and we were not disappointed though. Really tasty Chicken Inasal! The wait was well worth it.
We then did a quick shoot at the nearby cathedral before heading out to the Mambukal National Park.
After some instructions from the hotel staff, we boarded a jeep from Lacson going to Libertad, boarded down at the market and got on a non-aircon bus to Mambukal. The trip took about an hour, showcasing Bacolod's sugarcane fields. The bus dropped us off exactly at the park's gate.
There is so much to see at the 23.6 hectares park that an entire day is definitely needed to fully explore its every niches and crannies.
We were immediately greeted by one of the local guides, Biboy (0929-2623484 if you want to have him as a tour guide too), who offered to help us tour the area. We asked as to how much the charge was and apparently it's already part of the entrance fee, which is fifty pesos for an adult and we may just drop a tip should we like to.
First stop was the Bat and Swallow sanctuaries. Really Huge fruit bats lazily hanging and flying around the canopy trees. The swallows are way too fast for my camera to get a decent shot of. They apparently nests under one of the resort’s bridge, and although their nest is a delicacy, their younglings are assured from being consumed as the resort prohibits anyone from harvesting them.
Next stop was the park's main attraction, the seven falls of Mambukal. It was formed by a stream gushing down the Kanlaon mountain. Biboy told us that the first one is just ten minutes away. So off we went, stopping every now and then as he showed a few of the rare local species along the trail. All in all, it took us around twenty minutes to reach the falls. The trek was very light and can be accomplished by anyone.
The falls was breathtaking, although swimming is not allowed as the pool plunges to quite a depth. After a few photographs, we headed back down to the resort as it started drizzling. Too bad since the second falls was just a few minutes away from our location.
We proceeded to tour the rest of the resort; the hot bath, the sulfur lake, the boating area, the harness slide, and the butterfly garden. Our guide was very informative; talking about everything from the history of the place, to the local vegetation and animals.
As was in the previous reviews of Mambukal, the place is really really great; however, it's potential can still be maximized given enough budget. We were told that the place is now being run by the government, which it took over from a private company which did not live up to its expectations of fully developing the park.
Nevertheless, Mambukal has not seen the last of us. We would definitely be back at next year and conquer all of its seven waterfalls.