Bakhawan Ecopark is a 220-hectare mangrove forest in Barangay New Buswang, Kalibo in the province of Aklan. Its rich diversity is home to different species like crabs, fishes, birds, oysters and a lot more. It also provides protection against natural disasters like floods and storm surge during typhoons.
Bakhawan Ecopark features a 1-kilometer boardwalk, picnic huts, watchtower, souvenir shop, canteen, massage area and a relaxing view of the Sulu Sea. It’s restoration started in the 1990s with just 45 hectares. With the help of Kalibo Save the Mangroves Association (KASAMA), the local government unit of Kalibo and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the project grew and has provided livelihood for the locals since then.
It was my first time to visit the Bakhawan Ecopark. I already visited Aklan Province twice but I never really heard of this ecotourism site before so I was quite surprised that there is a massive mangrove forest in the province. Had I known, I would have visited this place long time ago.
Our group arrived past noon so we immediately headed to the middle of the mangrove forest where our sumptuous lunch was served. We had grilled oysters, prawns, steamed fish and a lot more.
After lunch, we headed to the end of the boardwalk to witness a demonstration on how to carefully remove the tamilok (woodworm) from the wood. It is considered a native delicacy in Aklan and Palawan and is eaten raw after dipping in vinegar.
Why Visit the Bakhawan Ecopark?
Bakhawan offers its guests fresh air, fresh food and a relaxing experience. With just a minimal fee, you get to support the conservation of the mangrove forest which provides livelihood to the local community.
How to Get to Bakhawan Ecopark
From Kalibo Airport to Bakhawan Ecopark
Take a 10-minute tricycle ride from the airport. Fare is less than P100.
From Boracay Island to Bakhawan Ecopark
Ride a boat to Caticlan Port then take a van or bus to Kalibo town proper. From there, take a tricycle to New Buswang.
Glen Nomad is a travel blogger and the founder of Escape Manila. He has visited all the 81 provinces in the Philippines and has explored 30 countries across Asia, Latin America, East Africa, and Australia. Follow him on IG at @escapemanila