Wait, I’m not talking about buying several gallons of mineral water, pouring it into a kiddie pool and swimming in it. That would be an uber-luxurious and uber-impractical way of spending your money, on top of being tedious and without advantage.
This is not about wasting water, it’s actually the opposite. According to Water.org, approximately one out of every eight people lack access to safe water. And we all know that unsafe water is the cause of all kinds of different sickness and disease where some can even lead to death, like typhoid fever.
An article on “Facts about water” that I saw recently reminded me of my favorite budget swimming destination. The resort’s name is Mambangon Spring Resort in Cabacungan, Negros Occidental Philippines.
During our stay there, I saw a kid carrying an empty gallon to get some water coming out from the tree’s roots. My wife told me that the owner of the resort allowed their neighbors to get their drinking water flowing from that tree.
According to my cousin-in-law who had a chat with guy managing the place, a Japanese mineral water company offered a big amount to buy that place but was turned down by the owners because the price wasn’t big enough for them. Perhaps the problem here is that, it’s an inherited property owned by ten families and dividing the amount to all of them may not be worth it in the long run.
He even told us that the famous boxer congressman Manny Pacquiao and Philippine tycoon Danding Cojuanco gave bigger offers but was still turned down by the owners. Of course, since we didn’t get this story straight from the involved parties, we can dismiss it as a rumor.
There are people out there who don’t have access to clean drinking water and here, it’s so abundant that we’re swimming in it. I wish that springs like this existed everywhere. This reminds me of my grandfather who gets his drinking water straight from a water pump yet its clean and safe. I’ve been drinking it in my two-week stay with them and they’ve been drinking it all their lives.
I really love this place because a swimming pool resort in our area charges P100 ($2.3) per person, only to get a 5ft deep swimming pool and water with a strong chlorine smell (unlike other pools) which they change every other day.
But in Mambangon Spring Resort, the water source is used as drinking water, is around 2ft-9ft deep, no chlorine and is changed every second. You’ll also get to enjoy a great landscape view and a fresh air that only a countryside can offer, all these for only P20 (half a dollar). Talk about getting the best value for your money.
You can rent a cottage for around P300-P500 ($7-$12) which is large enough to accommodate the whole family. There’s even a section where you can cook your own food with no additional charge. In our case, we brought an already grilled chicken but cooked our rice and grilled some fish there.
We ate our food in classic style, using our bare hands on a banana leaf. It seems like food tasted better if you eat it that way compared to a fine dining setup where you’re conscious of table manners and use several utensils. Maybe it just depends on the mood but it clearly depends on the food. I can’t imagine myself eating spaghetti with bare hands.
From Bacolod City, the most cost-effective and convenient way to get to La Castellana is through public vans in the HLS terminal for only P70 ($1.8). From La Castellana, take a motorized tricycle to Cabacungan for around P12 ($0.45) only which heads straight to Mambangon Spring Resort.