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Balaring Mangrove Eco-Tourism Area is one of the many projects that showcases how a local community can work together for the protection of their coastal area and, therefore, help prevent storm surge and climate change related problems.

Located at Balaring, Silay City in Negros Occidental, Balaring Mangrove project was the product of coordination between the Ikaw-Ako Negros-Japan Partnership for Environmental Protection.  This was founded in 1997, according to Mayor Oti Montelibano as quoted on-line by the website Social Science.  

The local residents of this coastal area was organized into a community association known as BAMPA or Balaring Mangrove Planters Association.  This organization oversees the protection and conservation of different species of Mangroves. 

The Mangrove area had been converted by the local community into a Mangrove Eco-Park where environmentalists, students, and tourists, among others, frequent the area to study Mangrove, to have a picnic, to breath the fresh air and just to experience nature in another way, the Mangroves Plantation way.   

Mangrove refers to any tropical tree or shrub of the genus Rhizophora, the species which are mostly low trees growing in marshes or tidal shores, noted for their interlacing above-ground roots.   (

Several species of Mangroves can be found at Balaring.  The locals call these species as: Pagatpat, Bungalon, and Bakhaw. 

At Balaring Coastal Eco-Tourism Area, the BAMPA Members monitors the entrance and exit of visitors to ensure that they conform with the rules of protecting and conserving the environment, specifically the Mangrove area here in Balaring. 

There are cottages and picnic areas for excursionists.  An Overlook or a Tower gives the visitors a panoramic view of the project area as well as of the Guimaras Strait.

I read some information about Balaring and going there had been in my mind. So, one morning I took an effort to visit Balaring and discovered for myself this Mangrove Area . 

What I found is not what I expected to see if I had to compare it with a few other Mangrove areas that I visited in the past such as: the Mangrove areas at Guiwanon Siquijor Island and the Mangrove area at Suyac Island at Sagay, Negros Occidental.

There is much to do to improve the place.  For example, more mangrove trees should be planted in areas where the need for replacement of seedlings is needed. Tourist facilities is another. For example, a shower room so that guests can take a bath after swimming on the beach.  Perhaps, another addition to native designed cottages or shed houses would be a welcome development. This would allow tourists to enjoy their stay without fear of getting wet when it rains.  

Without these additional facilities, however, I still find my two-hour visit at Balaring a rewarding experience, so to speak.  As people come to the area, passing by the bamboo bridges to reach the beachfront, I sensed that this hidden mangrove park is getting popular day by day.  

How to get there?

Just go to the Public Market of Silay City and look for the Tricycle Terminal for Barangay Balaring.  Tell the Tricycle driver to take you to the entrance to Balaring Mangrove Area.  Fare is P10.00 per person.

If you want to stay longer, be sure you bring your own food and water.  Entrance fees to the Mangrove area is P20.00 per person.  You need to register at the entrance. 

Things to do there?

1.  Learn about Mangroves by asking a local community member to explain it to you.
2.  Meditate on a spot of your choice. Be sure there is someone checking on you. 
3.  Enjoy your meal and family bonding on a cottage near the sea.
4.  Climb the Tower to have a panoramic view of Guimaras Strait.
5.  Swim in designated area.
6.  Spend an hour or two in one of the spots in Balaring and eat your packed food. Just bring water or drinks of your choice.  

Before you climb the Tower, please ask the person at the Entrance if it is safe to go there. 

I intend to go as far as the beachfront and of course, climb the tower.  But, when my resolve was high, the rain suddenly fell.  Realizing that I did not bring extra clothes or even a towel, I had to run to the nearest shed house and that was the Entrance.  So, what do you expect me to do next?  Leave the place and just think of going back next time.  

Since there is no Lifeguard on duty, please take the responsibility of watching your little ones and other members of your family or guests who would like to swim in designated area or on the beach.

Finally, enjoy the peace and quiet of Balaring. 


All photos by Henry C. Libo-on of Touristang Pobre.

Reviewed on July 22, 2020.


BALARING MANGROVE ECO-TOURISM PARK Reviewed by Touristang Pobre on 2:14:00 PM Rating: 5

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