Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Beat the Heat: Malumpati Cold Spring

I'm used to traveling like a tourist. I would always find myself visiting tourist destinations (and traps) that I'd miss several hidden gems only locals know. But exploring the country with R gives me a refreshing view of the Philippines. He'd always bring me to places I hardly know or even consider to spend a day or two. And more often than not, I would have a blast! True enough, my trip to Malumpati Cold Spring was memorable!

Hello, Malumpati Cold Spring!
I've never heard of Malumpati Cold Spring till a friend recommended this place when she found out that we were visiting Antique for a few days (a day and a half to be exact). In fact, I wasn't even familiar with cold springs. I know that there are several hot springs in the country and I've even visited the one in Coron, Palawan. Needless to say, I got excited, especially since it was scorching hot when we were there. 

We were told that it's best to visit the place early morning to avoid the crowd and the unforgiving rays of the sun. But a rodent scare at 3am kept us on our toes till wee hours that made us start the day late. 
We got to the place around 10 a.m. and the place was rather packed with locals and tourists alike. We had to pay an entrance fee of PHP40 per person (locals get to pay PHP20 while kids are charged PHP10 per head). For a more comfortable stay, you can opt to rent a cottage which ranges from PHP200-500 depending on the size. You can save yourself from paying such by dining at a nearby restaurant.
We were surprised that there are several activities to do aside from swimming or splashing around. There's zipline (PHP200), trekking (PHP150 with guide/5 pax), rappelling (PHP50), wall climbing (PHP50) and water tubing (PHP200/pax with guide).
Since it was too hot for physical activities, we went with water tubing, something I've never done before. 
One of the guides approached us and led us to the changing area where we each get life jacket and helmet. They also provide waterproof phone cases for those who cannot be separated from their gadgets. The guides took charge in carrying our tubes. 
The trek to the top of the spring was about 10 minutes but it took us a bit longer as we wanted to try drinking water straight from what is hailed as the "cleanest inland body of water" in the Philippines. 
I have to admit, I was scared to take a sip. As a person prone to gastroenteritis and all sorts of tummy problems, I was hesitant. But after R flashed a thumbs up, I gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised with how clean the water tasted. (I felt really cool doing it.)
We were briefed by our guides on how to properly position ourselves on the tubes and some other reminders before the actual activity making me feel very safe. 
I wouldn't describe the experience in detail anymore but if I were to summarize it in one word, it would be FUN. It was one of the highlights of my trip circling Visayas and I wouldn't mind doing it again. 
The guides were very friendly and were knowledgeable of the area which made us appreciate the spring and experience even more. 
We came from Bugang Riverside Inn when we visited Malumpati Cold Spring and we used a car to go there. But if you are coming from Iloilo, Caticlan or San Jose, do check this informative DIY guide by WEDUit here.

Note: The spring has some deep areas so make sure to wear a life vest or use a tube if you do not know how to swim. And you have to try the diving board! 

Malumpati Cold Spring is located at Pandan, Antique.

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