March 14, 2016

Hacienda Maria, Buruanga

Ever since the kawa hot bath became an it thing in Antique, I’ve always wanted to try it. So imagine my surprise and excitement when I found out that these kawa has finally reached my home province, Aklan. Kawa has been associated with witchcraft and black magic, which has been notorious in all the provinces of Panay once upon a time. Well, according to folklore and urban legend.

Anyway, I should thank the lady I met in Tuburan Baybay who recommended to me that I should visit Hacienda Maria, a 14-hectare eco-tourist spot hiding in between mountains in Tigum, Buruanga. Though she hasn’t personally been to the place yet, she said that the photos she had seen from her Facebook feed look enticing. I trusted her.

An hour later, after taking a 30-minute habal-habal ride from the town proper of Buruanga, passing by portions of very rough unpaved road, I arrived in one piece at Hacienda Maria.

Since I was already hungry, I decided to have lunch first. Set lunch costs only P100, but the caretakers upon seeing how famished I am served me with large serving of chicken adobo, pork sinigang, inihaw na maya-maya, and fresh coconut juice. They were such kind angels.

The hacienda offers fun physical and leisurely activities for quite the adventurous – spelunking, falls trekking, and kawa hot bath. After my power lunch, I was assigned a local tour guide, Tatay Juning, to accompany me explore the spots within the hacienda.

Given that there are too many coconut trees in the hacienda, lambanog demo production, as well as free taste of the coco spirit, has become one of its attractions. Lambanog is a native Philippine wine made from coconut sap.

I got to interact with some of the tamed animals. I find it astonishing to see a family of goat, all three of them with different colors.

I enjoyed swimming in the two-basin falls, which has clear blue-green waters. The falls is a 15-minute trek from the base camp. 

I was amazed by the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites formation in their caves. There are also bats and balinsasayaws inhabiting the caves. 

And lastly, I had a relaxing spa-like experience by soaking in their kawa hot pot Jacuzzi, filled with aromatic leaves and herbs. It was soothing to my very tired body. And whenever I feel too much heat from the pot, they would immediately put out the fire. They would light it from time to time, especially for photo-op.

The owner of the hacienda is actually the one who pioneered the kawa hot bath in Antique. And I’m glad he was able to finally bring the same concept in Aklan. Originally, I only intend to avail the kawa hot pot package but upon seeing myself enjoying the experience, I decided to try them all. And I truly enjoyed each and every one of them.

Happiness may be the hardest thing to find. But quite honestly, it is only hiding in a place between having too much and possessing too little. All we need to do to find it is soak in simple pleasures in life.

Hacienda Maria
Sitio Sapsapon, Tigum
Buruanga, Aklan
Tel. No.: (036) 288-1669, 0920-9692788
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