Bucari, Leon is one of those magickal places in Iloilo. I visited this place 4 years ago during the urge to dip to a falls. I was graduating in college then. With a little budget at hand, Leon which is roughly an hour from Iloilo City was the best and most feasible place to get myself on a backpack trip.
Leon is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Iloilo, Philippines. Located in the west – southwest of Iloilo Province and it is 28km from Iloilo City. For Ilonggos, the municipality is a fresh vegetables producer. It’s below average temperature allows brocoli, cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, sayote, cucumber among others to thrive. Cut flowers such as roses, daisies, mumps also grow in the beautiful pine-rich Leon. It is also worth noting that the road to upland Leon, Iloilo has a great view of wild sunflowers.
Get yourself a public utility van at Jaro Public Market for 30Php. The van will bring you to Leon Town Center in 45mins max. You may ask around for a ride to get you to Bucari jeepney terminal. The fare from the town center to Bucari will cost you 30Php and it will take around an hour. There are enroute rides untill 4PM however there motorcycles that are for hire in the area. It cost around P150.00 one way. If you are a seasoned traveler, you will definitely be able to negotiate for a lower price.
Where to go:
Pineride Bucari Spa and Resort – It is a small developing upland resort. It overlooks to the majestick cloud shaded mountains. It sees vegeatable plantations and rice terraces. Yes! Leon has its own terraces. No need to hike to Benguet in the Northern Province. The icy breeze plus full sunshine will definitely make a happy day.
FYI: You must have a reservation to enjoy the resort or else you will not see anyone on the resort. Entrance is 150Php inclusive of native coffee and dessert. If you want to stay overnight, there are rooms good for 6 pax for 1k per head. Pricey? You can have a cheaper option to stay at the Tabionan Inn for 600Php.
Contact Number – 320-0977 ( I am not sure if this is still functional).
Tabionan Camp Site – The camp site is no longer free. If you have your tent, the space is P100.oo. Tent rental is P300. There are also picnic huts that range P100 – P300. They also have a room accommodation worth P1500 for those who could not take the cold while on tents. Water is potable in the campsite. I think it such a relief. Food stalls are now accessible. There are quite a few right outside the campsite.
Imuy Falls – The falls has been ravished on the onset of Bagyo Frank last 2008. It has never returned to its virginal beauty ever since. However, the water from the falls is still as refreshing. Several local tourist, especially people of Leon, visits Imuy Falls. (Pictures taken last 2008 during my first visit)
Bucari Viewing Deck – Must see in the area. It will give you a good view of all of Leon, Iloilo City and the sea. It’s way is right across Tabionan Campsite. Look for the markers for the way.
The Best of Upland Leon:
Vegetables – If you are a vegan, you will love this place. Imagine small scale farmers who grows vegetables as your neighbors. They sell their produce for a cheap price.
Carrots – P20.00/Kilo
Cucumber – P13.00/Kilo
Papaya – P10.00/Kilo
Weather – There is this place in Leon that they call “Sinco plete pa-langit” (translation: 5 cents fare to heaven). The area is the highest peak in the locality. It touches the clouds and you are almost in heaven. The weather is definitely beyond expectation. During first quarter of the year, the temperature touches 10 degrees celsius.
Flowers – Cut flowers are best in these locale. Tourist may enjoy the beautiful roadsides with wild sunflowers. It will definitely brighten your day. Though cut flower business is not that popular in the area, it will certainly be a good venture. Roses, white Lilies, Million flowers etc. may be seen growing beautifully at then neighborhoods garden.