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Title: Asin Hot Spring
Author: the quest boi
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Nangalisan, Tuba, Benguet June 28, 2009 It’s a long and winding road, small bridges and two man-made dark tunnels, then a pool of...
Nangalisan, Tuba, Benguet
June 28, 2009

It’s a long and winding road, small bridges and two man-made dark tunnels, then a pool of steaming water. How good is that? But, of course I didn’t know that until I saw it myself. And, it was such a wonderful experience, very relaxing and refreshing, indeed.

Since the Philippines is located under The Pacific Ring of Fire (or sometimes just Ring of Fire) where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean then Philippines is home also of scattered hot springs, not to mention the Asin Hot Spring located at Nangalisan, Tuba, Benguet. Very interesting.

I heard Asin Hot Spring being near in the vicinity of Baguio City quite many times already until I decided to go with a group of friends and colleagues. So, with an earpiece plug into my ears playing with the song “Falling Away by Miguel Escueta” and with the steering wheel of the driver we went and hit the road.

Following the road going to Baguio City and made way to the Provincial Capitol of Benguet, took some photos and merienda (snacks) with sites over looking the busiest street of Benguet and the famous Strawberry farms.

Despite of Baguio's cold and sometimes close to freezing climate, Asin in Tuba, Benguet is just about a half-hour drive from the city center - offers an alternative to going all the way down to the beaches of La Union and Pangasinan. Asin Hot Springs is where tropical vegetation meets highland rustic and lavish forest, and sulphuric water gushes endlessly, even during the driest months, from underground vents deep in the mountains and foothills of the southern Cordillera.

Asin is a sitio in the barrio of Nangalisan, in the town of Tuba, Benguet, which lies just outside Baguio's city limits. In fact it is just 16 kilometers or 2 miles away from Kayang Street, near the Coyeesan Mall, where tourists and vacationists can board Asin-bound jeepneys charging about Php 20.oo for the journey or even to your private car which works even great.

The Asin Hot Springs, whose development began in the 1930s, are actually a complex of several old and new resorts, the newest being the well-appointed, reasonably priced Palm Grove Hot Springs & Mountain Resort managed by Ibaloi entrepreneur Greg Loy. The resort's main attractions are its series of swimming pools which caters to both kids and adult with different forms and styles of pools, various fruit trees and uniquely designed gardens, and such facilities as a traditional bathhouse spa, outdoor Jacuzzi, family cottages, recreation center, function hall, restaurant, coffee shops and even a souvenir shop. There’s also a panoramic view of surrounding mountains, foothills so with the flowing river.

The resorts in Asin also cater to seminars and conferences. Seminar halls can accommodate at least 100 persons. Room rates depend on the space and capacity. Rooms have either an air conditioner or an electric fan, depending on the rate. Resort restaurants are usually open until 10:00 in the evening.

“Bathing in hot springs and mineral waters,” the resort’s brochure claims, “have, since the 19th century, been known to do wonders for the mind, body and soul.” Indeed, the spa tradition in the Philippines probably even goes further back in our colonial era, with places like Makiling Hot Spring in Laguna attracting our forebears who needed not only relaxation but the healing of assorted physical illnesses. As the brochure tells it, “hot springs and natural minerals like sulfates, calcium and chloride serve therapeutic and regenerative purposes (and) have been proven to improve blood circulation, cleanse skin pores and provide relief from exhaustion, arthritis, rheumatism, neuralgia and rashes.”

That should convince legions of senior citizens to hie off to Asin Hot Springs any time of the year although the peak season begins in November right up to April and May.

Clustered near this resort are the much older and more traditional hot springs facilities, among them the original Sulphuric Swimming Pools right across the road and another well-developed resort called the Riverview Waterpark at Km. 15 on Asin Road. Thus, the complex of Asin Hot Springs caters to all sorts of expectations and budgets, and should be able to handle the growing number of visitors to the site.

But that’s not all. The sights along the gently winding road going down to Asin are already worth the fare. At the city limits are the houses of woodcarvers with their traditional representations of Cordillera hunters and warriors, and the stylized hardwood and driftwood furniture of more recent vintage. Further down the road are densely forested mountains, where cascades gurgle down between massive rocks and spill headlong into the river below that wends its way to the China Sea.

Stretches of Asin Road have been cemented, and a steel bridge built in place for easy accessibility to the place. The main attraction on this road are the two man-made tunnels-about a hundred meters and 200 meters in length respectively—which were dug into the mountainside in the 1850s, with the labor of the colonial government’s prisoners. There are no supporting beams or girders, and the road inside is permanently wet because of water dripping from the tunnels’ ceiling, adding to its dramatic atmosphere. A close study made right after the Baguio earthquake of 1990 showed that the tunnels did not suffer any crack at all, attesting to their worthiness.

We stopped at one end of the tunnels to better appreciate these man-made wonders. There was some comfort at the thought that the light at the other end was so visible and bright. I really wonder what I’ve been doing that times that they were saying about the Asin Hot Spring not until now.

The mystical beauty and wonderful paradise of Tuba doesn't end on the hot springs only, there are many things that the town can offer such as caves, falls cascading into hidden mountain trails and among others that are waiting to be discovered by the public of both tourists and locals. The maintenance of these places are done by the local communities' who truly have the sense of natural resource conservation, preservation and protection. I am so proud of them. Kudos!

Resorts’ Rates

· Cottage Fee is free

· Entrance Fee in the resort is considered cheap at Php 80.00-100.00 ($1.65 - $2.07 at an exchange rate of $1=P48.255) per person but children are charged lower Php 50.00 ($1.036).

· Conference/Seminar halls are subject for negotiation.

Things to do

· Swimming to the pool of steaming water complemented by the hot spring

· Discover some of the hanging bridges scattered in the area

· Feel free to take some photos of the natural two man-made tunnels

· Take stunning photos of the rock formations, small cascading waterfalls and lavish forest along the way.

· Sight of the wood crafts being handmade along the road.

· Buy some souvenirs.


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Anonymous said... September 29, 2009 at 7:11 AM

that is so cool...

Anonymous said... December 12, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Looks all so beautiful

Kathleen said... July 10, 2011 at 2:05 PM

ganda.. ilagay ko to sa itinerary for my Baguio trip.. do you know how far it is to the Bolatoc mine?

 
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