Lubao and Sasmuan are one of the places in the province of Pampanga where migratory birds are frequently seen. And this is one of their prized possession. Tourists, especially bird watchers, flock to a place where these birds, the new ones, are being observed.
There are many factors why these birds are migrating, one including the change in climate. Winter may have set onto the place they were so they have to look for a new one with enough food.
Bangkong Malapad (also known as Pulong Malapad) is one of the few areas where these migratory birds can be found. Our group went to the area as early as 6 am to reach the Lubao Bamboo Hub and Eco Park. To get to Bangkong Malapad from the Bamboo Hub, a 20-30 mins boat ride is required to reach the island.
During the boat ride, you can even see hundreds of birds flying in mid-air and some hunting for food. However, we weren’t really able to get a good shot at even one as they are quite far from where we are.
You know you reached Bangkong Malapad Island when you are in a land full of mangroves with a long narrow bridge heading to the part where birds are frequent. At the end is a hut used to be a resting and viewing area.
The viewing field is clearly seen on low tide. During the previous years, those mangroves are nowhere to be seen. The island used to be huge sandbar alone. Thru the effort of the government and townspeople, they have planted mangroves to which are seen today that has a great impact on the environment and ecosystem.
We personally haven’t seen a lot of birds, especially those flying before us but watching an entire morning with some was already a great experience. We arrived a little late so we figured that the birds have already flown just before we arrived. We just took photos of the whole area instead.
On our way back to the Bamboo Hut and Eco Park, birds were also seen nearby but flew everytime our boat runs toward them.
How to get to Bangkong Malapad
1. From Sasmuan: Sasmuan is a few kilometers south of the San Fernando-Olongapo highway between Guagua and Lubao. Once in Sasmuan, drive to the town’s pier area. Best is to ask people once you reach Sasmuan. The pier is behind the mayor’s house, which is hidden behind other houses, after the Municipal Hall. Hire a big boat that will take only 20 minutes to get to the island.
2. From Lubao, go to Lubao Bamboo Hut and Eco Park and hire a boat that will take you to the island around for about 20-30 mins.