Located in the city of Silay, Balaring Mangrove Park is a coastal reforestation program of the city government of Silay in cooperation with the Japanese group called “Ikaw-Ako Japan – Negros Partnership for Environment Protection”.
The partnership was made possible through Professor Yorihisa Goto of Nihon Fukushi University and Lieutenant Yunichuro Doi an officer of the Japanese Imperial Army during the second world war. Doi escaped to Patag at the height of the American campaign to free Negros from the Japanese forces.
This mangrove forest park is managed by the local residents of Balaring specifically the Mangrove Planters Association who also worked closely with the city government of Silay. The members oversee the planting, protection and maintenance of the mangrove forest park.
If you tour the place, you will be able to see those mangrove trees growing abundantly from the entrance of the mangrove park up to the coastal area of Balaring facing the Strait of Guimaras. Species of mangroves like Bakhaw, Pagatpat, and Bungalon are abundant in the park.
The bamboo bridge that starts at the entrance of the mangrove forest park, extends up to the coast. The bridge gives the visitors an opportunity to appreciate the mangroves when they begin navigating the whole area using the bamboo bridge.
Along the way, there are rest houses that visitors can use to relax. A restroom is also available in the area. A lookout or a tower made of bamboo and lumber had been constructed to enable the visitors to see the expanse of the whole mangrove forest park as well as appreciate the view of the Strait of Guimaras. An entrance fee is collected by the management of the park.
For those who are planning to visit the area, please be advised to bring a black plastic bag for your rubbish. Let us keep the mangrove forest park free of garbage.
On my first visit, I had to rush to reach the coastal area but the rain stopped me when I reached the curve portion of the bridge. I decided to return to the entrance where there are houses so I can stay out of the rain.
My visit to Balaring Mangrove Forest Park was brief, very brief, but it gave me an idea that when the community and local leaders unite to protect the coastal areas as well as provide shelter and spawning area for all aquatic life and even provide sanctuary for the birds, then the whole project can succeed.
Balaring Mangrove Park is located at Barangay Balaring, Silay City, in the province of Negros Occidental.