Located in Baranggay Matictic in the municipality of Norzagaray, Bakas river is one among Bulacan’s underrated tourist attraction. Bakas is a Filipino word which literally means a trace or a mark.
Brief history of Bakas river: According to locals, the story behind Bakas river is that the legendary Bernardio Carpio set foot in Matictic leaving a huge foot print/trace on one of the limestone rock formation. The other footprint is said to be in Biak na Bato in San Miguel, Bulacan.
Bakas river has giant limestone rock formations with 3 huge statues of Jesus Christ and a statue of Holy Trinity-Virgin Mary. This makes Bakas river a unique and perfect getaway for travelers, adventurers and religious pilgrims.
Spotted several kids rock jumping in the clear and fast flowing waters of Bakas. Apart from these kids, also spotted are the vandals in the rocks. I hope visitors and locals alike should stop scribbling on these naturally beautiful rocks.
When I visited Bakas river, I noticed the strong current of water nearby the rock formations. Alternatively, on the other side of the river, water is more calm and is safe for swimming. For visitors’ safety, warning signs can been in the area about the unpredictability of the river’s current and water levels.
I was really fascinated by the clean waters of the river. And not to mention the fresh air and its lush green scenery.
Since the place is not developed for tourism, there is no entrance fee to get in the riverside. However, cottages can be rented for only 200 Php a day. I learned from a local that these cottages don’t usually last for a year. Every time a strong typhoon hits Bulacan, these cottages are destroyed and washed along by the river.
There are only a few sari-sari stores in Bakas and these are all located on the farther area of the riverside. I would highly suggest to bring your own food as stores only have limited items for sale.
Related Blog Post: Enchanted River in Surigao del Sur
When to Visit Bakas River
According to locals, the best time to visit the river is during summer. Just avoid visiting the place during the Lenten season. Besides the fact that there is a huge number of visitors during holy week, there are also stories about the river being too dangerous during the season. It is also not advisable to visit Bakas river during bad weather as water in the river easily rises.
How to Get to Bakas River
From EDSA northbound, take a Del Carmen bus bound to Garden. From there, take a jeepney to Garay and tell the driver to drop you off at St.Andrew church. Hail a tricycle and tell that you are going to Bakas river. Tricycle fare is 300 pesos for a two-way ride.