backpacking your way to candaba swamp
No aircon tour buses. No 4X4s. Just your sandals and your backpack.
I've been trying to find out how to go to Candaba swamp using public transportation. I read blogs about Candaba swamp but I was not able to get sufficient information. Even the "definitive guide to backpacking ..." blogs don't contain much information. So I decided to just go there together with willing friends (lagalog and flickristasindios) and find out for ourselves.
We explored two routes, one via Baliuag, Bulacan and another via Candaba town proper.
Getting to Candaba swamp from Manila (via Baliuag)
1. Ride a bus to Baliuag (Baliwag Transit is in Cubao). First trip is at 5AM (more or less). Fare is 62 pesos, non aircon bus.
2. From Baliuag town proper, hire a tricycle (Php 200.00). Make sure you mention you are going to the swamp, and not to Candaba town proper. Ask the driver if he knows Brgy Bahay Pare. There is a rough road from that barangay to the swamp. Some drivers will say they know the way, but what they actually know is the way to Candaba town proper, and not to the swamp. Bahay Pare is midway between Baliuag and Candaba.
This is the rough road from Baliuag to Candaba town proper (see photo below). There is also a small dirt road to your right if you are heading towards Mt. Arayat (background) that leads to the swamp if you don't wan't to go via Bahay Pare. Locals know this dirt road (sorry none of us brought a GPS, so I can't give the exact coordinates) so be sure to ask around. Its about 1 - 1.5k walk.
Going home (via Candaba)
We waited for the sunset in the swamp so it was already dark (6:30 PM) when we reached the Baliuag-Candaba road.
Tricycles don't normally ply this route so we walked the 4-5km to Candaba town proper. From Candaba, you can:
1. Hire tricyle to town of Sta. Ana (Php 70.00)
2. From Sta. Ana there are buses to Manila if you are there before 7:30PM. If not then you have to ride a jeepney to San Fernando (Php 18.00)
3. From San Fernando there are buses to Manila 24 hours a day (Php 90.00).
I got more photos here