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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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June 9, 2008

backpacking your way to candaba swamp

Indios in Candaba 2
Baliuag - Candaba road

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.

Candaba swamp afterglow

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
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lagal[og] said...

bai, nice afterglow there :-)
hahaha, at may pasaring pa sa definitive backpacking, hahaha, ikaw talaga. but it was an enjoyable daytrip with a nighttrek thrown in :-D

Lantaw said...

hahaha. thanks bai! I enjoyed na night trek also kahit na may blister paa ko hehe

escape said...

hirap din pala bumyahe dyan. looking at the rugh road buti na lang at hindi maulan.

nice shots allan. parang nagkakasama na ngayon ang mga magagaling. lalo na tuloy gumagaling.

Lantaw said...

@dong - mahirap bro pero kinaya naman. kung tag ulan nawawala yung road. thanks for the visit bro!

Anonymous said...

ganda ng mga photos pre. so kayo pala yung magkasabay nina oggie sa trip na ito. I haven't been to the swamps yet. hanggang simbahan lang kasi ako.

Lantaw said...

@estan - thanks bro! kasama ko si oggie plus a couple of friends from the flickristasindios group. pag hinde maulan kaya ng tricycle papunta sa swamp from Candaba town proper. I think the other route via Bahay Pare (Baliuag) is more accessible during rainy season.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing the information sir, and as usual awe-inspiring images. Basi may utod pa guid kamo na naga photography na may blog man, grabe abilidad nyo sir, believe ako.

Lantaw said...

@ceslou - thanks din bro! Its a pleasure to share details like these to fellow travelers.

Duwa lang kami si Ian mag-utod and he is a much better writer than I am. I hope someday that he starts writing his own blog.

Yam Manuel said...


Thanks for featuring Candaba in your blog. I'm a Capampangan myself and it makes me prouder.



Lantaw said...

@yam - Its my pleasure to write about Candaba. Pampanga is a very beautiful province. Thanks for the visit.

Anonymous said...

Greetings! I'm interested in going to the Candaba swamps. I heard that it's one of the Important Birding Areas in the Philippines where many endemic birds can be seen. Are there local birders who live nearby? I would like to get information on the local birds. I'm with the Audubon Society and would like to do a presentation of Philippine birds to our chapter. I can be reached at moses_inc@comcast.net and I appreciate receiving excellent data.

alvin ong said...

Greetings!!! I'm interested in going to candaba... What's the best way if we have our own transportation? do we need 4x4's? and what's the best time for avian photography for shooting birds... tnx

Lantaw said...

@anonymous, best way is to go via Baliuag. No need for 4x4s. Best time to shoot is early morning and late in the afternoon just before sunset

Anonymous said...

hi! malayo po ba yan sa san fernando, pampanga?

Lantaw said...

@anonymous, its a bit far from san fernando. Its better if you go via Baliuag

D'QXTC said...

hello there, this is very informative. I included this page sa blog ko for my quick reference. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

mura lng po pamasahe papunta d2 galing baliuag-bahay pare, hndi aabot ng P150...

Anonymous said...

i want to visit the place too. thanks for all the information

Anonymous said...

Hi, arriving at Baliwag, where is the tricycle located? Do you remember the TODA?

The P200, is it each person? So, it I will only be the one to ride the tricycle, I will pay P600?

Filipina Explorer said...

Allan, I was re-reading this post of yours when I came across this site that copied exactly this blog post, including your photos of the swamp. http://benise-melaistravelexplore.blogspot.com/2011/05/candaba-unspoil-town-hidden-wonders-of.html

I was looking for an attribution to your blog but there was none. I don't know about you, but as a fellow blogger/ writer, I was appalled and it's not even my blog! Just thought you should know. I hope am incorrect and she did ask for your permission to post.

Lantaw said...

Thanks for pointing this out! No that blog did not ask permission to repost my article.

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