I Love BICOL (Part 1): Masacrot Spring

I was born in Bicol region at the far end of the province of Sorsogon. I am a Bicolana and this is how we, the locals, are commonly called. I only transferred in the metro when I attended college at UP Diliman but my love for nature didn’t stop there. I grew up being a nature lover because of this – Bicol offers a very luscious nature with its beautiful and wide biodiversity making it one of the famous places there is here in the Philippines to visit for ecotourism.

You can also find in Bicol the majestic Mt. Mayon volcano which is known for its perfect cone. Though we are located in the ring of fire housing two active volcanoes, they are actually the few things that made our region a tourist spot because of the hot and cold springs which can be found at the foot of the volcanoes.

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Mt. Mayon Volcano

Hot springs are very common but I am not sure if you have heard of cold springs in a tropical country – and I mean, an ice cold spring. 🙂

In this article, I will be featuring one of the famous cold springs in the province of Sorsogon in Bicol which my family visited last May 31, 2015 – the Masacrot Spring.

So why the name? “Masacrot” is a Bicol term which means “astringent.” 

Astringency

Some foods, such as unripe fruits, contain tannins or calcium oxalate that cause an astringent or puckering sensation of the mucous membrane of the mouth. Examples include tea, red wine, rhubarb, and unripe persimmons and bananas.

Less exact terms for the astringent sensation are “dry”, “rough”, “harsh” (especially for wine), “tart” (normally referring to sourness), “rubbery”, “hard” or “styptic”.[73]

When referring to wine, dry is the opposite of sweet, and does not refer to astringency. Wines that contain tannins and so cause an astringent sensation are not necessarily classified as “dry,” and “dry” wines are not necessarily astringent.

In the Indian Ayurvedic tradition, one of the six tastes is astringency (kasaaya).[74]

– WIKIPEDIA

They say that the water in the Masacrot Spring contains one of the best minerals in the world and this is probably why the water is astringent. But nothing to worry because the water at the Masacrot Spring is potable.

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Masacrot Spring

The blue green waters of the pool will captivate you that much it’d make you want to take the plunge right away. I know those who loves to swim will agree with me. The pool was hand-carved and set up in a natural background making you feel more one with nature. This was the second time we visited Masacrot Spring and the first time was when I was just 5 years old. Whew! That was way, way back I could barely remember a thing except that there’s a very cold pool that exists in this world. 😉

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Pristine, crystal blue green waters.

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Hand-carved pool.

Taking a plunge in the cold pool can only be described in one perfect word – invigorating. YES, that is a definite. Chills will run down from your spine to your bones the moment the cold water touches your skin. Though I wouldn’t advise taking a dip in the pool without moving for a long period of time because it is REALLY that freezing cold.

Locals visit the place during the peak of the summer season wherein weather temperature rises to as high as 39 degrees. With this kind of temperature, dipping in a freezing, ice cold water is such a life-saver to combat the extreme heat wave.

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Masacrot Spring pool.

The bottom of the pool is not made of cement or tiles but with the regular clay-ish soil similar to that of the entire resort covered with moss. Nothing to worry because it is not that slippery as you imagine. There are parts in the pool though that go as deep as 6 feet. So if you are not a swimmer, better rent or bring your own floaters for swimming, old and young alike.

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Don’t forget your swimming floaters. 😉

The cold water is free flowing too so the water stays clean even though it is usually flocked by a lot of swimmers and visitors during the peak season. They also have a lot of cottages which you and your family could rent and grill stations for your barbecues and grilled fish. Now, that makes me hungry. 😀

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The perfect summer snack: unripe, pretty sour mangoes with shrimp paste.

Masacrot Spring is located in Bulusan, Sorsogon and if you will be coming from the airport in Legazpi, Albay, it will be a 2-hour drive. There’s no problem commuting except that I suggest you hire a van or a jeepney that will take you there and pick you up for a hassle-free vacay for you and your family or friends. 🙂

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