Monday, January 24, 2011

BUCARI: The Freshness and Vastness of Leon

photo by Ramon Ramirez

Most people have different judgments about the ideal vacation destination because everyone has other yearnings for an agreeable retreat. Even the same person has different fascinations and does not want always the same destination or even similar kind of holiday.

In Iloilo, the popular choice for a vacation destination is in areas with beaches, right? A cool vacation destination has a lot to offer too. After all, if you live in the city year round with a sunny climate, you might be hankering after a cool and relaxed vacation destination yet, are not usually overrun by tourists.

Many travelers love a vacation in the mountains and in Iloilo, the town of Leon is a popular destination for such kind of vacation. The mountains offer fresh and healthy air. It is just if you have extra energy when you breathe and your mind feel relaxed and you get rid of all the stress in your body.

photo by Ramon Ramirez

A 48-minute hop by jeepney from Jaro market terminal is all it takes to get to Leon. The town is 28.2 kilometers southwest of Iloilo City. Comprised of 85 barangays, Leon has a land area of 14,013 hectares and offers some of the best, and often the most extreme, trekking in Iloilo and offers plenty of opportunities to explore pristine wilderness areas.

photo by Ramon Ramirez
And there is no denying the otherworldly beauty of the pine and mist-covered mountains of Bucari, a barangay known to be the most popular area and the highest portion of the town is on a 1,200-metre-above sea level location surrounded with evergreens. The area features a subtropical highland climate. It is because of this that Bucari is nicknamed the "Little Baguio of Iloilo" owing to its high elevation. From the zigzag road, to the pine trees, and not to mention the cool climate, it really resembles Baguio.

Some tourists take up the challenge of going to Bucari with no particular accommodation in mind to go to. Once in there, they roam around and hike to scout for a place to stay. It is a fun place to visit when in Leon. It boasts of other attractions but nature is stunning. It has cool climate---on some days it even gets foggy---the area around is a popular summer retreat from the heat of the nearby city.

From the town’s terminal fronting its market, one can take an hour and a half ride to the pines---the most common and important of tree specie found in Bucari. With its temperate areas, they are the fast-growing softwoods that grow in its relatively dense stands. Pines in the area have long-lived, typically reaching ages of more than a hundred years, some even more. Declared as an Eco-tourist zone, this 10,432.875-hectare land is more eco-friendly than its Banaue counterpart because of the agro-forest character of the farms diversified by fruit trees in between the terraces.

photo by Ramon Ramirez

And because of the area’s mountainous landscape, farmers grow their crops at the hills and mountainside in terraces. Its cool climate is fitting for growing rice and other high-value produce such as fruits and vegetables. Many of which are sold in the city markets such as carrots, cabbage, Baguio beans, chilies, eggplant and chayote or vegetable pear locally known as sayote.

The town’s market day at Fridays are filled with rambunctious group of merchants and middlemen flogging chickens in exchange for clothes or shoes, fresh vegetables by the baskets and the sweetest mangoes in the province.

Who can resist the brilliant culture and attractions of Leon. Visit the area and you will experience some cold temps. It is wonderful experience to discover new cultures or to make a tour in your own area. You can visit the highlights of one destination with a mix of different activities. The freshness and vastness of Leon is certainly alluring, and it is not that far away for most Ilonggos.

For more information, please contact the Office of the Municipal Mayor at (033) 3310033 or the Office of Culture, arts, History and Tourism, Province of Iloilo at (033) 3384910.


  1. Thank you for your blog. I enjoy it very much. I live in California, USA and was just in IloIlo and Leon last month on a mission trip. It is beautiful there.
    :) Linda

  2. omg, i didn't expect this. THANK YOU Ma'am Linda, i am elated! hope you can visit us again here and meet you in person. again, my sincerest gratitude. keep safe always and God bless you!

  3. I come from Taiwan and will visit Iloilo in September. When I read your site, the terrace in Leon attracts me so much! I have a few questions to ask, hope you can help me, thanks!
    (1) I live next to Robinson’s Mall, is there a jeepney going to Jaro market, so that I can take a jeepney to Leon?
    (2) Is there a direct jeepney from Iloilo city to Leon directly?
    (3) I know there is jeepney in Leon going uphill to Bucari, ***my biggest question here*** If I take this uphill jeepney to Bucari, will I see the rice terraces on my way? or I have to leave the jeepney and walk for 1-2 hours? (P.S. I am not interested in the waterfall)
    (4) If I can see the rice terrraces during the journey, can I take the jeepney from Leon to the end point, and sit back the same jeepney returning Leon, so that I do not have to wait and guess the coming time of next jeepney?

    Thanks so much for your help and I hope you can understand my English.

  4. hi Steven, sorry for the late reply, it has been a very busy 1st and 2nd quarter for the office. but i am happy to know you took time to read my bog. when you are here in Iloilo, we will facilitate your trip to these amazing rice terraces,. I can be reached through my mobile phone number at 0920503018 or office number at (033) 3384910.

  5. I'm Bing, from Pototan, Iloilo. I want to buy pieces of land in Bucari - one near the municipality and one on top of a mountain,
    How much is per square meter of a land in Bucari, Leon?


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