PulangBato Falls-Valencia,Negros Oriental

Another fun way to get out of the city is to drive your way to Malabo in the town of Valencia Negros Oriental where Red Rock twin falls (PulangBato Falls) can be found. The name itself tells the unique grace of this waterscape,Pula is the native word for red while Bato for rock.In addition to the famous Casaroro Falls in Valencia,this attraction is also a must-visit spot en route Oriental Negros and Valencia. I’ve been in that area four times already and I always had a good time,the environment is quite and relaxing while immersing and bathe in cool water forgetting the busy workaday at the city.

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Valencia is less than an hour drive from Dumaguete City downtown area.If your travelling in a group,try to find a van rental or ask on your hotel if they arrange tours including Pulangbato waterfalls, for solo bacpackers, habal-habal or motorbike for rents are available in town.It is best to hire an experienced guide once you get to Valencia.Habal-habal drivers normally deal  clients at P150.00/head.Travel time is around 20 minutes. Solo backpacking today with my motorbike heading Brgy.Malabo was an impromptu plan of revisiting that site after some typhoon resulting to continues rainfall and flooding in the area.

From Dumaguete,I drove my way to Dumaguete-Palinpinon Road passing through Brgy.Batinguel and Candau-ay as the city boundary west of Dumaguete and continued my way straight passing Tiera Alta-a mountain resort.

The climate in the municipality is relatively cool and  mountainous.The ride going there is very scenic with green  surroundings with abundant trees covering hill tops.

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Along the way, a portion of the road where you can see sulfuric smoke being emitted beneath the ground of the mountain.One can even cook an egg in the boiling water on the ground.:D

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Moving forward I reach an intersection where a sign indicates the way to the waterfalls.The other road will lead to Brgy.Caidiocan passing a hot spring resort – http://ocean24resort.com/. Before reaching PulangBato another Hot Spring area you might try for side trip.

I continued driving up and in less than five minutes until I reached the Red Rock waterfall.P 20.00 is pegged at entrance for every visitor.

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Accessible parking space for four wheeled vehicles and motorbikes are available once you get inside.From the parking space,at a distance, the first level waterfall can be seen.The water pours down into a basin with reflecting reddish rocks and boulders surrounding the basin.

On the right side are series of mini waterfalls. Last time I went here was a man made swimming area was developed in the base and huts for rent are installed but due to flooding,boulders destroyed the developments and some cottages.

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Most of the visitors here only got to see the first level waterfalls but a larger waterfall is situated on top of this area.The second level really requires a  trek.I suggest a certified guide or a local who knows the way well.Mountain climbing skills is definitely needed.Nothing to grab but grass and roots,I was very careful with my steps,some parts are slippery and wet, there are other ways that lead to nowhere so I just followed the way I remembered last time I went here.

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Reaching the topmost waterfall is not easy,I would suggest to bring with you insect repellent or lotion to get rid of Insects,mosquito and bugs. In a distance from above,I could hear the water flowing down.

Such a sight on top viewing this unique reddish rocks.Going down is very difficult,rocks are wet and slippery,there’s nothing to hold but grass and leaves.As I went down, I need to cross to the other side and climb on rocks to reach the other falls.

From there,I already had a sight of the larger falls,there were no people in the area except myself.Quite awkward when you see yourself alone and you feels like someones watching over you on top.

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Cottages are only available on the first level.Visitors may rent those native huts at 200 pesos.Outdoor grills are also available.For group gatherings you may also take a dip on man-made pools below.

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Casaroro Falls-Valencia,Negros Oriental

dscf0785Tagged as the most photographed falls in the province,Casaroro Falls should be included in your bucket list if you happen to visit and travel Negros Oriental.The single veil of the water drops at around 100 meters in height,plunges into a deep cold basin.The fascinating grace of this attraction lies in the steep and rugged ridge in the town of Valencia en route to secluded Sitio in Brgy.Apolong.

How to get there:

From any point of Dumaguete city, ride your way west with less than an hour travel.Public jeeps(can accommodate at least 28 passengers) are a common transportation among commuters heading to Valencia town (P12.00/person).

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Passengers will be dropped around Valencia Town Plaza.I took some photos and a short leisure walk throughout, since it was Sunday, the public place was lively, with farmers market and church goers gather in the area.

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Going there would require trekking so I loaded my stomach a breakfast. I ask the canteen owner on where I could hire a habal-habal(motorbike) and how much should I pay going to the falls. She told me some settles for 150 even 200 but she says it should be 100 pesos one way. She recommended a driver and I settled 200 pesos back and forth.

In less than 30 minutes,we arrived at the entrance, a few part of the road are bumpy and uneven.

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A 10 pesos entrance fee is collected for each visitor.The area is poised with tranquility as we begin counting 335 steps going down. Lush green rain forest surrounded with abundant wild trees and plants providing shades in the area,I hear birds tweet,chirping bush crickets and a current of water in the stream banks flowing.

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Upon reaching at the bottom of the stairs, treking and hiking begins. A hanging bridge with a viewing deck was constructed previous years but was washed out by typhoon Sendong and made even worse by typhoon Pablo.

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From the dismantled viewing deck I could hear the roaring drop of the water as it falls at about 100 meters. Such a sight of this secluded grace in this mighty falls from a distance.

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The climate that day was favorable so I opted to come closer to the falls. The chilly water was enticing but I didn’t go for a swim. This is a worth visit after an uphill and downhill trek,670 steps and a rocky trail.

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Kagusuan Beach-Maria,Siquijor

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This pristine beach was on my itinerary when I visited siquijor last May, but due to a circumstance where our motorbikes tire was deflated by a sharp glass debris, we weren’t able to visit that coastal portion of Maria Bay. Kagusuan Beach is one of the unspoilt beach I visited next to Paliton in San Juan. This little paradise is hidden next to Kagusuan Forest reserve and lies in the shoreline of Maria town en route to Brgy.Minalulan.

From Lazi we rode our way to next town until we reached an intersection of Brgy. Nabutay and Brgy.Liloan. Better to ask the locals on where to go just like we did, people in Siquijor are very kind and helpful. It was past 12 noon already when we reach the junction connecting Nabutay and Liloan.From the junction we rode our way right side heading to Liloan.We arrive another intersection at the end of that road. The other way leads to a school and the other way leads to Kagusuan beach which is about 1 kilometer ahead. We keep asking the people along the way making sure we don’t surpass it.

We followed that paved road up to such time when we arrive at Brgy.Minalulan.A signboard of the Kagusuan Forest and Beach can be seen at the entrance of the forest. We took that way and drove less than 5 minutes to the drop off point where visitors can park their vehicles. There is no entrance fee.

kagusuan 1The beach is at the bottom of the hill and walk down on cemented stairs. From the stairs, the white beach and clear waters is already visible, I stopped to take a picture,and stood enthralled and astounded that forgot I had an empty stomach, that I didn’t take my lunch yet.

kagusuan 4The shoreline is a blend of white sand but a bit coarse due to washed up pieces of broken corals. There are several rock formations along the clear and light blue waters. The area was a perfect spot to disconnect yourself to a busy world, wild beach with no restaurants, no vendors, no resorts, no internet, not crowded. It was very hot but it didn’t stop me to take a dip and swim with the pristine waters, the sand further the shoreline is white and powdery. At the opposite end of the beach I saw some fishermen and a family having a lunch picnic which reminds me again of my empty stomach. 😀

kagusuan 3How I wish I could stay longer, but my stomach is grumbling. I suggest bring your own snacks but let us be responsible of our own garbage.

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Paliton Beach-San Juan,Siquijor

pal 1Circumstances are conditions and events that helps something to happen,or typically causes something undesirable.

For travelers, some circumstances are unavoidable and unexpected which interrupts your travel plans. It could be weather conditions, flight delays or technical problems. Today, I am traveling with a companion from Cebu and two locals from Siquijor.

This trip started with my companion who works in Mactan island, he is set to schedule a trip in Siquijor for two days for a their firms scholarship aid which commits to enroll a college scholar.

On the day he was about to leave Cebu and as he arrives at the ticketing booth, alas!, the only vessel scheduled from Cebu direct to Siquijor is fully booked. Hence, he will be taking the alternative route through a bus via Dumaguete.

So he left the Cebu port disappointed and with no time to waste went to south bus terminal heading to Liloan Santander Port. At 12:30 ETD their bus leaves the terminal, he must reached Liloan port earlier than 5 pm, around 30 mins fastcraft travel to Sibulan port and another 30 mins by a multicab to Dumaguete port. But due another circumstance involving traffic roads,he is able to reach Liloan port at 7pm.Too bad he couldn’t catch the 6:30 pm last scheduled vessel to Siquijor,leaving him to spend a night at Dumaguete.

Early morning the next day, we decided to take the 7am trip to Siquijor island. Two vessels(Montenegro and Jayllan fasctcraft) are scheduled that time,so we opted the faster vessel. Travel time by Jaylan fast craft is more or less 45 minutes on smooth seas, while on the other hand Montenegro vessel could travel at a minimum time of an hour and thirty minutes.

For Dumaguete’s seaport vessel guide please click here.

It was low tide when we docked the Siquijor port, visibly the white sand along coastal part of the port is very inviting for swim. We were accompanied by their company’s scholar at the port and we went to their home for a while to talk on their enrollment requirements.

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They agreed to accompany us to tour around the province together with his cousin; our first destination was Paliton Beach in San Juan.

How to get there:

From circumferential road, the starting landmark should be Paliton’s local chapel. Beside the chapel is a public display sign to Paliton Sanctuary, we followed a paved roadway and took us around 5 minutes to reach Paliton beach.

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The beach area is located behind a three story native house. There were no people in the area except us and there was no one inside the native house. The unspoiled area has a short length of powdery fine and white sand beach, perfect spot to unwind or read a book while watch as the sun sets. Not afar in front of the beach is Paliton’s marine sanctuary.

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my companions

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Siquijor indeed is an example of a beautiful piece of earth, Paliton Beach is another absolute gem piece in San Juan.The solemn environment of this beach offers pristine waters, soft sand, and uninterrupted peace. Appreciate privacy of paliton, since there are no resorts  available here to draw any resemblance of a crowd.

When you’ve seen it all, this is a delightful spot to just float around and take in some Vitamin D.

Mia’s Restobar and KTV

mias ktvPhillip, an English man and a good friend of mine who happened to live here in Dumaguete for about five years now had just recommended me a good place to dine where he and his girlfriend went one sunny afternoon. The place they saw online has a restaurant, with mini pool, a bar and KTV. Mia’s place is situated next town,en route north of Dumaguete. Specifically near the airport area,Brgy. Agan-an Sibulan Negros Oriental.

This is not a new place to hang out since it started to operate last 2007. So we plan an exciting weekend by trying to start an ATV ride at Tejero Highland Resort at 10 am then lunch follows at Mia’s. Unfortunately the ATV guide that time when we arrive was not available. So instead, we went shopping then just to be busy at that hour.

Location:
From Dumaguete, we drove our way north to Agan-an Sibulan. The place is not difficult to find.
Mia’s place is located at around 1.5 kms away from national highway before reaching Agan-an Police station.Passing after Dumaguete airport we turn our way right driving along the wall all the way at the end of the road then turned left,Mia’s building is on the left side with portions of blue paints on it.

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Facilities:
From outside, I could see some foreign people gathered in one of the tables at the garden. As soon as we entered the building, the KTV area welcomes each visitor, at the corner is the bar area and a billiard hall at the end of the room.

A young lady welcomes us and directed us to the garden area, where the mini pool,tables and chairs are stationed. So we settled on one of the tables as the waitress handed us the menu. Their restaurant offers a variety of Western and Filipino dishes.

menua page of their western cuisine to choose

While waiting for the food to be served, a bottle of beer would be a good idea 😀

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Mia’s place also holds celebrations such as birthdays, reunions or weddings. In fact, when we were there, a birthday gathering was set in the area, the children were having a good time at the pool.

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A few more people comes in occupying some vacant tables to dine. I ordered a tenderloin pork with mashed potatoes, special halo-halo and shrimp tacos were presentably wise. All of it on my plate were delicious, the mashed potatoes were fantastic. Definitely I am going back here soon.

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Address: 2518 Agan-an Road, Sibulan, Negros Oriental

Opens Monday to Friday at 1pm – 2 am

Saturday at 1 pm – 4 am

Sunday at 1 pm – 2 am

For more information,inquiries,reservations and catering call 226 3689

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La Castellana Negros Occidental

My initial plan for this trip was to visit Canlaon City but some things happen unexpectedly as I ended up roaming in La Castellana town,a part of Negros Occidental area.In a pursuit of chasing waterfall in Negros I’ve read about a certain blog regarding the attractions in Canlaon City.Because of the mountain ranges that compose the geographical landscape of Canlaon and Mt. Kanlaon, water spilling from the elevations and cascading down to the mountain rivers naturally become its tributaries.This is the last city covered in the northernmost part of Negros Oriental.More or less 4 hrs bus ride from Dumaguete-the capital of the province.

sam_1985The city is surrounded with green atmosphere,of mini rice terraces and of fresh farm products.

Mt. Kanlaon is one of the most active volcanoes in the country and is part of the Negros Volcanic Belt. Also called Cuernos de Negros or Horns of Negros.

I woke up as early as 5 am making sure that I get to visit my itineraries in the city including the waterfalls. About 30-40 minutes I hired a motorbike(habal-habal)to take me to Canlaon’s Millenial Tree. Going there is a little bit of a rough road.

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Since when I arrived I haven’t seen the whole picture of Mt.Kanlaon for the cone was covered with clouds. So I waited few more hours to get a clear sight.

sam_1986 Heading our way back to town we had a quick visit and a sidetrip at Sison Ostrich Farm which is just a walking distance from the millenium tree.

sam_1988It was already 11 am when I get back to the city.After Lunch still no luck of finding a clearer spot of the cone of the volcano and an impossible chance of visiting the famous waterfalls in Canlaon so I decided to contact a relative from La Castella Negros Occidental.

Arnold,a relative said I could get a perfect picture of the volcano somewhere in La Castellana. I told him about my itineraries including the famous waterfalls in Canlaon but failed to do so,to my surprise he said he will accompany me for some sights of interest around the municipality of La Castellana.

From Canlaon Terminal we rode a bus to Bacolod enroute to Brgy.Cabacungan where BAJI-BAJI Waterfall is situated.

I asked Arnold if there are waterfalls in the area and so he bought me to Brgy.Cabacungan were Baji Baji falls can be found adjacent to Baji Baji Spring Resort.We hired a motorbike(habal-habal) to reach the area.More or less ten minutes from highway.The way to the falls is rocky and i see no developments going on in the road for easy access to visitors.Nevertheless, we reached the falls and I was glad I went in there.

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Some Hot Springs and Resort can also be found in this area.We visited a few of them including the Baji Baji Spring Resort.

1.Tuburan Spring Resort

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