Balanan Lake, Siaton Negros Oriental

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The IWRMC (Integrated Watershed Resource Management Council) recognizes the province of Negros Oriental as the center of water excellence Philippines and water sustainability capital of the country maintaining again its position to be on top of the list.  (http://waterexcellenceph.org/uncategorized/discovering-negros-oriental-a-green-kind-of-fun/)

The organization continues the advocacy and aim the key role of water sustainability primarily on lakes, rivers, bays,waterfalls and other watershed areas in multi-sectoral development. It continues to support programs and projects in coordiantion with individuals and organization in different business sectors, Department of Tourism, Agriculture and public safety.

In line with this, I am all set this week for a visit in another protected watershed in the province en route  to sitio Sandulot in the town of Siaton, Negros Oriental. The still waters of Balanan lodged in mountain ranges primarily fed by three tributaries; the Lamarao creek, Balanan creek at the middle and Nasig-id creek, then eventually flows to Sampong lagoon and Balanan river. The lake covers a total surface area of 24 hectares.

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History

Way back on May 5, 1925, Siaton was hit by an earthquake registering a 6.8 magnitude on the Richter scale, thus triggered a massive landslide of rocks and soil in the mountain slopes that flowed to Balanan river, as a result, the water rose up and created a natural dam resembling to a figure of number (8).

Mountain Resort and Amenities

Managed by the local government thru Balanan Lake Development Authority since 2007, the attraction was developed into a mountain resort. Amenities and activities include a swimming pool. day use cottages, restaurant,zipline,boating, kayaking,3 camping grounds and room for overnight accommodation.

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Entrance fee:

  • Adult-P50.00
  • children(12 years and under)-P25.00
  • Entrance is free every Tuesday
  1. Zipline-P 150.00/ head, P200/head(superman position)
  2. Picnic Table-P 50.00 whole day
  3. Restaurat Table-P 75.00 whole day
  4. Conference Hall-P 1,000 (Day use), P 2,000 (Overnight)
  5. Staff House-P 2,000/night(maximum of 10 people), P200/additonal person

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  • Boat-P 200.00/hour (good for 8 persons)
  • Kayak-P 150.00/hour(good for 2 persons)
  • Triyak-P 200/hour(good for 3 persons)
  • Pedal Boat-P 100.00/hour(good for 2-3 persons)
  • Floating (Big)- P 150.00/hour(goof for 10-15 persons)
  • Floating(small)- P 100.00/hour(good for 8-10 persons)
  • Camping fee- P 150.00/person

ROOM RATES

  • Big Rooms- P 2,000.00/night(good for 4 persons)-maximum additional 3 pax- P200/pax
  • Small Rooms- P 1,500.00/night(good for 3 persons)-P 200/pax maximum additional 2 pax

How to get there:

To lessen my travel expense, I drove my own vehicle from Dumaguete to Siaton.At 51st kilometre right after Siaton bridge, a sign displayed at the corner which I drove for another 10 kilometers west.Some surface area of the road was rough, rocky and difficult to deal with so It is best to limit your driving speed.

Via public transportation:

  • Take any ceres bus bound for south of Dumaguete (Siaton,Bayawan,Sipalay, or Bacolod via Hinobaan)
  • Get right off to Siaton church where Habal-habal drivers are stationed to Balanan or you can also
  • Get off directly to highway junction at the end of Siaton bridge where you can also hire motorbikes and habal-habal. Fare rate is at P 50.00 to P 100.00

Generally, this placid lake is a good spot  to get outside, enjoy the great outdoors and picnic. The mountain air, the surrounding area of healthy green foliage and endless waterways makes it a good place for relaxation. For adventure seekers, visitors may also hike to three waterfalls or go fishing.

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Tambobo Bay,Siaton,Negros Oriental

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At the southern tip of Negros Oriental just an hour drive from province capital-Dumaguete City lies a quiet fishing village, a sheltered bay, a wharf, few stretches of white sand beach and a perfect spot for yachting anchorage.

Tambobo bay attracts sailors to this part of Bonawon Siaton where they can find both peace and tranquility of the waters of the bay.

From the national highway, a visible sign directing to the bay is placed at the corner of the road and from the intersection of the road to the bay is just around 20 minutes. It was an easy drive as the road was wide and paved with concrete cement.

I went first to the entry of the bay where I saw few yachts, a lot of small fishing boats. An ongoing wharf development is also doing along the cove. I asked one of the residents along the shore where I could find more sailboats. She said either I can go boating or take the road. Since I’m driving my own motorbike, I’ll take the road somehow.

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shoreline area at the mouth of Tambobo Bay

 

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Later, I found a particular location wherein a deck made of piled wood and bamboos horizontally can be accessed to have a much closer look and observe more of the sailboats. The secluded area has tranquil waters,safe for wave disturbances that is why majority of the yachts are anchored in this innermost part.

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Pasalan Falls-Silab,Amlan

Many of the earth’s natural wonders are hidden from view,one of which is Pasalan waterfall.

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It lies on a remote area abundantly sheltered with trees in Cantalina Village, Brgy.Silab in the town of Amlan,Negros Oriental. Brgy. Silab is next to Brgy.Tambojangin  where Amlan Zoo and Adventure Park is stationed. Since I’m already close to Silab I drove my way immediately to the last sitio. Asking the locals is still the most efficient way to locate the hidden waterfall. Making sure that I don’t get lost, I always ask any person I meet in the road. Some parts of the road were still unpaved with cement but was a bearable drive.

I reached into a remote mountain slope area where there are a lot of banana plants and trees and a native house nearby. I approached the man on it and asked him the way to the waterfalls. He then pointed to a descending surface which I followed at once. In a slow pace, I move downward perceiving any sound of a gushing river stream.

Later, I was on a flat surface of a huge rock and a continuous flowing water towards a deep gorge with steep sides. I know for sure that is Pasalan falls. Since I have an ample time to explore the area, I moved further up the river stream thinking possibly I could discover a series of waterfall along.

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To my surprise, I found this section with a natural pool filled with cool waters in a shade of blue and green. The water was tempting for a brief swim. I spent a little time of thinking whether to take a dip but I wasn’t sure of how deep it was  so I decided not to bathe.

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On my way back, I was directed by my mind towards the way of how to move below a very steep ravine where I could discern visually the waterfall. I remembered the man I asked at the house and mentioned that going down is very difficult. Therefore, it is not impossible to reach the bottom. All of a sudden, I saw a narrow track of which I don’t know where it leads to but still I followed. The end thereof was a huge tree with huge roots attached down the bottom of the valley.

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Slowly but surely, firmly holding the roots I moved down until I reached the bottom part. From there, I could hear the flowing waters of Pasalan. Finally, in just a few steps its beauty revealed, surrounded with prolific vegetation and high grounds. Now a secret no more.

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