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