Pagsalsalan falls/Maaslum twin falls-Ayungon,Negros Oriental

Discover the striking elegance of natural twin waterfalls in Ayungon Town, Province of Negros Oriental.

The rural atmosphere en route to Ayungon is another alternative for someone who’s looking for laid-back settlement. The countryside has scenic views of expansive rice fields, coconut and pineapple plantations, sugarcane, bananas and some others. Located at about 82 km north of Dumaguete City, this small town has a total land area of 265.1 sq km of which the people are mainly engage in agriculture, whereas the life in coastal areas revolves on fishing as a major activity.

The geographic areas outside the town proper has pretty rolling scenes of plantations, mountains, and some of the remaining forests of the province extending to the boundaries of Bindoy, Mabinay and Tayasan.

With its remote location and some insurgencies on critical areas in the mountains, some destinations in the hinterlands doesn’t draws that much attention for a visit. Nevertheless, EnrouteNegros is optimistic on discovering distant natural attractions and sharing you the hidden gems of the community.

Pagsalsalan falls or Maaslum twin waterfalls is situated about 8kms from Ayungon national highway. That is just an estimate of 25 minute drive from town proper to Brgy Maaslum. Driving our own vehicle, it enables us to see a glimpse of the lives and environment of the villages. The road accessibility to central Maaslum has established road due to operations of a mining firm. From a distance before arriving to the mining site, we observe a discouraging scene of a sloping mountain.

Photos by Madelane Banjao Anfone
Photos from Madelane Banjao Anfone
Photos by Madelane Banjao Anfone

The Goodyield Resources Development, Inc. (GRDI), a firm engaged in exploitation of mineral resources mainly on silica sand and quartz of which it produces cement, copper smelting, and fiber cement board plants. The mineral resources will be transported to its private port situated in Tampocon, Ayungon, Negros Oriental.

January 2019, it was reported of an issuance of a closure order by its town mayor after its failure to comply the requirements for a business permit.(https://visayas.politics.com.ph/negros-oriental-firm-to-sue-mining-firm-for-operating-without-permit/).

Just a few meters from the quarry site is a river that flows along the barangay down to the next villages and exits to Ayungon town. The river stream if followed will lead us to the twin waterfalls. Jump off area for vehicles is basically near the site then hike begins.

From the jump off area, we make use of our time exploring around, there were security guards along the premises of the quarry site with some heavy equipment. Seeing the devastation, we could imagine the adverse effects of the environment, soil erosion, surface water contamination, destroyed landscapes and agricultural land, leakage of chemicals are just examples we foresee if this operations will continue. The mountain over the site were expansively depleted. On the other hand, we explored more on the other side where we followed a trail and eventually found ourselves moving on a river trek.

The good side of the picture has greens on all sides, there were trees, a river stream with sulfur content and a trail to somewhere. We had a peaceful walk to a sloping trail up until we don’t see the terrible side. At the end of the trail is an adjoining river streams and a vision of an elevated waterfall. Now we can truly appreciate the raw beauty of nature on this side. We went closer to it as the natural pool is hiding beneath the large portions of a rocky cliff. That was a good view of a deep basin from our vantage point.

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Its twin falls on the other hand is just situated in a nearby gorge. That was a dramatic drop of the second waterfalls. It flows on another lofty hill spreading its waters as it goes down a shallow and craggy basin.

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Nature provides us with many wonderful things, from mesmerizing sights, to our consumption and even shelter. All of these are necessary to sustain our life in this planet. But with the advancement of economic activities and the spread of human footprints, our environment deteriorates. But we can do something with it, each one of us has the responsibility of the change. May we never forget one of our purpose in life, we live to protect and sustain our nature. Most importantly, we make sure that we leave a lasting legacy of protecting our environment, better for our generation and to the next. Let us help one another on conserving our nature.

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