Category Archives: negros waterfalls

Sulphur Lagoon, twin falls and a mining tunnel

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Negros island never fails me to different unique destinations. The seemingly boundless mountains will give you a glance of its hidden gems. The thick foliage where a home of undiscovered adventures and the foothills of untouched beauty will tell you to go further. This week, we will explore what’s in those mountains en route bordering the city of Tanjay and the towns of Amlan and Pamplona in Negros Oriental. People were talking of this unique lagoon in the middle of the forests where I was thrilled to set foot.

Brgy Jantianon in Amlan though the farthest village in that area is not new to me as I’ve been there twice sometime in year 2016. Through the years, my third visit was somewhat a new experience. Further up the main Brgy of Jantianon, things and sights have changed. The road for instance has a huge development since my last visit. As I could remember, that part were unpaved on those times were the ones that made me think not to go again in the future. Now the way has been better, it was a smooth and scenic drive. The easy drive made me forget the way to Sitio Badiang, the jump off area to Naibid waterfalls.

The paving of the road up to its hinterland areas in Sitio Canete continues as there is still a long way to complete the road. What we are aiming that time is a lagoon in the middle of the wilderness bordering the towns of Amlan town, Pamplona and Tanjay City. Though its actually under Brgy Ling ab Tanjay City, the easiest way to get there is through Jantianon Amlan, and is geographically located behind Palaypay falls in Pamplona municipality.

“Asupre sa Maiti” as locals would call it is a lagoon where the waters is sulfuric in content. To name some similar destinations here in the province with the same character are Pulangbato falls in Valencia, the falls due to its reddish rocks is a sign of the natural chemical, if explored further the source which is hot in nature comes from a rock then adjoins the river. The nearby Palaypay falls is also sulfuric in nature of which I presume its sulfur properties is the same of that in this lagoon. Mainit falls in Dauin is also the same, the source which is continually explored by EDC has steaming hot water and an aggressive chemical odor, no wonder it reaches up to the highlands of Tanjay and Amlan, as it is widely distributed in nature specifically on volcanic regions.

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We arrived at the jump off point for our vehicles, a sign welcomes us that we are at Brgy Ling-ab, under Tanjay City. The jump off point is situated in its satellite market built by OPAPP (Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process). The area is governed by the members of resettled community guided with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. If we could have arrived earlier that day, we could have witness how’s the grind it the market, unfortunately we arrived late morning. Anyways, we were asked on our purpose of the visit, then register our names on their logbook. There was no entrance fee collected as of now.

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We were accompanied by a local resident from Jantianon Amlan whom we share a few friends in common and voluntarily guided us. From the satellite market, we walked through a forested area at about 1.2 kilometers, most of the portions of the trail are wet and murky. We followed him for at least 15 minutes or so. The sulfur lagoon is literally enclosed on mountains and woodland. The two native huts were a welcome sign from a distance that we have reached our destination.

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There was no one when we arrive, and it means it will all by ourselves to explore. The lagoon has a clear tinge of blue waters where we could clearly see what’s underneath. The spring comes out on rocks, and when closely observed, it smells an assertive content of its waters. The community had to dig the surrounding the source to hold the water to create a basin before it flows directly to a channel. Though sulfuric, the water is extremely cold. Taking a dip was a must experience as the depth is measurable to swim.

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The weather started to change in the highlands when we left the area. And before we turn back at usual route, our guide led us to its adjacent twin waterfalls. As you all know I always get excited whenever I hear of a waterfall destination. We made it to the river in less than 5 minutes; we descended a slope to the river where we could already notice the first waterfalls flowing on an average height. The second falls, which was only a few steps is concealed by rock canyons and will only be visible if you jump off to the water to have a clearer view. Without hesitation, I jump onto its waters then quickly made it to the bank. The rock canyons on both sides where somewhat a mixture of red and portions of black, mossy green, some white and brown. The water flows from huge boulders above it and some other rocks where stocked in between canyons. Wasn’t really the best view but I am always fascinated in it by any forms.

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And so we left the falls wet. We hurriedly went back to the satellite market as fog slowly rolls out the forests. Our third stop to end our day is an old abandoned tunnel. Along our way to the tunnel we had to stopped on a small plateau, it has nothing but just a nice overlooking views of the lowlands, the ocean is in its usual form, the Cebu island was a steady sight, and the mountain sides north as far as Bais City.

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A few meters away from the overlooking area, we stopped in a discreet way where the underground passage is situated. There was no sign and markings on its existence but on our way we noticed this some kind of ancient stone walls piled along the road, there were somewhat old structures abandoned for a long time. We descended quickly to the side down to its entrance. From our entry point we could see a domed patch of light to the other end. Actually both ends can be an entry point or otherwise the exit point. The Benguet Mining Tunnel measures around 340 meters long and can be explored from end to end. In relation with the sulfur areas, this tunnel were once used as a passageway among miners in the late 1950’s were minerals are heavily mined. We slowly walked through its darkness never losing the sight of the other end. There is an echoing silence inside; we could clearly hear the droplets from side to side, and the sound of our steps and stops. There were couple of bats flying over its darkness, and hoping not to stumble on a resting reptile in the ground. We made it to the other end, which serves as a window to the other overlooking view; the mountains on that side were a sight of abundant greens and its jungle. The composition of the tunnel definitely tells a history on its operations way back then.

 

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We ended the day by just halting a few minutes to some overlooking zones while enjoying the highlands under its shades, we drove along rivers where I am always curious of what’s waiting up there, and we’ve learned locale stories so as interesting things to do.

Just when I thought I’ve seen almost the destinations in Amlan, these were added on our conquered lists. There could be more. Do you know any interesting spot in your area? We’d like to know, drop down in the comment section and together we will discover more.

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Posts from Dumaguete City Tourism Office

 

Cabuag falls:Sitio Lunoy,Brgy Kalumboyan, Bayawan City,Negros Oriental

75262075_3692853307407049_568872279530799104_oGoing beyond the usual attraction in Bayawan, the hinterlands of Brgy Kalumboyan sorrounds a vegetation of untouched woodland,crawling mountains,connecting rivers,greenfields,farming life,laid back community, sun and the silence. While some will take you straight down the mountains,we found ourselves following a rough trail and panoramic views of the outback leading to Cabuag waterfalls.

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Brgy Kalumboyan has vast fields of land utilization to farming. Most of the citizens in this rural areas sustain their daily needs through agriculture. And while agriculture here in our country is highly labor intensive, plowing is still done by water buffalo. The connecting river streams on the other hand were useful for aquaculture and raising livestock. The abundance of water in the area benefits the green paddy fields were mostly being grown.

At some point, we found ourselves enjoying the lack of noise. People here decided to forge a life with silence, why not? We can live in the wild like our ancestors did and invisible in the city.

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We took the road less traveled and navigated a winding path like a local within an hour or so. While we leisurely walk behind agricultural scenes of the village we never loss the sight of a distant natural attraction viewed from a far. The closer were heading the lofty it is viewed.Down its craggy and rugged stream,waters were incredibly clear featuring some inviting natural pools.

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Then we were dwarfed of the astounding Cabuag falls.Not the volume we expected but the soaring height makes it the tallest in Bayawan to date.Finally wrapping our visit of listening to the gentle fall of its waters while watching the rain catching up in the mid air, as we temporarily find shelters under the canopy of a rock formation.

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Photo by Klydie Quindo

 

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Photo by Klydie Quindo

 

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Location:Sitio Lunoy,Brgy Kalumboyan,Bayawan,Negros Oriental

Guide: MP KLydie Quindo

Kang-iroy falls: Valencia,Negros Oriental

It was a grateful weekend collaborating with an all-star team who are equally passionate on discovering new places. Surrounded by friendly and thrill seeking community, going to the unknown to experience new is something I’d love to do.

Kinaiyahan Outdoor Society or Negros Tarzans are group of individuals routinely engage in outdoor activities whether it’s climbing summits to river trekking, stand by a waterfall or jump to river pools. They are adventurers who loves the trill of risky trails, at the same time exploring the jungles hidden gem.

This week is a new experience and new acquaintance as we team up with their group. Our destination is undetermined, we just have to trail around with them wherever it leads us to an interesting spot. Surely, we will end up on a waterfall.

Our unknown destination simply means somewhere taking a different route. Somewhere all of us haven’t been to. But for some reason some of the most memorable and exciting experiences can happen in places that you otherwise wouldn’t know as wandering often entails with exploring places and exposing yourself to different circumstances.

From left to right: Wendell Tubat,Thata Pajunar,Juns Quitoy ,Rudix Austero,Jomar Sarita,Me,Troy Teramoto,Dodoi Jose,Marvie Waro,AF Aragones

While waiting for others, we started out buying local products at farmers market in Valencia town Plaza. With a bunch of options for consumption, the bustling space is occupied with buyers and stand of any kind of fruits, vegetables, cooked and baked products, local delicacies, dry goods, clothings, ukay-ukay, toys, ornamentals and many more. Making sure we don’t starve in the woodland, we bought light foods vital for energy source.

Our hike begins at the Casaroro entry point following the Apolong trail straight up to the twin waterfalls. While everyone was familiar with the route, we are able to reach our initial destinations on a fair pace. Coping up with seasoned guides, the climb were somewhat very fun and a barrel of laugh all throughout. Jun, our lead guide and the rest of his group positively turned our tedious experience to a humorous one.

With the dramatic changes of weather conditions in the mountains, and mostly unpredictable, we ascended on a fair sky condition. About a kilometer from the jump off, it went gloomy, then fog ascends, until it rained. With low temperatures in the mountains, precipitation would likely happen.

Tip: for amateur climbers, always be prepared for any weather characteristics, bring extra light clothes, seal electronic gadgets in a water proof compartment.

We continued the climb inspite of the heavy downpour, nothing cease the climb inspite of our soaking clothes and a drenched shoes. Somehow we arrive the guardhouse on our desired timetable. Took some rest and consumed our food.

For the fifth time, it is always a pleasure seeing an old friend just a few minutes from the guardhouse. Never miss the chance to watch again the twin waterfalls. But that day was different, seeing her in full glory was rare and extraordinary.

Its enormous drop of the waterfalls reminds us of a flight of a flapping birds. In fact, it was originally named Naglupad falls. Naglupad in local dialect means “to take flight” or “to fly” , like that of a bird in particular. Its twin falls on the other hand were originally named Kang-Iroy, history tells that the first person who found this waterfalls was Iroy, thus named Kang-Iroy falls. This is where we are heading, we will climb up to Kang-Iroy to see if there are other attractions up there.

Then we took a remote trail en route to Kang-iroy river system, climbing up to an unestablished way behind plenty of trees and bushes. There were struggles as we deal with a very slippery ground. It sort of feels like an exotic jungle of nowhere, where reeds, bamboo, tall trees, woody plants and shrubs all around will take us down to a rocky shelf and finally on the rivers shoreline.

68528642_2774067199289166_4357007119338176512_nThe stream was quite shallow so were able to walk across it. We waded through its waters of about 10 minutes or so when we reach an elevated rocky part of which the waters were distributed on both sides. Unsatisfied of what we saw, we continued exploring above. Had to climb a narrow hole at the other end under huge boulders and a flowing water. Laughing and talking never stops in their good company amidst climbing trouble and awkwardness.

River trek continues at about five minutes when we had a glimpse another waterfall. We gathered around the base, and some settles a sign of relief seeing one of the falls in Kang-Iroy. The water drops on a not so high rock shelter and plunges to a shallow pool. Pleased this time, Jun assesses of a possible way through up, eventually the group decided to just come back next time around and explore more upstream, then we ended a group photo.

Group photo by Thata Pajunar

Certainly, it was a fun-filled day with loads of laugh and new escapade. We look forward of teaming up again with them for future wanders, after all, Life was made for good friends and great adventure. Cheers to upcoming days filled with sunny skies, climbing mountains and unlimited adventures.

Keep updated with Negros Tarzans weekend destination at:

https://www.facebook.com/Negros-Tarzans-113571296667410/

 

 

 

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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Silab, Amlan, Negros Oriental

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Nature’s greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Recently I explored one of the most difficult road driving trails en route to the hinterlands of Silab, Amlan in Negros Oriental but difficult roads have always been a manifestation to a beautiful destination.

Nature has combined this unique natural topography with extensive vegetation and sleepy mountains in this town. The wet road surface and forest terrain conditions on rainy season make access more difficult. I have no idea where I am heading to, and I have no contact person in the area making this a challenging trip.

From a quick visit to Amlan Zoo, my mind was shifted to that huge river, running along Brgy Tambojangin. There could be waterfalls up on those mountains I am staring. From the animal park, an elevated road will lead to the next Brgy of Silab.

Brgy Silab being an agricultural area, the surrounding lands is utilize on usual crops, wide fields of sugarcane, there were few rice plantations, coconuts, bananas, among others, while I noticed most of the crops grown uplands were pineapple, cabbage, corns, variety of vegetables, pepper and some others.

Though developments are now slowly seen specifically on road projects on the remote areas of Silab, mountainous areas still remain unassisted. Sitio Pasalan, the farthest village in the Brgy will hopefully be more accessible in the coming years by the government through farm to market roads.

The road accessibility in Pasalan is actually associated with its power facility. Yes, there is a Powerplant in Amlan. The AHPP  is a 0.8 MW Powerplant facility constructed last 1958 and was ordered for commissioning in the year 1962. The high discharge rate of the river are believed to be springs of underground outlets of Lake Balinsasayao and Lake Danao in Sibulan. The connecting tributaries has several interesting waterfalls I aimed to see.

As mandated, the National Power Corporation (Napocor) first manages this part of Amlan water resources for power generation designed to operate as a base-load plant supplying power to the town of Amlan and nearby villages. It was on year 2009, that Amlan Hydro-electric Power Plant formally turned over to ICS Renewables by The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) for privatization. With the huge amount of water volume, that part of Pasalan is suited for the facility, hiding behind steep slopes are numerous waterfalls, one of which is Pasalan falls.

How did I get there:

From the central Brgy of Cantalina, road condition up to the Powerplant is undeniably unfavorable for vehicles. Nevertheless, I took the courage to drive up to where I could draw close to my destination. Slowly driving up are scenic views on both sides of the road. There were literally no one to ask, there were also few simple cabins along but no one is around, except to that last hut I approach.

It was a timely stop, a person comes out to that shelter as he also saw me coming. Jonard and his family owns the little hut, he narrated that he grew up in the area and had lived in that house for a year before moving to the central Cantalina village. That hour, he was with his older brother whom also helps him frequently cultivating their farmlands. Taking the opportunity to talk with them, Jonard was the right person to ask about Pasalan falls. He volunteered to guide me as well as interesting spots to see. Growing up in the area, the rivers are their playground whereas also serves the second source of their food. The river beds were home of abundant fishes, crabs and freshwater shrimps. I couldn’t ask for more, they were one of the most accommodating locals I’ve met.

From their hut, he drove me along terrible road, this is what I’m talking about, I could have stuck on those pond-like filled with muds or get lost as the worst. I’m amazed how Jonard handles the condition, not to mention, his previous work as a habal-habal driver gives him an edge to drive easily.

Pasalan Dam

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Our first stop, Pasalan Dam and water reservoir situated just on top of Pasalan falls. We managed to arrive at around 30 minutes from their hut to the jump off point for vehicles, we walk through a thick forests I never thought this town has. Jonard told me that the area were once a den of rebel groups, moreover, gunshots were a usual sounds they hear but now seems to be the opposite of what has been a chaotic environment they are living. Around 10 minutes we arrive to this barrier constructed to hold back water and raise its level forming a reservoir used to generate electricity in the Powerplant. The reservoir sits in the middle of a forest, the flowing waters were extremely very cold probably were ground springs from the twin lakes. To the corner is an outpost guarded by a person on duty whom mostly are relatives of Jonard. The area has some errie vibe, in fact, the person on duty tells experiences of strange sounds of a woman, he even sees unnatural sightings within the forests.

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Kang-ontol/Kan-ontol falls

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Visitors wanting to explore Pasalan falls will have to enter the Amlan Hydro-electric Powerplant premises, the property is gated and is mostly open to the public providing the purpose of your visit. Jonard being well known by many including the staff of the facility makes us to access immediately. The Powerplant system is situated at the bottom, both sides of the facility has river systems of which plays an important role in generating electricity. How does electricity works on flowing water? The impoundment facility, typically has large hydropower system uses a dam to store river water in a reservoir. Water released from the reservoir flows through a turbine, spinning it, which in turn activates a generator to produce electricity. The water may be released either to meet changing electricity needs or to maintain a constant reservoir level. From the building, we hike through huge boulders, but before Pasalan falls, there is another waterfall hiding on a cliff rock, who wouldn’t notice a resounding drop, we had to stop. Kang-ontol falls has such a mighty sight.  Further up is the highlight of our significant trip.

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Pasalan falls

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This is what I am very excited, there were just a few people I know who had climb up to that portion. True enough, double extra large boulders are obstructing the way. We climb, we have to crawl, and penetrate a limited size cavity just to reach the bottom part of the waterfalls. Just a few meters of Pasalan, the basin is stirred by waves caused by mighty drops of large amount of water. Both sides of the picture has towering canyons. Part of the whole waterfall is visible, attempting to view the entire height of the falls seems impossible. Fortunately, seeing it in real makes me appreciate more on our province. There is more to explore and discover.

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After a fulfilling day, Jonard ended the tour with a quick visit to their backyard and farmland. Further side of a hill, something sweetens my day with an expansive land of pineapples. Another thing to be thankful with him, he let me pick pineapples I want and bring it home. What a rewarding day, wish I could bring many but I can only carry two. Later he told me that the fruits will be sold to the provincial market. Not just that, they also supply variety of vegetables in the trade.

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Chasing waterfalls:Valencia,Negros Oriental

Take adventure to new heights in the majestic mountainous district of Valencia town in Negros Oriental. Stunning scenery and rushing waters make this area a natural paradise. With lots of spectacular deep river valleys, Valencia is endlessly exciting to explore.

Having a 65% of mountainous area, this town in Negros Oriental is a perfect spot for adventure seekers including me. EnrouteNegros is bringing you closer to nature and discovering you the less unknown attractions, you may have heard some of this waterfalls but there are still a lot more to see in this town.

1.Casaroro/Kalamason falls

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No doubt the most popular waterfalls in the province of Negros Oriental. The locals popularly call it Kalamason falls, but eventually labeled it now as Casaroro. The single column of sparkling water plunges almost a hundred feet directly into the swimming basin making it a great spot to bathe in its cold water.

2.Pulangbato/Mag-abo twin falls

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Another distinctive waterfall in the province of Negros Oriental and Valencia town-Pulangbato falls or Malabo falls derived from the word itself, “Pula” means red and “Bato” as for rock, the rocks underneath the stream appeared to be red in color due to its sulfuric water contents.

3.Caidiocan falls

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Waterfalls in Brgy.Caidiocan are the most accessible in the whole town. It may not be as tall and stunning compared to the others but its water flows softly just waiting to be noticed.

4.Manlangko falls

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Manlangko falls-Level 3

Manlangko falls is actually a series of waterfalls consisting of at least six levels. The hidden waterfalls were tucked in the wilderness of Sitio Salantikon. Completely untouched and undisturbed, getting there requires a careful movement.

5.Balantian falls

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Balantian falls-4th level
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I found Balantian river and its series of waterfalls when I visited the Balantian swamp. While walking around the swamp, the gushing river was loud enough as if calling for visitors. Following a difficult trail and climbing up huge boulders, the topmost waterfall was a total surprise.

6.Okoy river/Malaunay falls

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The massive waters of Okoy river is actually a summary of some unknown streams in Malaunay area, Caidiocan, Brgy Dungga and Brgy. Malabo. Following a very secluded trail leads me to this impressive waterfalls.

7.Apolong river and falls

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While completing an Ultramarathon event in Valencia town, we passed by to this particular river somewhere in Apolong. The next Sunday I had a quick visit to its stream up to its water source. The long walk along boulders rewarded me with connecting waters and unexploited nature.

8.Original Casaroro falls

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The Original Casaroro falls is located just beneath the new Casaroro falls. Unlike the new Casaroro, getting there is a challenge, there were no signs to the waterfalls, trail isn’t paved compared to the other, following its water adds another exciting adventure. Like the new Casaroro falls, the water also drops in great height. This waterfalls comes with a mini cave adding a unique feature to its environment.

9.Dungga river and falls

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The foothills of Brgy Dungga reveals relatively unknown number of waterfalls and countless river pools. The thick forests is the home of secluded waterscapes I’ve never seen before in the web.

10.Nagabi Twin falls

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A mount Talinis tour wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the twin waterfalls of Nagabi. Situated just a few distance from the Guard House, its coolest waters were our last destination on our way home. Seeing it in actual filled me with awe and wonder.

11.Pulangtubig/Tabunan falls

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photo by Marvie Waro (https://www.facebook.com/marvie.waro)

Another less unknown waterfall in Valencia is Pulangtubig falls. Worth the hike when someone sees its beauty. That view is just unfading.

The process of discovery never stops. My list never ends here as there are still a lot to check.

Honop falls-Pamplona,Negros Oriental

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Typical of the Pamplona town landscape, the abounding coconut palms fill the lush lands of this municipality. Some connecting river systems in the area still remain unnoticed and untouched. While everyone was pre-occupied of the yuletide season and long holidays, my weekend was spent wandering in the hinterlands of Pamplona.

En route to National highway connecting the towns of Pamplona and Santa Catalina in Negros Oriental, the connecting barangays of this town is surrounded with mountains, slopes and of steep hills. The elevated area tends to have a cooler atmosphere especially in this season and mostly characterized with misty surrounding at early mornings where roads surface are covered with fog obscuring ones visibility when driving, in fact, as we were heading our way to Brgy Honop, the fogs were visibly all around.

People in these remote areas lives on a simple way and mostly dependent on mountain farming. This mountainous portion provides a numerous secluded areas to explore of which I was curious what lies on low areas between those mountains, typically one can think of a river flowing through it.

An unknown waterfall hidden off the road somewhere in Baranggay Honop has a breath taking sight we should find out. Because it was located in the same Baranggay, we shall call it Honop falls.

How did we get there:

As I always do, asking the locals is still the best way to reach the waterfalls. From the highway, the jump off point of vehicles should be at Baranggay Hall. We asked a few residents and they pointed us to a descending slope.

Since it is undiscovered to masses, a local guide is really needed for this journey. My guide, who lives in Pamplona and whom has relatives in the area had seen the waterfalls from a far. I convinced him if we could get closer to the waterfalls and take a look from the bottom.

We followed a descending track down were the surface was really slippery due to a continuous rainfall the other night. The river stream were covered with plants, still kept unnoticed, I can’t hear any waters, not the barest sound of it. So we continue moving down until we finally we could feel the stream.

Upon reaching the river flowing, we followed it down to a dead end where the water jumps into a cliff. The trek was slow and careful as the stones were really very slippery. We found ourselves atop of the waterfalls were we could cautiously look at it but all I can see is the green foliage of the surrounding cliff. Getting more excited, we decided to descend more, literally there were no one to ask, even the last houses we saw, there were no one.

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We can’t find any established path to the bottom,if there was, we don’t know so we made our own path following a cassava planted surface in a very slow pace. There is no room for a hurry this time as many times we almost fall. And so to reduce our weight, we left our bags somewhere.

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As we reached the very bottom, we stopped in a few minutes to rest and figured out where to go next. All we need to do is just to follow the river up to the waterfalls. Huge boulders are on our way ahead. Stunning scenery and unspoiled environment go hand in hand this time.

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We trek a little more as we could hear the falling waters of Honop. We pass some boulders and we saw the highlight of our trek. The water cascades over a cliff continuing its journey down. It was majestic. Its water drops on an average volume descending thunderously in the desolate silence.

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Where is your sense of outdoor adventure? Venture an expedition now to the wilderness of Pamplona and discover the natural beauty of Honop falls.

Talostos falls-Sta.Catalina,Negros Oriental

My first attempt to this secluded waterfall last June was a failure. I am almost a few meters down to Talostos waterfall, unfortunately; time didn’t permit me to proceed. I arrived on a native hut on top of the cliff at around mid-afternoon through Brgy. Amio. While it’s true that Talostos is located in Brgy. Amio, a local resident recommended me to take the other way which she says a much nearer hike en route to Brgy. Mansagumayon.

The water of Talostos drops down at 50 feet and is therefore considered as the tallest waterfall in the town of Sta. Catalina. It was a timely visit as the water jumps on its greatest volume. The cascading waters follows an oblique direction resting on a sheer cliff surrounded by dense vegetation specially coconuts.

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How did I get there:

As suggested by a local, I went directly to Brgy Mansagumayon. The residents along the road warned me regarding the route as it is unpaved and rugged.There were just a few people I saw along the route and they were very kind, though their directions were a bit confusing as their were multiple intersections.

The first kilometer can be accessed by a motorbike, but the rest will take arduously on foot. There were no one to ask that time so I just followed a track of seriously in rough condition until I reached onto a steep cliff overlooking a river stream. To the other side I could see where exactly I was the last time I visited the area. Basically I was standing on the exact location where a local was pointing of where I should take.

I continued following a sloping area down to the bottom, though I don’t see any waterfall, the noise ahead was a resounding excitement.

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Unmistakably, that was Talostos falls. It was completely undisturbed. Dwarfed by its height, I was standing behind a beautiful scenery and a gorgeous backdrop.

Tips:

  1. Bring enough water and snack
  2. Bring also with you an insect repellent
  3. Dispose garbage properly
  4. Be cautious in stepping the rocks, they are very slippery
  5. Don’t leave personal belongings unattended
  6. Swim on your own risk, there is no lifeguard assigned
  7. Currently there are no scheduled buses plying from Sta.Catalina to Pamplona, I suggest you drive your own vehicle or hire a habal-habal

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Mantabios Falls-Sta.Catalina,Negros Oriental

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Most of the waterfalls in Santa Catalina require miles of hiking to reach. But a unique 3 layered cascade of Mantabios Falls only requires a minimal effort to find. Located en route to Brgy. Sto.Rosario and just about 500 meters from the provincial road of Brgy.Kabulakan, Mantabios falls is the most accessible of all.

How to get there:

From Sta.Catalina main town, make your way to Provincial road leading to Pamplona town, your guiding landmark would be Inobongan bridge in Brgy. Sto.Rosario located between Brgy.Kabulakan and Brgy. Obat. We stopped on a nearby house near the bridge and approached the couple inside to ask for direction.

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Stopping and asking for directions through locals is still the most reliable way to find your way around. The opportunity to connect with other person is one of the most important things when travelling. They know the exact location, route, pattern and the most interesting things to do in their area. Though I have mobile applications to navigate, yet somehow I still found myself stopping to ask for directions.

From one house to the other and another they directed us to a continuous flow of water. It took us less than ten minutes of walking and locating Mantabios falls.

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The first level of the waterfalls was about 4 meters high and a swimming basin of undetermined depth, though the a local informed us that it is deep enough, the turbid water that time made me anxious for a dip.

Then I slowly climbed up to the second tier, it was very slippery as it rained the night before we came. The surrounding area of the second falls was very distinctive; it has an opening to the basin of again an uncertain depth of water. Overlying the swimming basin is a cave like formations which the water is uniquely flowing down.

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The upper tier of the falls was very difficult to climbed, the surface of the rock was slippery and very difficult to hold and stand so I didn’t risk myself to check that. Overall, Mantabios falls has kept its natural beauty, though there a few signs of scraping on the surface of the rocks, it was still a worthy visit.

Pasalan Falls-Silab,Amlan

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