Before I thought of exploring 81 provinces of the Philippines, I never thought of visiting the island of Negros specifically the province of Negros Oriental although I have already visited Dumaguete City and Valencia once. I thought there was nothing much about this place. I thought it was just an ordinary place where locals live their normal lives and that’s it.
All my thoughts turned out to be seemingly wrong. I never heard much about this place. Among the islands of Visayas, only Cebu and Bohol are mostly visited by travelers and tourists. Apart from the renowned Mt. Canlaon which is famous to all mountain climbers, Negros Island has gradually captured the interest of the travelers and tourists for its abundant wild life and natural wonders.
Like I said, I never planned on visiting this place but because my feet were itching to travel and I was broke at the same time, I was then thinking of somewhere money will not be too much of a problem. So there, Negros Oriental came to my mind. You might want to ask me why Negros Oriental if I could just travel within Cebu, well the answer is that I was thinking of visiting a province to tick one off my list, hehe. So I went ahead and search for the places to visit and the costs of exploring the province. The information on the internet was very limited but then I figured that there are plenty of attractions that need to be explored in the place. Yes, for all travelers and tourists, these have to be visited when going to the province.
It was hard for me to pick which places to visit in two days for there were plenty of them. The landmass is massive that it is going to eat up most of the time traveling. I plotted an initial itinerary: Balinsasayao-casaroro falls-pulangbato falls-Niludhan falls. Due to limited source of information that I got from internet I couldn’t estimate the travel time going to Bayawan City from Dumaguete City.
Upon arrival in Dumaguete City, we immediately asked the driver of the bus bound for Bayawan about the travel time. To my surprise, it was not what I thought it was. So we changed our itinerary and spend the rest of the day in going to Niludhan falls and saved our second day for Balinsasayao. We decided to remove Pulangabato and Casaroro Falls in our itinerary since we couldn’t make it and we had to catch an afternoon bus trip back to Cebu.
Looking at the map, Bayawan City is near Dumaguete City, or maybe it’s not, or maybe it’s just me thinking that it’s near hehe. It took us a total of eight hours to get to and from Bayawan City and then two hours from and to Niludhan Falls.
This is where I went wrong. The yellow lines indicate the main road or highway. So I was thinking that the bus will pass through Pamplona going to Bayawan City. So if you look at the map that way, you would really think that Bayawan City is near Dumagute City and might take just an hour or two to get there, but the actual route is from Dumaguete through Bacong-Dauin-Zamboanguita-Siaton(where the bus took a short stop)-Santa Catalina-Bayawan City.
We arrived in Bayawan about 3:00P.M. We immediately looked for a motorcycle to take us to Niludhan Falls.
The driver drove as fast as he could to get there as early as possible but as you get closer to the destination, the road becomes rough and bumpy.
It was sort of butt-pounding expedition, but hey! look at the view. Will you still complain? I bet not:-)
It took us an hour to get there.
And finally, the beautiful and stunning Niludhan Falls.
We only stayed for an hour there because we also had to catch the 5:30P.M. bus trip to Dumaguete to avoid getting there very late.
Fast forward to day 2, we rode a trike and asked the driver to take us to jeepney station that’s bound for Sibulan. The driver said we should take San Jose route and not Sibulan. It only took about 20 minutes from Dumaguete to San Jose.
You would know that you are already there when you see the signboard of Balinsasayao. From there, we rode a motorcycle that took us about 45 minutes to reach the lake. I wasn’t able to take photos of the place on the way there but you have to see it yourself; the mountains, the trees, and everything were very mesmerizing.
As we arrived in the lake, we paid Php10 each for the registration fee.
This is what you will see at the entrance of the registration office. This made us more excited to see the actual lake of Balinsasayao. Read more about Balinsasayao, click here.
This was the second lake that I visited; the first one was the lake Danao in Camotes. I like Balinsasayao more because of the serenity that it gives and not to mention the water is very clean. Everyone is welcome to swim into the lake. You may also enjoy other activities such as boating, kayaking, or sitting under one of the small huts.
At 12:00P.M., we were already back at the hotel to check out and we spent the rest of the time strolling around the boulevard, Park, and Cathedral.
So now back on my thoughts, Negros Oriental is boring?! After the 10-hour travel time to and from Bayawan city, butt-pounding motorcycle ride to Niludhan falls, the refreshing and one of the most beautiful waterfalls that I’ve seen, the serene lake of Balinsasayao, and most of all the gentle people of Dumaguete City…DEFINITELY NOT!!!
This changed my impression about Negros Oriental and I’ll definitely come back for more.