Camperspoint Philippines

Negros Oriental

Monday 12 July 2004, by catseye

Like other islands in the Visayas, both sides of Negros have beautiful beaches and attractive places of interest, they both possess towering mountains, volcanoes, serene lakes, and spectacular dive sites.

Negros Oriental, the side facing Cebu Island, has perfect destinations for adventure travelers. There are mountains, volcanoes, falls and caves waiting for exciting explorations. Mt. Talinis, a 1900 meter-high dormant volcano, has challenging trails and refreshing waterfalls stops, which are called Pulangbato and Casiroro falls and for a persevering climb, Mt. Kanlaon, a fiery volcano with an impressive ascent of 8000 ft above sea level is a good target for extreme thrills and high-level trekking skills.

Caving in the area is a worthwhile travel experience. Visiting the second longest cave in the Philippines named Odloman Cave can thrill tourists to the best of their expectations. The town of Mabinay has many caves to explore such as Pandalihan, Cayaso, Panligawan and Copie caves. All have varied impressive sights to offer.

Dumaguete is a small city where everything is within walking distance and has tricycles easily available for reaching distant places. It has many beaches intended for relaxation and day picnics. Siliman Beach, seaward of a marine ward- an organization for marine concervation, has nice beaches for day picnics. And if you want to bring home some of the province’s authentic handicrafts, the sidlakang Negros showroom is the best place to go. Pottery items, colorful baskets, stone-crafts and hand-woven fabrics are displayed for best price.

During Wednesday, the Malatapay Seaside market in the town of Zamboanguita, 5 km. south of Dumaguete, comes to life where people from around the island trade goods from fresh seafoods to roasted suckling pigs under the coconut trees lined up along the beach. It is a sight of traders, shoppers and picnickers having their seafood cooked on barbeque stalls and people drinking "tuba", a local wine at their set up tables. Zamboanguita is a fairly small town that has a zoo and a park built by the Lamplighters. It is a camp featuring collections of native animals and paraphernalia of white monkey (a type to be reputed seen only once a year on Siquijor). If coming for a more relaxing visit, there are nice resorts providing snorkeling and swimming facilities located south of the town.

If you want a more adventurous vacation, discover the underwater assets of Apo Island- a marine conservation park of beautiful coral gardens and spectacular marine species, which is 45 minutes boat ride from Malatapay pier in Zamboanguita. A trip ranging from snorkeling, swimming and diving can be worth-spending during a dull day. There are various cottages made of bamboo and nipa around the island for overnight stays and residents selling fish most of the time offer to cook dishes right at the beach. Aside from these water pastimes, a chat with women weaving mats out of pandan leaves can be a completion of an exotic experience. The comfort of Apo island is basic- with no electricity and on dry season, shortage of water is expected. This slight inconvinience although preserves the island’s peaceful environment.

Sumilon is a petite island at the southern tip of Cebu developed by Siliman University as a marine preserve, then got involved in a controversial feud between two provinces over control and jurisdiction. Not surprisingly because of its lovely beaches and excellent snorkeling and diving sites. Bring a picnic lunch and drinks if planning to stay there for the day.

To get there, PAl and Cebu Pacific have 70 mins flight from Manila to Dumaguete. If coming from cebu, there are ferries heading to Dumaguete once daily. The ride takes about 3 hours and 15 mins.

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