No place is the same. No oceans have the same depth and seascape, nor mountains have the same height and trail quality. Every place has its own mark and signature. I have already witnessed several waterfall in the country. From the boisterous and ravaging to the simple and gentle ones. From the stunning to the okay ones. Every waterfall has its own marks and attributes. Each affects the overall story and experiences of each visitor. One waterfall that has made an impression to me is Pulangbato waterfall.
What’s with the name “Pulangbato”?
Located within Valencia, Negros Oriental is Pulangbato Waterfall. The name itself describes the peculiar attribute of the waterfall. Pula means red, and Bato means rock. Both words came from bisaya dialect. The waterfall has this reddish tinge on its rocks due to oxidation because of the high geothermal activity on the area, thus the name Pulangbato. The high rate oxidation is due to the fact that Valencia has high geothermal activity probably generated by the nearby potentially active Mt. Talinis. Because of the color of the boulders and rocks, it seems like the waterfall is bleeding underneath. Masked and hidden by the graceful flow of the cool water. *#hugot*
To Pulangbato we go!
Straight from our Casaroro jaunt, we headed straight to Pulangbato. We hopped on back to our chartered habal-habal motorcycles. Without saying anything, the drivers already knew our next destination. Most of the visitors visiting Casaroro obviously have Pulangbato on their itinerary as their next destination or the other way around. As we were speeding up, so does the skies started spitting out. Raindrops started to smacking our skin. It feels less like a gentle caress of waterdroplets on our skin, but more like tiny slaps of micro stings on our faces. Anyway, regardless, we did not care of getting wet since getting wet we will be, eventually when we reach the waterfall. Thankfully, there were less mud roads going to the waterfall. Most of the roads are already paved. Valencia is more like a rural province. You’ll feast your eyes with natural scenery as you traverse to the destination.
The points to notice that you are nearing your destination, which is the waterfall, are the reddish/orangy boulders and rocks which you’ll pass along the road. The most obvious of them all are the sulfuric steam vents. As we were nearing our destination, sulfuric steam vents became more and more obvious and prevalent. There is this part of the road where the entire section of the mountain wall is steaming with sulfuric gases. This section is called the Mag-aso steam road. Mag-aso from the bisaya root word “aso” which means smoke. Sulfuric gases can cause damage to our lungs so better take extra pre-caution. I held my breath as we passed through that section. Even from afar, I can smell the gas and it was horrible. It smelled like a rotten egg or something which stung my nose.
Two waterfalls in one place.
The waterfall can be found in Red River Valley Resort. Upon arriving on the place, we paid their entrance fee. We were so lucky when we got there for there were no crowd on the place, or was it just because it was Sunday and it’s Monday the day after. We were able to savor the moment where we were the only ones there before other visitors started arriving. Near the entrance is a small nameless waterfall where they constructed a small pool at its foot. The waterfall had a low water flow that day that the pool was not fully filled and no one bothered to dip on it.
Several steps away is the grand waterfall that we came for. I was happy that they did not fully commercialized the place. No visible fully concrete sheds within the 50-meter area of the waterfall, at least. Though there was a small nipa hut for visitors at the side of the waterfall mainly just to put the dry stuffs while enjoying the waters. What striked and impressed me the most was the reddish/orangy color of the boulders and rocks on the waterfall area. Complement it with the green vines and ferns sprouting at the mountain walls enclosing the waterfall. Also, the peculiar head of the waterfall. Seems like the Gods punch through the mountain walls creating a mouth-like structure from which the water flows through.
Enjoy the cold waters, but take extra care.
Yes, enjoying the fresh waters of a waterfall can be therapeutically relaxing, but every waterfall has it’s own catch. It could be that its strong current or its unfathomable depths and or uneven underwater ground. As we walked and approached the waterfall side, my friends got so thrilled to get into the water. I was not. They immediately changed and got into the waters. Based on their expressions, the water was really ice cold. Top that with the rainy weather during that time. Personally, I find it ironic since the waterfall is located on a geothermal active site. I did not bother getting into the water because even by the water mists I was already chilling and literally shaking. Yes, I am that cold guy. I get too sensitive to cold temperatures. Taking several photos of the waterfall then was what occupied me that whole time.
Good thing though that I did not went into the water. When my friends got out from their dip, they noticed something on their clothes, especially those who wore white and light colored fabrics. REDDISH RUSTY STAINS!. As mentioned above, because of the high geothermal activity of the vicinity, the rocks turned to rusty red in color due to iron oxidation. The rocks also stains whatever touches it. Not only the rocks but the waters can also stain your clothes. Take note to never wear anything that gets easily stained. Moreover, DO NOT DRINK the water nor attempt to taste it. It might cause poisoning or other harm to your health.
Care for a side-trip?
We spent about 20 minutes or so on the waterfalls area. Them enjoying the waters while I took several photos and selfies and of course clips for my vlog. This is the part where I plug my YouTube channel. Go ahead guys, click this link and please hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank You. 😉 *coughs* Anyway, when we had enough and savored the beauty of Pulangbato, we then got back to our chartered habal-habal and ready to go back to Valencia proper. Then suddenly, the drivers got an awesome suggested side-trip which will be continued on the next blog entry. Just click here for the continued story.
Also, I created a vlog for this trip. Watch it, enjoy and SUBSCRIBE!