William Feather, American publisher and author, once said, “One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” That’s exactly what my family, relatives, and I did last month.
It wasn’t spontaneous. We actually planned for it for quite some time and set the date for our Bacolod-Dumaguete-Cebu escapade for January. I must say that we had a full itinerary for the trip since we didn’t want to waste time. One of our stops for the Dumaguete leg of our journey was Casaroro Falls, which is dubbed Negros Oriental’s hidden beauty.
Why hidden? Well, this 100-feet tall wonder is lodged between two huge rock crevices with a dense forest concealing the area. Unfortunately, Casaroro Falls was one of the areas badly hit by Typhoon Sendong a few years back, and this has somehow affected the influx of tourists to this hidden gem.
How to Get There
If you’re coming from Dumaguete City and making use of public transportation, you could actually take a pedicab ride to get to the Valencia jeepney terminal. Travel time to Valencia’s municipality proper is roughly 15-20 minutes, and from here, you can ride a habal-habal (a local motorcycle ride with the seating capacity of a car) to get to Casaroro Falls. This is the primary transportation choice, as it can easily maneuver across the rocky and beaten path. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can ride a pedicab and hike the rest of the way, about 30 minutes, to get to the falls’ entrance. In our case, we had our own transportation, and since some older relatives were with us, not all of us could hike.
There was a lady caretaker stationed at the entrance, and after paying her the entrance fee, she told us to take 335 steps down, turn right and walk straight for 200m to reach our destination. What she forgot to tell us was that the 200m we had to traverse included scrambling on huge rock boulders and crossing rivers. I would suggest you wear comfortable footwear meant for long hikes but able to withstand slippery slopes. In addition, make sure you have bottled water handy because the trip is challenging.
Going 335 steps down was easy, but climbing up steep slopes was tricky and dangerous. That’s also the reason why tourists are no longer allowed to go down to the falls when it’s late. We got there around 3:30PM, but we couldn’t stay long since we didn’t have flashlights with us. We wanted to make headway while there’s still light.
I would say the grueling path we had to take to get to Casaroro Falls was worth it because it was AMAZING! We were merely standing on the rocks but we could feel the strength and power of the falls. This hidden gem is truly one of Mother Nature’s most remarkable gifts to us.