Apr 25, 2010
Hike to the Japanese Shrine and Casaroro Falls
Packing Back to Dumaguete
I was still having a grand time skin diving in Siquijor when I got a text from Philip for an invite to hike part of the Cuernos Mountains for the Japanese Shrine and traverse to Casaroro Falls. Being new to Dumaguete, I didn't really know what they were but it sounded fun. I was on the ferry back to Dumaguete to make it for the early hike Saturday morning.
A Frat Affair
Except for Philip and Dudz whom I met for the Apo Island dive, the whole crew was new to me. Turns out, it was a frat outing or an initiation climb...it's all good, the more, the merrier. After an engine failure with Dudz's jeep, we managed to hitch a ride to the market where we boarded the public jeep to the jump off in Valencia.
The trek to the Japanese Shrine on a single-track trail took us across foot-bridges, villages, a few boulders, even a basketball court on a plateau, charcoal making operation, and to scenic heights overlooking the Mindanao Sea.
After a 2-hour/15-min hike from the jump-off, we finally reached the shrine atop a mountain ridge 2175 feet above sea level, lording over Dumaguete and the nearby islands. It was a simple monolithic white concrete structure with the inscription saying that the shrine marks the fierce battle that took place between the Japanese Imperial Army against the combined forces of the Philippine guerillas and American Army from April 27, 1945 to early June, 1945. The remnants of the Japanese Army surrendered Sept. 22, 1945 marking the end of hostilities in Negros Oriental.
From the Japanese Shrine, it took nearly 3 hours of hiking under the heat of the midday sun until we reached Casaroro Falls. The falls itself was a pencil-like narrow torrent of water dropping nearly 100 feet to a wide and deep lagoon. It was very refreshing to bathe and dive down from an elevated rockface into the cold water.
Children Will be Sold to the Circus
On the way back, not too far from the falls, was this house with 2 signs saying children left unattended will be sold to the circus. Another sign says trespassers may be eaten by his dogs....and it might make the dogs sick. A local said a German lived in that house. It was revolting. I wrote a separate piece on this entitled, "A Tale of Two Foreigners"
We hiked for another hour before we reached Forest Camp. From there, we managed a free ride close to Dumaguete. Even before everyone could disembark, Dudz managed to get another free ride that took us all the way to Dumaguete.
I'd been noticing that discovery of Dumaguete and the interesting places around it comes to me in unexpected text invites. I like that. I also come away thinking what nice people they are here in Dumaguete. Imagine, we were 8 guys and we managed to hitch a ride 3 times from complete strangers. That doesn't happen in Manila. What they say that Dumaguete is a land of gentle people still holds true despite increasing progress and urban migration. Unlike Manila where demeanor towards a complete stranger (let alone 8 guys!) have become hardened and calcified, in Dumaguete, they still espouse a humanist value towards the next guy. It's rare for a city to keep a tight balancing act between urban pressure and humanist values. Dumaguete is a fine example that it can work.
- within Dumaguete, take a pedicab (tricycle) and ask to be dropped-off the jeep station for Valencia. P8.00
- board the jeep until you reach the town of Valencia. 20 minutes, P12.00
- upon alighting the jeep, you will be approached by habal-habal drivers. Ask to be taken to the Japanese Shrine. P100-P120 per trip, 30 mins. They'll wait for you at the Shrine. If the road is dry, they'll allow 2 passengers - but the rate is per trip, not per passenger. Be warned, the dirt road section is steep and rough. It's also slippery after a rain.
- From Valencia, you can also ride on Edwin Samson's motorbike - one passenger only for Casaroro Falls. P200/round trip, he will wait even for a few hours. Cell: 0918.218.4212. Let me know if he's doing a fine job or not.
- Splashing at Magkawas Falls in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur May 16, 2013
- Visiting Lubcon Falls, Surigao del Sur May 13, 2013
- Visiting Maria Cristina Falls, Iligan Apr 24, 2013
- Exploring Santander, Samboan and Badian, Cebu (Aguinid Falls and Kawasan Falls) Oct 30-31, 2011
- Pulangbato Falls and Hot Spring Jul 16, 2011
- Splashing in Pulangbato Falls with Cuernos de Negros Jun 5, 2011
- Hike to the Japanese Shrine and Casaroro Falls Apr 25, 2010
- Tinago Falls of Iligan City Mar 16, 2009
- Camiguin (Katibawasan Waterfalls) Mar 9 - 14, 2009
- Hike to Bomod-ok Falls November 3, 2006
"Im planning to go to dumaguete. do you have suggestion for affordable and nice room to stay ?" -- Ton
(Feb 23, 2012) check this out, Ton: Dumaguete Hotels
(May 9, 2010) It's nice to see that Dumaguete still emits that "city of gentle people" charm to tourists.. =)
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