About an hour away from the urban rumble of Dumaguete City is a unique waterscape named after the reddish rocks and boulders along its banks; Valencia town’s Pulangbato Waterfalls.
Mini clouds of white steam rise up from the folds of rocks along the highway as our van navigated to the quiet town of Valencia which is nine kilometers west of Dumaguete City. We can smell the sour sulfur fumes in the air even with our windows up, the municipality is known for its geothermal properties; the heat probably being generated by the potentially active Mount Talinis.
And when there’s a volcano, there’s bound to be pools in the area filled with hot water springs. And indeed there was. We passed by the Red Rock Hot Springs resort along the Pulangtubig highway and even contemplated on shedding our clothes off and taking a hot dip.
While my travel buddies continued to ponder the possibilities of a hot bath, I quickly turned back after a few snaps. I wanted to check out the stream running parallel the highway. Hopping down some boulders, I quickly saw why they named this barangay as Pulangtubig. The yellowish rocks in the area turns into orange-red when it comes in contact with water.
Deciding not to get wet and ruin our van’s seat, we continued forward to Valencia’s Pulangbato Falls. The last leg of the trip had us alighting from our vehicle, walking on an unpaved inclined road and traversing a bamboo bridge. The Red River Valley resort which serves as an entrance to the waterfall was just a few minutes away by foot.
A mild drizzle greeted us as we entered the resort. The area is lush with greens with rentable thatched cabanas open for day trippers wanting their own space for picnics and what-nots. A concreted natural pool is also located right in the center of the resort; it didn’t look that inviting though so we passed dipping down for the second time.
A few meter’s walk up and down through boulders and dirt and we finally saw what we came here for, the imposing Pulangbato Waterfalls. True to its name, the rocks surrounding the falls are indeed reddish in shade. Although to be frank, it’s more orange than red, I guess Pulangbato is simply more catchy than Kahelbato.Getting closer to the waterfall is quite tricky, especially with a camera and tripod in hand. There are no regular steps going down and the combination of gushing waters and the strong spray from the falls can make a photographer think twice, especially if his camera is not weather sealed.
There are three waterfalls in the area but we only saw two of them, the other one being located some steps higher than Pulangbato Falls. It was easy enough to access the unnamed second falls, with almost-concrete steps leading visitors higher into the slope of the mountain. It wasn’t as large as the main falls but its charm lies in the privacy it provides since its basin is practically shielded from the huts below.
I usually take a dip whenever I visit a waterfall. And I so much wanted to during our visit to Valencia’s Pulangbato Falls. I heard that that its basin is deep enough to take a jump from the falls apex. If only we have the luxury of time, I would’ve climbed up, dove down and experience everything Pulangbato has to offer myself.
Address: Red River Valley Resort, Brgy. Malabo, Valencia, Negros Oriental
Entrance Fee: Php20.00
GPS Coordinates: 9° 19' 10.80", 123° 11' 40.19"
View Location on Google Maps: Click Here