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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrNiludhan Falls, located in Barangay Dawis, Bayawan City is stunning. It is not surprising that the falls is considered a pride of Negros Oriental . Although the falls is closer to the municipality of Mabinay, the barangay where it is located is part of Bayawan City.
According to local stories, the carabaos (water buffaloes) who had crossed the waters at the top area of the falls had to kneel because of the rough path. Hence the name, ‘Niludhan’ (or ‘Kneeling’).
VisitingThe trip from Dumaguete to Bayawan, and from Bayawan to Mabinay will allow you to see a myriad of interesting sites and glimpse at the provincial live of the local people of Negros Oriental. A 20-kilometer stretch of the Bayawan-Mabinay road, starting from Sitio Gamao to the falls drop-off point, is quite rough and bumpy. But this small inconvenience will be greatly rewarded with the hypnotic beauty of this stunning waterfall.
The falls is very near and is highly visible from the road. It is approximately a 5-minute walk from the bus drop-off point. There are stairs that go down to the large basin at the foot of the waterfalls.
Niludhan Waterfalls is a total of 3 sets of steep, plunging, narrow waterfalls that merge into one strong cascade after heavy rain. The water at the falls is warm and ideal for swimming. For more daring swimmers, there is a ledge behind the waterfalls for diving or free falling. Smooth, flat rocks line the edge of the basin before the water spills off into a stream.
At the top of the falls, there is a spillway where locals wash their clothes, and occasionally, a carabao (water buffalo) will venture out for a drink or a refreshing bath.
Entrance fee is ₱5 ($0.11) per person.
How to Get There
Ceres Bus via BayawanTo travel to Niludhan Falls, you can go to the Ceres bus terminal in Calindagan near Robinsons Place Dumaguete and take the Ceres bus from Dumaguete City to Bayawan City. The fare is ₱95 ($2.09) for a non-airconditioned bus and ₱110 ($2.42) for an airconditioned bus.
Once you reach Bayawan, transfer to a bus that will operate the route from Bayawan to Mabinay. The morning trip is ideal as you will arrive at the falls at 9 AM in the morning. There is a return trip that will pass by the drop-off point at 11 AM in the morning so you can inform the driver in advance that you want to be picked up on his return trip.
Niludhan Falls is 43 kilometers away from the city center of Bayawan, but because of the bumpy road, the trip will take about 2 hours. The fare from Bayawan City to the drop-off point is from ₱45 ($0.99) to ₱50 ($1.10) on a non-airconditioned bus.
Ceres Bus via MabinayAnother option for those who are in the northern or central portion of Negros Island is to take the bus that travels from Bacolod to Dumaguete, or Dumaguete to Bacolod via Mabinay. The drop-off point will be in Barangay Paniabonan in Mabinay. From Paniabonan, there are motorcycles for hire or habal-habals that can take you to the falls. The Ceres bus that plies the Bayawan-Mabinay route will also pass by Paniabonan and take you to the falls' drop-off point, which is about 10 kilometers or 45 minutes from the Paniabonan junction.
Private VehicleThe more comfortable and convenient way to travel would be to hire a vehicle from Dumaguete City to take you from there to Bayawan, then to Dawis. However, you would need a 4-wheel drive or a sturdy pick-up or utility vehicle to withstand the rough road.
Motorcycles for HireFrom Bayawan City or Paniabonan in Mabinay, there are motorcycles for hire locally called ‘habal-habal’ that can take you all the way to the falls. The road is quite rough half of the way, so be prepared for an exciting ride. The fare can range from ₱500 ($11) to ₱600 ($13) considering the distance and condition of the road.
- If you are taking the Ceres bus from Bayawan, it is best to take the morning trip so you can take the return trip back. There is a 3 PM trip going back to Bayawan but that is the last trip and it might be difficult to find an alternative transportation methodif in case the bus breaks down along the way.
- As in all areas of the province, locals are generally helpful and friendly. There are unscrupulous motorcycle drivers however, who might try to negotiate for a high fare. Be wary of these drivers and remember to haggle within the normal fare range as specified above. If in doubt, ask help from the local tourism office in Bayawan or Dumaguete. Otherwise, you can also request for assistance from the bus dispatcher at the Ceres terminal regarding the route going to Dawis.
- The area near the falls is quite undeveloped and there might be very few stores. Buy provisions ahead in Dumaguete or in Bayawan, especially food and bottled water.
- Wear the right footwear with proper traction as the path and stairs leading to the falls might be slippery.
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Author: janblim. Last updated: Nov 13, 2014