Valencia is a small town located next to Dumaguete City – the city a former Manila Times columnist described as “that beautiful city between the mountains and the sea”. It is in this town where one can climb an active volcano – Mt. Talinis – or trek to the 100-ft Casaroro Falls.
Late last year, I made it my personal vow to get to Casaroro Falls but I was apprehensive at first knowing that someone I know drowned at the place almost a decade ago. But since I have made “conquer your fear” as my personal motto, I pushed through with my plans.
Armed with 3 companions and 2 motorcycles we embarked on the 30-minute ride deep to the mountains of Valencia where Casaroro Falls can be found. The ride was a breeze – literally. And I again remembered how I used to relish riding a motorcycle sans a protective head cover.
Arriving at the entrance to the falls, we registered our names and paid the P10 entrance fee. And then the trek to the falls commenced. It was a 10-minute walk – including a 300+ concrete/steel steep, a cemented pathway, and a wooden bridge. I was awed by the place. It was teeming with fauna – trees, ferns, bamboos – on both sides. It was a sight a bit like the one seen from a banca on the way to the Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna.
The place was pretty desolate. There were no animals or insects in sight. No sound of birds chirping. No people laughing. At 11am, there was only the 6 of us who came to see the falls – me, my 3 companions, and 2 others. The only sound I could hear was the crash of water from far away as it fell from 100 feet above and the steady rush of the water streaming down the river.
Allowing my companions to go ahead, I took my time taking photographs. I was totally absorbed with what I was seeing that I didn’t notice that the sound of the falls had grown louder, that my companions had stopped walking, and was now staring at the falls which was obscured from where I was standing.
I broke into a brisk walk and a few second later was at their side. I stared at the falls meters from where we were. I gawked at it. It was a breathtaking sight.