MT. TALINIS (BEDIAO-APOLONG TRAVERSE)
Dauin and Valencia City, Negros Oriental
Entry point: Brgy. Bediao, Dauin
Exit point: Brgy. Apolong, Valencia City
LLA: 1903 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 2-3 days / 10-11 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail class 2-4
Features: Lakes, waterfalls, mossy forest
A longtime favorite Visayan destination of mountaineers is Mt. Talinis in Southern Negros, otherwise known as “Cuernos de Negros” for the horn-like peaks that highlight the mountain. It holds its position as the second highest mountain in Negros, next only to the lofty Kanlaon.
It is not surprising that Talinis is the only mountain other than Mt. Apo to have become twice the venue of the annual MFPI Federation climbs, among other activities. Its only impediment is the perennial rumor of NPA presence, but as of 2009, it is perfectly safe to climb Talinis.
There are several trails but the most typical, and comprehensive enough, route is a traverse from the Bediao trail in Dauin, Negros Oriental, to Apolong. The roster of places to see is formidable: first is Lake Yagumyum with the optional ascent to Yagumyum Peak; then, passing by the mystical maribuhok forests, one reaches the higher and grander Lake Nailig. From this lagoon there is again the option to scale Nailig Peak, otherwise known as Talinis Dako i.e. the highest point in the mountain. Finally, on the way down via the Apolong Route, pass by the sulphuric river and the Twin Falls of Talinis before ending in the grand cascade of Casaroro Falls, the highest in Negros at over 90 meters. A destination by itself, Casaroro Falls is a fitting conclusion to the Talinis experience.
Bediao-Apolong route from Dumaguete City
0600 From Dumaguete, take Ceres minibus to Dauin
0700 Get off at plaza; arrange habal-habal to Geothermal Site, Bediao
0730 ETA jumpoff. Start trek
1200 ETA Lake Yagumgyum. 30-minute assault to Yagumyum Peak
1330 Back at Lake Yagumyum, proceed to Lake Nailig
1700 ETA Lake Nailig; set up camp
1800 Dinner / socials
0500 Talinis summit assault
0700 ETA summit
0730 Head back to Nailig campsite
0900 Start descent
1200 ETA Sulfuric River
1500 ETA Casaroro Falls; sidetrip
1900 Back in Dumaguete
NOTE: the two peaks can be discarded for a lighter itinerary. Also, this same itinerary can be spread over three days.
Mt. Talinis is one of the remaining mountains under the care of a local mountaineering club, in keeping with old mountaineering tradition. The Cuernos de Negros Mountaineers, Inc. (CNMCI) based in Siliman University, Dumaguete, has maintained a close and fruitful relationship with the mountain and they are the best contact when planning a Talinis climb.
Transportation. To go to Talinis, the staging-off point is Dumaguete City. There are at least a few flights daily. Fares range from 3000-6000 roundtrip. Or, take the six-hour trip from Bacolod to Dumaguete (~P180). From Dumaguete take a tricycle to the Ceres bus terminal and take the minibus to Dauin. From Dauin municipality take a habal-habal up the mountain to the jumpoff in Bediao Geothermal Site. At the other end – you can take a habal-habal from the Casaroro Falls junction to Valencia town proper, where jeepneys will take you back to Dumaguete. Here don’t fail to appreciate a nice view of Talinis.
Climbing notes. It is safe to swim on both lakes Yagumyum and Nailig although the latter is cleaner albeit colder. You can also swim in the pools of Casaroro Falls. Cellphone signal is sporadic on the trail but it is present in the Maribuhok-Nailig leg of the trail. Water sources are available in the two lakes as well.
Beside Lake Nailig is another lake called Lake Mabilog. It has a pecuiliar rounded shape and is said to be the hideout of snakes.
Mt. Talinis is the third mountain in the Visayan Voyage. A narrative of the blogger’s trip to Talinis will be published in Manila Bulletin on July 25, 2009.
PinoyMountaineer thanks the Cuernos de Negros Mountaineering Club, Inc. for hosting the blogger and the Visayan Voyage Team in Mt. Talinis on April 9-10, 2009. Images courtesy of Lalaine Hablado, Julian Canero, and Jacob Sarreal.