Mt. Talinis is one of Negros Region’s Mountain Trilogy and the most hiked of the three, probably because of its convenient location – just a few kilometers away from Negros Oriental’s capital of Dumaguete. Also known as Cuernos de Negros (Horns of Negros), is classified by PHIVOCS as a complex “Potentially Active Volcano”, it is rich in biodiversity and home to numerous “sulfutaras” or sulfuric vents, hence, several Geothermal power plants can be seen in the mountain to harness its power.
I’ve been to this mountain twice; the first time I went there was a beautiful disaster, I was literally new to mountaineering then and I obviously lack the necessary equipment that a mountain, such as Talinis, requires. To make the story short, my dad and I almost succumbed to Hypothermia, the night was bitter cold, fierce and wet – our skin almost torn apart by the low temperature. It was a scary experience but taught me a very invaluable lesson, a lesson that made me the mountaineer that I am today.
Fast Forward 5 months after the first climb, I decided to give it a second try, this time I’m more prepared than before and already armed with the knowledge of the mountain’s characteristics. The team – DimenEu – that I’m with this time, took the same trail we took during the previous climb, which is, the Bediao – Apolong Traverse or the Dauin – Valencia route. We met at Dumaguete and went straight to the town of Dauin, where the Bediao trail starts. The Local Government of Dauin mandates that a group of climbers should have a local guide with a 7:1 ratio at 700 pesos per day, which for me is a good idea, not only does it give a means of livelihood for the locals, this is also for the safety of the visiting mountaineers.
The trail starts immediately with an open-field assault and it’s really draining, especially when the sun is out and hot. About 30-45 mins later we finally reached a tree-line that signifies the start of the jungle trail – a very welcome sight after a very hot open-field assault. It was refreshing once inside the forest, the air was cool and most importantly the heat of the sun can’t penetrate the jungle canopy, but it was long from over. We trekked for another 4 hours through thick roots and wild flora to reached Yagumyum Lake. there we rested for about an hour, ate our packed lunch, had a quick nap and off to the trail.
We trekked again for another 4 hours or so through beautiful ridges that was covered in tree-roots (Imagine Pandora in the movie Avatar), go under humongous tree trunks that were centuries-old, battle against slippery mud-rocks and passing-by scenic foresty-ish domain, it was tiring but satisfying at the same time.
At last just before dusk, we arrived at Lake Nailig, where we would set our camp. the lake is mesmerizing, I’ve seen it before but it never failed to seduced me yet again by its natural beauty and by its alluring presence, it’s as if a feeling of longing has been answered – you just want to hug the lake.
The night was cold but I came equipped to face it 🙂 . The morning after, we rushed to the summit of Mt. Talinis, excited to see the mountain’s full splendor from up above. The assault was surely difficult, the path was so steep almost to a 90 degrees angle. but all the struggle was worth it….the view was…it was…..let the pictures speak for itself
After more than an hour at the summit taking pictures and just starring at the view, it’s time for us to descend to the other side of the mountain – the town of Valencia. The descent was exhuasting, the downhill trail was treachearous and lenghty, like there was no end to it, until we saw a shimerring white cliff from a distant, we finally reached the Sulfutaras. As we near it, a smell of rotten egg started to emerge, it was an unpleasant smell but the scenery was the exact opposite – it was a wonderful angelic death scene (because of the sulfur vents, there was death and decay everywhere).
We descended further down the mountain until we arrived at the Twin Falls, two water falls standing tall adjacent to one another, a hidden paradise indeed.
It was already dark when we finally got down the mountain, it was a long day – a long memorable beautiful day.