Kabalin-an Lake (Negros Oriental, PH)
“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.” – Anais Nin
I have a penchant for places that screams mystery… one that makes me stare for a moment with several thoughts clouding my mind..
That is exactly what I thought of when I first gazed at Kabalin-an Lake in Sibulan, Negros Oriental.Sibulan, a pretty large town adjacent to Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, is gifted with both beaches and mountains It is known for its golf courses and the Twin Lakes of Balinsasayaw and Danao.
Although the Twin Lakes are more famed, I personally love the charm and anonymity of Lake Kabalin-an, which is found at the foot of a mountainous area where the twin lakes are nestled.
Going to Kabalin-an requires a risky ride via “habal-habal” (a motorcycle taxi or skylab). The ride will take you into some unpaved, dust or muddy terrain (depending on the weather) as it penetrates into the rain forests of Sibulan. The road heading up the mountain was actually picturesque (and if only I wasn’t scared of the ride, I would have captured loads of photos. The ride took around 30-45 minutes (but it felt like it was longer due to the dodgy ground).
Upon arriving at the registration site, your sense of sight will automatically be drawn into this very serene lake that is Kabalin-an. What is very striking are the tall trees submerged in the middle of the lake. It is really pretty interesting as I have only previously seen such a thing in marshy areas. Lake Kabalin-an is definitely an undisturbed refuge that made me forget about that gruelling ride.I have seen photos of this place prior to visiting the area. And that prompted me to visit the lake. Never did I think that it is way more magical to see them in person. After some reading, I have come to learn that the trees are willow trees (Salix tetrasperma). It just felt good looking at how verdant they are as there reflection becomes vivid in the water.
How To Go to Kabalin-an Lake:
From Dumaguete, ride a Ceres bus bound for northern part of Negros Oriental and tell the bus conductor to drop you off at the junction going to Twin lakes. The ride should only take more or less 30 minutes. For your reference, there is a signboard at the left side of the road going to Sibulan directing to the Twin Lakes.
From this, hire a habal-habal. They normally charge Php200-300 per person one-way. The habal-habal drivers can wait till you’re done exploring the lakes. There is an entrance fee of Php10.