" F o l l o w M e ! "
MOUNT KANLA-ON VOLCANO and NATIONAL PARK
When I arrived the first time in the Philippines - after "EDSA
Revolution 1986", I was immediately welcomed by a crowd of children: "Hey, Joe!" with a clear hand gesture and the words: "Give me one peso, please!" This is from the time when American GI's were and is less an invitation to whip out your wallet, but as a friendly greeting.
I visited in Luzon and Visayas. Mindanao was even on my routes and I could enjoy warm hospitality everywhere. Finally, I was "at home" in Negros.
Before I transfered to Bacolod City, my first place was in in La Carlota City at the foot of Mount Kanla-on and entrance to Kanla-on National Park, where I founded
LC T&T - LA CARLOTA TOURS & TRAVEL.
" S U G A R L A N D I A "
Negros is known as "Sugarlandia" because more than half of the sugar production in the Philippines comes from Negros - the fourth largest
island out of the - during low tide - 7,107 in the Philippinea archipelago.
And so there is a story to
A legend says, that, long before the Spaniards landed 1567 in the island of Negros - with the name was still "Buglas", there
lived a warrior and gallant prince, Kanla-on, the son of King Suta, ruler of mountains and wilderness. He was in love with Princess Marapara, daughter of Datu Mandalagan, ruler of the northern winds.
On the day of their marriage, an intruder arrived. He was Silay-on, prince of fishermen, from Pulupandan. Because of jealousy, the two warriors clashed into a fierce fight. Silay-on was slain
by Kanla-on and Marapara also was accidentally hit and killed by a spear.
Princess Marapara was burried, the spear thrusted into her burrial ground. Misteriously, the spear turned itself into the stem of a plant with grass-like leaves. A sweet juice could be extracted from it and so, the plant was called
S U G A R C A N E
Prince Kanla-on never married until he died and was burried amidst the plains of sugarcane. A great mount of earth appeared in his buried site until it grew into a tall and majestic mountain:
MOUNT KANLA-ON VOLCANO
Natives believe it is a "sacred volcano", a dwelling place for spirits and that, inside the mountain is the residence of Prince Kanla-on.
Now ant then, he gives utterance about his dissatisfaction with the world outside.
If one is lucky .... on a day with full moon and low-tide
at midnight, he is allowed to enter the palace in Mount Kanla-on and get an invitation to enjoy the grace of excellent hospitality as guest of Prince Kanla-on and Princess Marapara.
One of my favorite places was Guintubdan, a barangay of La Carlota City in an elevation of 800-1,000 meters (2,500-3,000 feet) above sea level, after I returned from tours to "Euroland". Days without
phone calls, no appointments, news ..... short, relaxful vacations, holidays in a still unpolluted environ.
It is a quiet place - except
the sound of waterfalls and cock-crows, but - this is "sweet music" and you know that they grow up in good and healthy conditions. Guintubdan is an ideal breeding station for fighting cocks. The best and fierciest - winner in cockpits - come from there.
Because of its fertile volcano soil, the area is called "a fruit and vegetable basket of Sugarlandia", with one of the entrances to
K A N L A - O N N A T I O N A L P A R K
a 25,000 hectar wilderness around summit and craters and on the slopes of Mount Kanla-on, one of the most active volcanos in the Philippines, and with its 2,465 meters (8,088
feet) the highest peak in Visayas. Out of around 200 volcanos in the Philippine archipelago, 21 are active.
Lola (granny) prepared the
best chicken and the sweetest bibinka (rice cakes) - in her house still without electricity. AirCon? Not neccessary in the fresh mountain air; clean and clear water not from a pipe, but from a spring in the garden with beautiful flowers, several kinds of orchids
and other plants.
Guintubdan is a vantage point: Kanla-on in the back, viewing Panay on the sunset-side. Guimaras in between, also known as "Mango Island" because of its 160,000 mango trees. No motorized traffic - except sometimes delivery vans, pick-up cars for transfers of cocks to Bacolod Airport and Seeport; jeepneys and tricycles (motor-bikes with side-car) from La Carlota City and neighbouring barangays. Some tropical rainshowers more than in the plains.
Tops are most time of the day in clouds - except in the morning.So, it's recommended
to calculate three days for a
Tour to summit an crater
First day - from the entrance of Kanla-on National Park up to the region below summit. Perpare basis camp.
Next morning - to summit and old crater. Take a relaxing bath in the cool and fresh water of the lake, filled during rainy season; so, it's only available till summer, later the lake is dry.
Afternoon - back to the camp.
Third day - return to the occidental side of Negros, or continue to Canla-on City in Negros Oriental.
On tour, one can see many endemic species in flora and fauna - unfortunately, more and more endangered to be extinct due to global environment conditions. Sorry, something is "home made" due to neglected environment protection by some people and even government authorities and – still ongoing(!) illegal logging.
intervals of one, two or more years, Mount Kanla-on exhibits, more or less, vehement "phrenetic explosions", which are result of hydrothermal disturbances, when cold water from outside get inside in the hot area of the volcano and steam is emitted, comperable
to the pressure valve of a steam-cooker or a boiler, via the crater, carrying old sedimentary ash, dust, sand, from the ground of the crater into the atmoshere.
These events can happen any time without showing warning signs, the reason why the area in a radius of four kilometers from the crater is declared as a permanent "danger zone".
Natives living on the lower slopes and the foot of the volcano, are "familiar" with activities of Mount (and Prince) Kanla-on. "Normal routine" is the rule, as long as the roof remains on the house if it isn't raining stones and rocks.
Come and visit
MY COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE