Paradise in the Mist

As you cruise along the winding mist-covered mountain path to the hidden paradise as a first-time visitor, even then
you will know the potential of what you see. Perhaps you will feel a little
curious as you peer at the sprawling hills and turquoise sea of the Tanon Strait below. Or maybe
mystified about how this little gem has managed to dodge mobs of tourists all
these years. 
Dubbed as “The Little Baguio” of
the Visayas, Canlaon City has even more to offer than its bigger and more
popular counterpart. Oh yes, they share the same pine-scented cool crisp air
and magnificent sceneries. They both boast of fertile lands that feed their
regions and beyond with fresh produce. But one major difference stands out:
Baguio City attracts ordinary travelers who want to tick something out of their
bucket lists. But Canlaon City draws those who are adventurous enough to leave certain comforts behind.

It is even politically incorrect
to compare the two! Canlaon City is home to one of the Philippines major active
volcanoes, Mt. Kanlaon, standing majestically  with a
peak elevation of 2,435 m
(7,989 ft). It provides a picturesque backdrop to a city
that has, over the years, retained a small-town feel—no malls, no ATMs, no
airport—just a little piece of simple heaven in the heart of Negros.
You don’t have to be a
mountaineer to scale Mt. Kanlaon’s peak. However, you have to be fit enough as
the two-day trek is no simple task. It can be arduous especially when the rains
start to pour, but its reward is felt the instant you get a glimpse of the
breath-taking view from above. The way to the crater is even dotted with little
surprises. There’s an old crater that becomes a lake in the rainy season and
transforms into a meadow of bright purple flowers in the summertime. Along the
way, you can pick wild strawberries to replenish your energy or allow yourself
to be captivated by the song of birds and crickets and the distant roar of
waterfalls somewhere in the mountains.
If mountain climbing isn’t your cup of tea,
then you can still go on a little walk or a “habal-habal” (motorcycle) ride—along vast
rice fields, sugarcane plantations, flower gardens, and vegetable farms—towards
OISCA Farm where you can choose to picnic at the water reservoir, play with the
resident ostriches, or  just laze under
the shade of a century-old balete tree.
If you feel like going for a
swim, trek to the nearest waterfalls, where you can soak in its cool, calming
water to while the time away, with only the croaking of frogs and the
occasional crickets to keep you company. Or if you feel the need for an
adrenaline rush, why not visit Padudusan falls, and you’ll never look at commercial
water slides the same way again.
Of course, if you’re already
shivering from all the coolness that Canlaon exudes, you can take a dose of
heat from Bucalan Hot Springs known to heal certain skin diseases and boil eggs
in seconds, if you feel like taking a snack.
How about a taste of culture and
tradition? Visit Canlaon in March and witness the Pasayaw Festival—a colorful
and creative street-dancing parade—before you get whisked off from house to
house to gorge on fiesta food. Oh yes, we know how to have fun in Canlaon! The
contrast between the simplicity of the landscape and the modernity of the
residents always gives sophistication to the experience.

Would you believe that this
little obscure city in the center of Negros is home to them all? Canlaon’s
breathtaking natural beauty, cool crisp air, and diverse flora and fauna have
long been overlooked by travellers.
In the age of bucket-list-ticking
type of trips, Canlaon will be a welcome relief. It will teach you that
travel is not all about seeing the things that we’ve read over and over in
blogs and travel magazines. Canlaon will remind you that travelling is really
about discovery, in finding joys in the simple things.
There’s always a seminal moment
in our journeys that distills how we see the world. Let Canlaon give you
that.  You can never really claim your “I’ve
travelled the Philippines” badge of honor until you set foot on one of the
hidden gems of the Visayas. If you want an experience that captivates your
senses like nothing else, choose Canlaon!
How to get there: Ceres buses and mini-vans depart daily from
Dumaguete City, San Carlos City, and Bacolod City to Canlaon. From Cebu, you
can take a bus or a mini-van to Toledo City and hop on the ferry to San Carlos,
then take another bus to Canlaon.
Visit the Tourism Office right in
the center of the city to give you information on where to go, what to do, and
brief you about travel safety.
Canlaon City Tourism Office
Photo credits: Special thanks to Jigz Santiago, Ruby Dejito, and Ann Clerigo for letting me use their awesome photos for this post. 


This is my entry to the PTB Blog Carnival with the theme: “The Visayas Roundup” hosted by Ding Fuelos of The Pinoy Explorer.
For more PTB Blog Carnival themes, visit Estan Cabigas’ Langyaw.

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3 Comment

  1. Oh, I would love to visit Canlaon. I particularly want to experience the Padudusan falls.. nakaka-excite!! This would have to be one of my fave Visayas Round UP posts na!! 🙂

  2. admin says: Reply

    Thanks, Mai. You're very welcome to visit Canlaon. If I'm there when you come, I can even host you and take you around. I've not been to my hometown in a long time and would love to see experience everything again. 🙂

  3. This looks like a wonderful place.

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