Don Salvador Benedicto: 4 Places to Visit
Located in the mountainous part of Northern Negros, Don Salvador Benedicto is popular with tourists who want to take a break from stressful urban life. The town is dubbed as the Summer Capital of Negros Occidental because of its cool climate, towering pine trees, and beautiful sceneries.
It was named after the late Vice Governor Salvador Benedicto, who played an important role in founding a revolutionary government in Negros during Japanese occupancy. The town was founded in 1983 from remote barangays of Murcia, Calatrava, and San Carlos City which were neglected due to inaccessibility.
Nowadays, the municipality is seen as an ideal place for tourism, and continuous developments on its several tourist spots are underway. And it is pretty close to Bacolod City and San Carlos, another reason for more following as the most wanted getaway to unwind.
What’s good in Don Salvador Benedicto, is that the travel itself is part of the vacation due to scenic view along the road. And of course, the best part is it’s free to see those.
LION STATUE & VIEW DECK
After a long travel along the zigzag road, this is the first landmark that can be seen there. Just like in Baguio, the place is inviting and cars usually flocked beside it. It was built by Bacolod City Lions Club in partnership with Koishiung and South Korea Lions Club.
Beside the statue is a view deck that offers a spectacular view of mountain ranges. Then there’s a grotto being built down below. Also, there are snacks and refreshments available for sudden hunger strikes.
Rice Terraces can already be seen from the view deck. And as you continue your travel, you will see more of those which usually adorn every mountain. On the mountains are rice plantations, while the lowlands are sugar cane fields. Those two commodities are evident on the town’s municipal seal.
An iconic natural landmark of Negros Island, Mt. Kanlaon has a height of 2,465masl, the highest point of Negros and the whole Visayas. Similar to volcanic mountains, it is elusive to photo ops. But since it is facing DSB, its full greatness will eventually be revealed by visitors within their visit.
At Maranatha Camp Site where we stayed, we got up early to see the mountain sunrise, and we’re not disappointed. Behold the majestic rise of the sun behind the mountain as the sea of clouds complement its grandeur. Though there are many viewing spots to see different angles of a volcano’s beauty, it’s another experience seeing its greatness from another nearby mountain at the right time.
Aka “Cigarette Falls” due to its appearance from afar. Just looking at it after an hour of travel from Bacolod made your stress relieved. You’ll see its beauty from the view deck (or lantawan to locals) near the roadside. This is another favorite stopover for tourists especially who loves photo op. There are some vendors there selling chichiria like banana chips, taro chips, chicharon and cornik.
Below the viewing deck is the entrance down to a long trek to the falls. You need to register and hire a guide to get there. The trek usually takes an hour. Sadly, we didn’t have much time to go there. To represent the TupangGala, we sent our trusty Buknoy, the flying drone, and took a close footage of the falls. We just sighed as we view what Buknoy sees on its camera, imagining we were there, swimming and enjoying the waters. Well, the stopover still worth it for us, first-timers.
There are still lots of places yet to be seen at Don Salvador, especially development is underway, everywhere within the town as it aims to become the province’s premier tourist city. But if you want to see it before its developed state, now is the time to visit. For sure, you’ll be relaxed if you’re touring the town or even just passing by.
From Bacolod, ride a Ceres Bus bound to Don Salvador or San Carlos. (Commuting is not recommended because of the inconvenience of riding and disembarking and so on)
From Bacolod, take the Negros Eco-Tourism Highway. It will take an hour and maybe another 30 minutes for a chill ride :).