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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Balanan Lake, Philippines

Balanan Lake is located at the core tropical rainforest of Brgy. Sandulot, Siaton, Negros Oriental. It is a freshwater lake shaped like a long bone with the narrowest point between the two major portions at 90 meters wide. It is bounded by mountain ranges and three main water inflows at the northern end: the Lamarao, Balanan and Managobsob Creeks.

This vast water reservoir, locally known as ‘linaw’, was formed by a tectonic earthquake that shook Siaton on May 5, 1925. Originally, it was a river but the 6.8- magnitude earthquake triggered landslides that created a natural dam forming the 25-hectare Lake Balanan.

Today, Balanan Lake is well-known to be the heart of ecotourism in the province. It is enclosed with hills and ranges mounting 200 meters from the banks - the Balanan mountain range on the east; and on the west, the Nasig-id mountain range; and an aged forest comprising of almost a hundred soaring, tall dalakit / balete trees. The Lamarao, Balanan and Managobsob creeks feed the lake at the northen end. Another prominent feature of this nature’s masterpiece is the Lamarao and Balanan Falls with scenic and crystal clear cascades.

Accommodations are strategically located at the hillside offering guests with the spectacular view of the lake. Visitors may choose to stay in a modernly-designed, air-conditioned hotel, in a converted staff house, or in a native and homey dalakit tree-house rising 60-feet above the lakeshore. Guests may take pleasure among the varied-shapes swimming pools. A floating pier offers kayaks, banca/baroto, raft and pedal-or-paddle boats. Amenities also include a dining pavilion, floating cottages, and Balaney (Balanan Jeepney) which ferries guest from the parking lot to the Balanan Lake Main Cottage.

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