Ever wonder why it was called “Tinagong Dagat”?
Tinagong Dagat is located in Mt. Mandalagan of Negros Occidental. It is a flat terrain on top of a mountain and was said to be an old crater. The best season to traverse the mountains is during summer between March to May.
It is famously known as “Tinagong Dagat” which means “hidden sea.” Also, originally called and is known by the locals as “Danao” which means “the puddle.” When rainy season comes, the plateau which is also the camp site area becomes a lagoon. The water level reaches knee-deep and can rise to 6-feet high when it rains heavily. When this happens, campers have to move their tents on higher ground.
Our jump off point is at Sitio Campuestohan, Brgy. Cabatangan, Talisay City, Negros Occidental. Taking the shorter route can take you 4-5 hours of climbing– you need to gear up for a very tiring trek. Another alternative route is in Brgy. Patag, Silay City, Negros Occidental which will take you about 6-8 hours to reach Tinagaong Dagat.
Our group is composed of trekkers of all ages: from the youngest of 10 years old up to “the seniors”. We grouped ourselves into three to make the trek even more exciting.
Our route on our ascent is what our guides call “batu-batuhon.” From how they call it, it’s a stony and rough trail.
One has to be very be careful while walking on the trail. It can be slippery and expect loose rocks are scattered everywhere so take extra precaution.
Beware of the “alimatok” or “limatik,” a family of leeches. You can’t see them instantly because of its size and it can somehow camouflage themselves on the leaves or twigs.
When we reached the top we found a flat grass carpet about 2 kilometers wide. We were expecting to see a puddle of water but there’s no trace of it as if it was really hidden. We even joked about it that it really is “hidden.”
It’s a very big playground for freeze bee, football or even running.
We took a different trail on our descent and less complicated than our climb. Our guide calls it “Kulukabayo” (Horse-like) because of a mark etched on a stone when you look at the mountain. Minimum elevation is 854 meters up to a maximum elevation of 1,531 meters.
How to Get to Bacolod
From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (Php100-150 per head), or a cab (minimum of Php400) and ask to be dropped off at your destination.
If you have a private transportation going to Sitio Campuestohan, it would be the best option.