Michelle and I went to Patag Silay back in early April to go for some awesome hikes looking for some Waterfalls that are in the area and at the same time we got an interesting history lesson. Patag Silay is very easy to get to from Bacolod City. Take a Bata Jeepney to the North terminal a mere 50 pesos per person will get you to Silay, and then an additional 50 pesos per person will get you all the way up the mountain to Patag Silay. We took a bus out of Silay, and we were loaded to the hilt. People on the roof, and little wooden stools in bus so you could sit in the aisle and people loaded in doorways and hanging off the ladders. The trip to the top of the mountain took about 1.5 hours as we stop at every little place and town on the way, but it was a cool trip. The rice paddies are so beautiful.
Patag Silay, Silay City
Silay or City of Silay is a third class city in the province of Negros Occidental with a population os approximately 120,000 people and is a part of what is known as Metro Bacolod. Metro Bacolod is made up of Silay, Bacolod City and Talisay. Silay is often referred to as the “Paris of Negros” due to its artists, cultural shows and large collection of perfectly preserved heritage houses. More than thirty of these houses have been declared as historical landmarks. Silay is the second Philippine city to have been declared a museum city next to Vigan in Ilocos Sur.
History of Patag Silay
World War II
On the slopes of Mt. Silay lies Patag Silay, the site of the Japanese military’s last stand in Western Visayas
during World War II. In 1945, US military forces landed in Negros Island. The occupying forces of Nagano Detachment of the Imperial Japanese Army retreated to Silay and proceeded up Mt Silay to Patag. There, they established a defensive position. Military forces of the Philippine Commonwealth and soldiers of the US 40th Infantry Division proceeded up the slopes of Mt. Silay with help from Filipino soldiers of the 7th, 71st, 72nd, and 75th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and Negrosanon guerrilla fighters and defeated the Japanese defenders. Today, the site is marked by and monument dedicated to the efforts which led to the liberation of Negros Island.
Michelle and I did a couple of big hikes in the area in order to see some of the amazing waterfalls we have heard about. Our first trip to the valley floor from Patag Silay had us following this trail that took us right past two caves carved in the side of the mountain by the Japanese during the war. We were upon them before we even saw them. If this was during the war we would have already died in an ambush. Me with my military background of course really interested in this sort of thing. I made a mental note to watch for them on the way back up, and I actually walked right past them and did not even see them. I can only image what the US 40th Infantry Division endured during the war.
The trip to the first waterfalls was only about 30 minutes, and it was a beautiful falls to see, though the lighting was not in favor for decent pictures, it was still well worth the trip. The area was pretty interesting there was cool mountain air, with the heat and humidity of the area mixed in.
Our trip to the second waterfalls was a 90 minute to 2 hour trip in then the same to make it out. This trip is not
for the faint of heart that is for sure. We hired a guide which is something I would not have normally wanted to do, but in this case there is no way we have made it where we were headed and back again I know this for sure. The trail is not what we are used to back home, it was rough, rocky and narrow with little room for a mistake. The mistake would have been a fall to the valley floor that would have certainly ruined our day for sure.
As we approached the second falls we could tell it was going to be spectacular. We could hear the water cascading over the ledge and slamming to the bottom of the valley. There were areas where we had to walk in the river, so be sure to know how you want to travel. Michelle took her shoes off, where I kept mine on to protect my feet. You need to realize we were in some pretty dense jungle for sure. This was a long trip, I was hot sweaty and pretty spent by the time we reached the falls. I think me anyways was pretty close to Heat Exhaustion, we were out of liquids and we had just made it half way for the second trekk.
If you find yourself in the area, a trip to Silay City, or Patag Silay is well worth your time.