Here in the Philippines, Iligan City is considered as the City of Majestic Waterfalls. Now when we say majestic, it doesn’t mean just a simple and dull set of waterfalls bursting and plunging without beauty. It is really magnificent and grand to see these waterfalls in front of you. You may have learned and seen them on your televisions screens or on Facebook and other media sharing channels, but when you encounter them personally, the allure just overflows.
The popular 23 waterfalls in Iligan City are not dwarf-sized collection of waterfalls. They are huge and is scattered from the most scenic forests around the City. Just by travelling into these waterfalls, you will be mesmerized by the beauty and luscious fragrance of water, stone, and moss united in your way. This is nature.
Below are the list of the top 3 most visited waterfalls in Iligan City:
Maria Cristina Falls
This is the most famous among all the Waterfalls in Iligan City. This, in fact, is the most visited too. It stands 320 feet and serve as the major source of power in Lanao del Norte! It has a unique form of two torrents of water plummeting down below.
This waterfall can be accessed through a 10-minute ride from city proper with a Buruun or Linamon-liner jeepneys. Just say to the driver to drop you off at NPC(National Power Corporation). The fare would be 12 pesos. The shuttle fee to bring you into the falls’ closest viewing deck is 10 pesos. Quite cheap to view a majestic giant.
But as many other beautiful sites in the world, Maria Cristina too has its enchanting story:
Long time ago, there was a young man that seeks for a marriage, he was the son of a Sultan. His name has remained unknown to the people. There was a girl in which he likes, her name is Maria Cristina. The courtship and seeking for Cristina’s heart has been the man’s dedicative effort to pursue. Soon, after constant chivalry, Cristina agreed to grant the request of the guy: to get married and be the Sultan’s princess.
Days later, before the wedding, there was a certain witch that lurked from the forest of Iligan. The witch confronted Cristina as she was strolling along a creek. The witch turns barbaric! She hurled words of disgust, frustration, and longingness of something unachievable. She specifically detailed that her love for the Sultan’s son has been so deep that even when she sought out for help of demons, she will do. Cristina was strucked! She ran with fear. As she was in her way out of the unfavorable and awkward scene, the witch lastly exclaimed loudly: “You will never marry him! At the day of your wedding, an inevitable curse will be cast! You will be turned into a mountain and the waters of this creek will flow amidst you! This will represent as your tears of grief that will straightly go down from the mountains!”
Cristina continued running and believe it was just a bluff from one of the prince’s desperate admirers. The wedding day came, the people are puzzled. Cristina did not show up. Suddenly a mountain has mysteriously emerged from the ground. A burst of water whooped out! The description of the falls as what the witch has described Cristina has been materialized with exact perfection.
The witch emerged and relayed what has happened. She then suddenly disappeared under the clear sun bringing bad tidings to the people. The people then mourn for Cristina’s loss and named the waterfalls in her name, that’s why it is called Maria Cristina.
This story might not be true after all, but like any local stories and creepy history, the truth can’t be validated strongly so as with its falsity. But that’s the beauty of these folklore; with its magnificent physical view, the story behind Maria Cristina just add a crisp of more taste!
“Tinago” means “Hidden” in english. This is just the right name coined into this hidden waterfall.
While in Maria Cristina, you can’t swim underneath the surging waters, Tinago falls will not fail you to experience such coveted moment. You can surely swim here, yes! But first we must determine how can we go in Tinago Falls.
First, ride a Buruun or Linamon-liner jeepneys. The fare will be 14 pesos. Just say to the driver to drop you off on the way to Tinago Falls. From here, a habal2x is waiting for you as your ride up! The fare will be 50 pesos when you are alone or if with companion, you can give just 25 pesos (though only few knew this tactic! Just try it, it’s effective! Don’t ride when you are alone if you want to spare some money way down.)
Now, after arriving in the site, you can see small stalls waiting for you in the entrance and a parking area for vehicles. You will then be asked for a 25 pesos payment, a receipt will be given, This will then be used to claim the life vest in the care taker’s cottage, which is required for everyone who’ll venture the waterfalls. From here, a clearly marked road with a view of undeveloped or cancelled project of resort buildings. (Industry are booming those days for this stay-in buildings, but as the days goes by, tourists choose not to stay near Tinago falls and prefer to stay in the comfortable city hotels, motels, and everything in between.) Now it just looks so creepy and will give you a feel of a modern Jurassic World experience! At the end of the road, there is the 364 unmaintained steps that will bring you down at the base of the waterfalls.
Actually, there is a more paved road that the Municipality of Linamon has developed to make the access to this waterfall not this overly taxing for the tourists! At the heart of Linamon, you can wheel your way up into a wide and cemented road that will lead you into a more presentable and well furnished entrance and steps. This has not been widely known yet, but the municipality of Linamon are doing their best to advertise this. This is a more favorable way so far.
In case you want some adventure, you might want to take the Buruun way. You’ll really enjoy it!
Iligan Paradise Resort and Eco Park is a good area for outing! This is a place where a lot of activities can done. One of which is experiencing Mimbalut falls. There are cottages, Zip Lines, Fun Playgrounds, and a lot more! This park can be found in Barangay Buruun having an entrance fee of 15 pesos. But the rides and other amusements varies in price rate.
You can trek your way into the base of the falls through the rocks in the path of the waters. You can easily access the area, if stress problems among family members and the Barkada is concerned. Less stress, still good satisfying experience!
This are just the 3 of at least 23 declared waterfalls in Iligan city. There are a lot more to discover, but just like any growth, you have to start something from somewhere, this might be a good start for your series of trips and excursions!
Visit Iligan City now and begin your adventure with these waterfalls!