Chasing waterfalls is definitely not a bad idea if you happened to find yourself in Mindanao - Camiguin and Iligan alone are teeming with majestic and breathtaking waterfalls. Most specially Iligan where the sheer number of waterfalls - described as more than twenty (20) – can give every traveler of any genre the thrill and satisfaction. The sweat after the hike or trek is easily forgotten upon laying eyes on these waterfalls.
I consider Katibawasan Falls as a prelude to those majestic waterfalls in Mindanao not because it is inferior either in beauty or majesty but simply due to the fact that it can be reached with very little effort and has a very accommodating pool even for non swimmers. Katibawasan possesses that very dizzying height at 250 feet and and very inviting cool waters decorated by ferns, vines, and other rich vegetation.
Katibawasan can be reached without an agonizing hike and I think authorities in Camiguin have done a great job of preserving this falls amidst some travelers’ clamor for convenience. The very minimal fee charged by the local government has been put to good use.
|Maria Cristina Falls|
I was very excited with our trip to the Maria Cristina Falls – one if not the most famous falls in the Philippines. Immediately as our van arrived at the site and after the customary registration and payment of entrance fees, we headed to where that sound of strong gushing water is coming from. Each of my step seems to get heavier as I am getting engulfed with excitement that finally – after hearing about this falls since grade school – I would be able to see this legendary and majestic waterfall in real life. Everything seemed surreal as I took each step towards her. It was like meeting someone famous for the very first time.
At the entrance, Maria Cristina Falls can’t be seen. Hydroelectric Plants meant for producing electricity have hidden the falls from sight. As we headed towards the gushing sound of water, louder at each step we take towards her, Maria Cristina Falls actually beckons us to move faster and see how majestic she is. Indeed, after a few more steps, I finally saw Maria Cristina Falls! I felt something indescribable. She was undisputedly majestic and has a mystifying splendor and grandeur.
“Tinago” means hidden and Tinago Falls is indeed a hidden paradise in Iligan! After surviving, literally, that staircase of approximately five hundred steps (500) we were blessed with one of the most breathtaking falls in Mindanao! Water gushes out of the rocks and with its ravines coupled with its crystal clear waters; it is as if we have descended unto paradise. We still have a couple of places to visit but Tinago Falls overwhelmingly captivated us. With this very stunning falls a day is not enough to fully enjoy and experience its grandeur.
Iligan, in fact not only Iligan but the entire Philippines, is blessed with an array of waterfalls where beautiful adjectives fell short to fully describe their splendor. You got to be there and see them for yourself to fully appreciate their beauty and allure.