Back in grade school, I thought that there were only 2 waterfalls in the Philippines because that was what our teachers had reiterated in class – the Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna and the Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City. Both falls are truly famous and you will find their names written on any text books. Postcards sold before also highlighted only those two. I haven’t been to both yet but luck was probably on my side the day a friend encouraged me to join a group of travel bloggers to go on a waterfalling adventure in Iligan City.
You see, I already know beforehand that there are more waterfalls in the Philippines than those 2 I’ve mentioned. But it was only probably 2-3 years ago that I learned that Iligan City holds the title of having the most number of waterfalls within a city. I think there are 23 recorded falls and a few more, which are waiting to be discovered. So learning that I’d get that chance to see Maria Cristina Falls plus 6 more waterfalls was enough reason for me to sign up on the tour. Well, actually that’s just one of the reasons. I was also excited to go out and meet old and new friends.
The people behind the Iligan Blogger’s Society were responsible for the Waterfalling Adventure Tour 2.0. Their aim was to let the people experience Iligan through the city’s tourist spots, food and its charming people. I can’t thank them enough for organizing this event for without the WAT 2.0, I’d still probably be wondering what Iligan City looks like and will wonder too what their falls look like and all. hehe.
Traveling to Mindanao, specifically Iligan City, to chase waterfalls is fun especially when you are in the company of cool people. So when I learned the name of some of the travel bloggers who will join the event, it gave me more reason to jon the WAT 2.0 event. Aside from that, I also wanted to visit the hometown of my long lost friend and see her too :-D I just have to shell out a small amount of money to cover some of the expenses of the tour.
Here are the names of the cool bloggers who joined the waterfalling adventure.
- Ferdz of Iron Wulf
- Marky of Nomadic Experiences
- Glen of Escape Manila
- Shugah of Wander Shugah
- Fredda of Trekking in the Tropics
- Leia of Technicolor Waves of Rhapsody
- Yobz of Ayosa Oi
- Tzaddi of Buttered Toast
- Clement of Best Spots in the Phillippines
Our group immediately went chasing waterfalls the day after we all arrived in the city. The itinerary for the 1st day was to visit the Pampam Falls, Kalubihon Falls and Dalipuga Falls. All of these falls can be found in one area though one has to trek for 10-15 minutes to get to the falls. Actually, we though that only 1 stream flows from these falls. The locals just probably gave names to each level to identify the falls.
The first falls we visited was the two lower levels of the Pampam Falls. One can actually swim at this level but no one dared to take the lead. When the gang was done taking photos, we walked for less than 5 minutes to reach the main falls of Pampam.
Christian of Lakad Pilipinas has named Pampam the Skull-shaped falls on his recent write-up about the place. Actually, I’d have to agree with him. I never noticed that it looked like one despite the evident two hollow openings on what looks like the face of the waterfalls. The catch basin of the falls is shallow but the locals seem to enjoy jumping/diving/freefalling in its pool. Must be their adrenalines.
Next on the list was a quick visit to the Kalubion Falls. We had to trek probably 10 minutes max to get to the place. One won’t even get the slightest idea that a waterfall is lurking beneath those big slippery boulders. We managed to climb up and found ourselves staring on what looks like a cave.
You see, to get to the Kalubihon Falls, we had to wade in those cold waters to get to the other side. The middle section of the cave pool is deep but non-swimmers can cling to the rocks on the cave’s sides to get to the other side. Once you get to the end, you’d have to carefully climb up while you welcome all the stream flowing right at your pathway. This reminds me of spelunking in Sumaguing Cave in Sagada sans the flowing water.
Once you get to the other side, you will see Kalubihon Falls. There’s really nothing majestic with this falls except that it’s hidden in a secret passageway and you’d get to earn bragging rights when you decide to conquer your fear and wade in to that cave pool just to get to the other side. This one’s one of my favorite falls, by the way.
Before heading home, we went to this tiny falls called Dalipuga Falls. Upon seeing the drop, I immediately made a mental note to check when can a falls be considered a waterfalls. The height of its drop gave me doubts if this one can really be considered a waterfall.
The water was murky during our visit here and only one braved to swim. The rest of us just took photos of the place and ate snacks.
Timoga Spring Pools
The next day was a day of relaxation for the whole team. Our hosts from IBS brought us to Mimar’s Springway Resort in Timoga.
Timoga is actually a place in Iligan City where you will find an abundant source of water flowing downhill. I believe that the area can be described as a wide wall of streams flowing from the top. However, the landowners in the area converted the place into spring resorts. Some of them even created pools where an abundant supply of fresh water is always available. I was told there are five resorts of this kind in Timoga.
During our visit at Mimar’s we opted to stay at the natural pools of the resort and enjoyed each other’s company while we feasted on the famous Timoga lechon together with other dishes prepared by Jacko’s.
If you decide to visit Mimar’s, don’t forget to get a body massage courtesy of those raging rapids. Just make sure you plant your feet well underneath those boulders to avoid getting thrown away by the strong current.
On our third day, we got the chance to visit one of the magnificent waterfalls in Iligan – the Dodiongan Falls. What’s even more interesting is the presence of an unlikely “individual” who trekked with us for 15 minutes and crossed rivers and walked on steep passageways.
Jollibee visited Dodiongan Falls!
I was utterly happy and amused at the thought of ‘Jabee’, my fave mascot from the country’s largest food chain, Jollibee, joining us on our waterfalling adventure. To some extent, the trek was actually challenging because of the presence of huge boulders and steep pathways and I’d have to commend Jollibee Iligan’s team for enduring this little adventure.
Maria Cristina Falls
The last day of WAT 2.0 was jam-packed with all sorts of activities. it was a hectic last day, I would say. We had to visit 3 waterfalls that day, including the famous Maria Cristina falls.
They say that the Maria Cristina falls is actually responsible for providing electricity to the whole Mindanao region. A power plant sits right next to it and to get a closer look at the twin falls, it’s better to climb up to the viewing deck of the building.
Witnessing the ravaging stream of water flowing from Maria and Cristina was a sight to behold. It was truly spectacular and the Iliganons are super blessed to have this natural attraction sitting in their city.
After visiting Maria Cristina, we immediately went to Tinago Falls. We had to go down a series of steps to get to this falls hidden deep within the forest. I lost track of how many steps we took to get down but I’d have to tell you that the climb up would be a huge challenge.
The area was crowded when we arrived being that it was a weekend when we visited the place. The water was refreshing too and we managed to swim towards the wall of the falls. It was just too bad that our time was limited. It would have been wonderful if we stayed a little longer and enjoyed the refreshing swim at this place.
We had to cut short our stay at Tinago Falls to visit Mimbalot Falls. This falls is nestled inside the Iligan Paradise Resort. Honestly, I never noticed the falls cascading beneath the hill of the resort. When we arrived, we got the chance to zip line and ride a cable car. Only then did I notice the flowing water. The sun had already set by the time we left the place.
It took the whole team to complete our waterfalling adventure tour for four days. Each day, our excitement grew bigger at the thought of knowing what’s in store for us. Four days seemed too long but for adventure junkies like us, it was too short.
And because we had not had enough of chasing waterfalls in Iligan, some of us decided to visit a nearby province to check out two famous waterfalls in the area.
To sum up this post, chasing waterfalls in Iligan City is not an easy feat. You’d have to subject your body to a certain degree of physical abuse. You’d have to drag yourself out of bed early to prepare for the long day ahead despite the lack of sleep from the night before because all you just wanted to do was to strengthen the bonds of friendship formed. Or perhaps complain about how IBS overfed you with the delicious meals they untiringly prepare, thereby ruining your diet or something. But for the love of the thrill and adventure, for the love of Iligan City and its adorable people, none of those really matter. Which is why I would like to take this opportunity again to thank the beautiful people of Iligan Blogger’s Society for their unyielding support in making this event a success. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
See you at WAT 3.0!
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Waterfalling Adventure Tour 2.0 by the Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. will not be possible without the support from the following partners Iligan City Government, IHARRA , and Iligan Chamber and event sponsors:
With the support of: Greenwich Iligan | Jasmine Pensioned Home | Kopi Luwak | Keepsakes Iligan | Gerona Town Center | Aruma Coffee Lounge | Tedt’s Diner | Iligan Paradise Resort | Linamon’s Best | Piaya de Iligan | NPC Nature’s Park | Third Team Media | JCreations | New Horizon | Perfect Wedding | Jesbey’s Diner | Delecta | Bob NYUSA | Hon. Frederick Siao | Hon. Michelle Sweet
Please check out Waterfalling Adventure Tour 2.0 for the whole storyline of the event.