Tinago falls is indeed Iligan’s pride. I’ve been craving to visit the falls the first time I saw a video showcasing the beautiful clear blue water plus the rush of the falls in a basin of cold tempting water. Without a doubt, Iligan known as "City of Majestic Waterfalls" is part of our
Trekking down the hidden falls is not as hard and far from those I have experienced however I am not feeling well that day because of my monthly visitor (you know) but I do not want to miss this out. We hired a motorcycle (habal-habal) to bring us here. We asked them to stop at a nearby market so we can buy our lunch. We arrive at a house where the locals (plenty of them) are welcoming you offering to hire them as tour guide, we thought we needed one and it seems automatic, they even didn’t wait for us to say yes, as soon as we told that it was our first time visiting the Tinago falls, they accompanied us and assist us. (Of course with hidden charges) You also need to pay the entrance fee and a walk around 10mins to reach the more or less 500-step stairs descending to the hidden falls.
|Welcoming the visitors|
We were thrilled and excited as soon as we saw even just a peek. Then finally, after the last few steps, our tired feet was refreshed upon seeing and hearing the rumblings of the waterfalls.
|Captivating and tempting|
I thought that there will be only few visitors but we were welcomed by plenty of people swimming, eating and as if there’s a party going on. Exploring the complete view of the location, we realized that it was not really a hidden ('Tinago' in Filipino) after all. A constructed tables and chairs were seems built for quite some time plus an abandoned pool that was now almost covered with overgrown grasses on the right side. I am sad at this point because it’s ruining the natural beauty of the waterfalls, a bridge connecting to the other side of the entrance was created and all were not maintained anymore. All seems just like an old view of the past. Some trashes were noticeable but hopefully those who are responsible will clean their place before leaving.
|Crowded Tinago Falls|
|View of the other side|
After a few research back home, I found out that it used to have a resort and developed land area for vacationers. I guess its better this way.
Locals will invite you to a ride on the bamboo raft so you can get near the waterfalls, then they will offer to take pictures of you (Without realizing, also with hidden charges too). You will also enjoy watching kids jumping and swimming like a pro.
|Do not forget to look up|
|The view behind the rushing waterfalls|
We still enjoyed the cold water and the magnificent nature still wins at the end. The locals especially the team that assist us on the raft are very fun to be with and “makukulit”. They were also having fun just like us and kept on jumping on the cliff as if it was also their first time. They really make us feel welcome and comfortable. Though we noticed that they are quite pushy with the guides and assistance because of the fee, maybe because there are plenty of them offering their service and they only get few bucks for the entire day. Probably a more regulated and organized entrance fees, porters and guides will make the transactions better and equal and will not overwhelm first time visitors like us. Anyway, visiting Iligan is still a must plus its a budget friendly trip. We spend around 1000pesos for a day trip including a visit to
. Maria Cristina
How to get there:
- From CDO Bulua/Westbound Terminal, Board a bus bound for
- Upon arriving at the Iligan terminal, transfer a trike/Jeep and drop off at Gaisano Iligan
- Ride Buru-un bound jeepneys and drop off at the junction going to
(if you want to include this on your trip) Maria Cristina Falls
- You can hire habal-habal to take you to
They will offer to wait for you so they can bring you to the bus stop and
assist you to ride back to CDO. Tinago Falls
“As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can".”
~ John Muir
~ John Muir