The unbearable spiciness of a beef rendang started my quest in exploring Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte. Afterwards, I found myself inside a jeepney bound to Barangay Maria Cristina where the famous twin waterfall is located. The driver was annoyed with the number of times I’ve asked where to get down his vehicle.
Maria Cristina Falls
A habal-habal driver was currently on his break when I arrived. He immediately offered me the so-called tour around Iligan’s Tourism Triangle which includes the Maria Cristina Falls, Tinago Falls and the Mimbalut Falls. I asked him for the damage, “Php 300”, he muttered.
I tried to compute for the total expenses based on the blogs I’ve read and Lai also confirmed that the rate was already acceptable. He mentioned that he will not be accompanying me to Maria Cristina Falls because they charge them for their own entrance fee and the park has its own shuttle from the gate to the viewing deck. However, the shuttle is not available so they allowed us to enter with the habal-habal. I was surprised when we saw a monitor lizard beside the road. My guide confirmed that the entire place is a DENR Protected Area.
Maria Cristina Falls now powers the Agus VI Hydroelectric Plant which is the primary source of electric power of the city. Because of this, the twin falls is also infamous for being a ‘controlled’ waterfall because the management of the power plant can turn it off. In fact, the other waterfall was ‘shut off’ when I was there. Maria Cristina Falls only offers the view, other than that, there is nothing more to do. Swimming is deadly.
Gone are the days when people aim to visit Maria Cristina Falls to fulfill their childhood dreams. On my part, I wasn’t able to appreciate it that I left the park just after a couple of minutes. Tinago Falls was our next stop. This magnificent falls already surpassed the expectations being drawn to Maria Cristina and now considered as the main attraction to visit in Iligan.
Indeed, Tinago is a must destination to visit. I can’t hide my excitement as I walked towards the waterfalls. Tinago Falls is now on top of my list when it comes to waterfalls. You should try the raft ride to the falls to experience its gushing cool waters. My separate post for Tinago Falls can be found here.
Before sunset, we tried to manage our way to the last waterfall included in Iligan’s Tourism Triangle, Mimbalut Falls. Unlike the first two, which are twin falls and curtain-like falls, Mimbalut Falls is a simple one having a raging cascade with water flowing directly to some basin pools. The falls is situated inside a resort and you will be required to pay a Php 50 entrance fee. My driver/guide said that for me not to pay the fee, we will just walk on a trail on the side of the resort.
It was a great first day in Iligan City by the fact that I was able to explore three waterfalls in just 5 hours. It was really a rare experience because I tried trekking for four hours, roundtrip, in the past just to visit a single waterfall. This is what you get when you visit a city with at least 30 waterfalls.
Where did you hire a habal guide to the 3 falls? In Iligan? I think 300 is already acceptable.
I took a jeepney ride to Maria Christina Falls and met the habal-habal driver near the entrance of the park who offered me the rate for the tour, Tinago and Mimbalut.