Lanao del Norte: Tinago Falls

Thursday, March 02, 2017

I remember my "emo" days when I was single, my favorite hobby then was to watch movies all by myself. I liked local films with heartbreaking plots and I was like 'Julie Tearjerky' until the ending. I can never forget 'Forever and a Day', a Star Cinema film starring KC Concepcion and Sam Milby. I cried a lot inside the cinema because of Raffy, KC's character, when diagnosed with a terminal illness, she escaped from her loving but strict parents for once to travel, be adventurous and make the most of her remaining days. Most of the scenes were shot in CDO, Bukidnon and Iligan where he found love in Sam's character, Eugene. My favorite scene was when KC and Sam were swimming in the very cold and enchanting 'Tinago Falls'. I just knew about the falls because of the movie and I said to myself, one day I'm going to that magical place.

Fast forward to five years, I was able to make it come true. I almost forgot I dreamt about this place before but it happened as it was included in our Northern Mindanao itinerary. We've conquered more than 300 ladder steps going down to catch sight of this hidden wonder. Tinago Falls was surreal, unspoiled and exotic. Seeing it for the very first time was like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Multiple drops were coming from the surrounding cliffs, and it fills the deep basin with fresh turquoise water. I've felt that any time little fairies can appear above the water. Iligan is known as the 'City of Majestic Waterfalls' because of about 24 awesome waterfalls located in the city. We've only seen two and we were blown away. What more to feel upon seeing the remaining 22? Oh no, I might go crazy!

Other groups were present when we went but it cannot be considered as crowded. There were concrete tables and benches near the falls and most groups were families and barkadas enjoying their picnic. Life vests, mostly rugged, were piled up for tourists who would like to swim. The guides were strict in reminding us to wear them for our safety. Together with our guide, we used the big bamboo raft in order to go near the waterfalls to shower, we experienced a natural therapeutic back massage of very cold water. Even though we can barely open our eyes because of the water volume, we were all smiles as it was a priceless moment for all of us. We enjoyed floating, swimming and jumping off the cliff until the very last hour before heading to the airport for our flight back to Manila. We laid on the raft just gazing at the wonderful panoramic view of the surrounding, leaving all our worries and stress behind. It was a bright, serene and calm afternoon. Like a paradise on earth, I had the feeling of never wanting to leave the place, it was really enchanting. I consider Tinago Falls as the best part of the trip, and as they say, save the best for last! 

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