Mindanao’s Best Waterfalls
“I’ll follow my instinct, be myself for good or ill, and see what will
be the upshot. 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.”
Linnie Marsh Wolfe’s “Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir”
The best waterfalls in the Philippines may be found in Mindanao. I
haven’t set foot in every province, yet, but after seeing a picture of
Limunsudan Falls, the country’s highest falls, my hunch might be true
at all. So my visit to the southern island many times.
Waterfalls can be described as river water dropping abruptly, nearly
vertically in many cases. But it’s more than that, which is why many
people are drawn to its beauty. For one, no two falls are ever the
same. Another thing is most, if not all, cascades are eye candy. (The
presence of a rainbow can be something else, though.)
So what are the loveliest waterfalls in Mindanao? Here are my picks:
Arguably the longest waterfalls (in the Philippines), the sight of
water descending on a series of rocky steps, one hundred three steps
at all, is breathtaking. (It takes a day to ascend the stairway.) One
must travel several hours (from Davao City) before reaching this
sight. It’s tiresome, but the reward isn’t just a postcard-like
Tinago Falls (Iligan, Lanao del Norte)
As its name implies, this falls is hidden in a deep ravine, thus going
down (and up) the steps require some physical exertion. Unlike most
cascades, the water seems to seep through the top of a
three-hundred-foot high wall, flowing gently. It’s the rightmost side
(of the wall), though, where the water is the strongest, plunging into
a turquoise pool. On some afternoons, visitors will catch a sight of a
Bisliganons dub this falls the local counterpart of Niagara Falls.
It’s a three-tier waterfall, the second one about fifty feet high.
This is the loveliest spot. Look at the verdant surroundings, where
many trees are only endemic in that region.
Pyalitan Falls (Maragusan, Compostella Valley)
Maragusan is “Baguio in Davao”, where mountain ranges surround this
sleepy town. Many cascades can be found in these peaks, many of which
are waiting to be discovered. Pyalitan is a four-tier falls, the
highest having a drop of one hundred fifty feet. It’s a mini-version
of Venezuela’s Angels Falls. (No kidding.) Rock climbing can turn this
visit (to the fall) into an adventure.
Seven Falls (Lake Sebu, South Cotabato)
Compare to the first four, there’s nothing special about this fall.
Then the zip-line, where visitors witness water sparkling in the sun,
with rainbows to make the view below a must-see. I bet there aren’t
any zip-lines in the Philippines that offer this kind of panorama.