Iligan, the City of Waterfalls

The most industrialized city of Northern Mindanao is the best description for Iligan City. This is home for thousands of alumni graduated from Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology.

Location: Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte, Philippines

Where I Stayed: Staylite Pension House

Buddies: Group (5+)

There are so many changes on this place since I left. It is more crowded and establishments like hotels and restaurants are visible on the before vacant lots. The Gaisano Mall and the integrated terminal are also added on the list.


The Maria Cristina Hydroelectric Plant was again visited. At this time, the gate controlling the dam was opened enough to have the joyful background of the falls. Bathing was never allowed on this place because of strong current and turbines used in converting electricity. It has now a small restaurant and more like a park than an electric generating plant.


The Tinago Falls is actually the most known and a must visit falls. The most inclined stairs that must step on before seeing this falls was the most tiring. However, the fantastic view will assure to remove all complaints. The water drops and the sound of nature will massage both ears and eyes.

The hidden view of Tinago Falls

As what I observed, the place has became famous. This is advantage to the city because of tourism. So many people wanted to see this place from different regions. No doubt, Tinago is one among the most beautiful falls in the country. However, disadvantage is also goes with it. It will be ruined and might be damaged if the visitors are not taking responsible for their garbage. We found left over foods and litters as people flocks and made the site as a picnic ground. A tourist from Manila told a young staff  as she found a broken bottle in one of the cave. “Please take care of your surrounding, especially this place.” I agreed with her. For the kid’s future. This place is so wonderful to let the next generation have a chance to see it.


The best “lechon kawali” I tasted was ordered in Gerry’s Grill Iligan Branch. And the most talked “pasalubong” is the unbeatable Cheding’s toasted peanuts. They have now spacious store.


Wandering in Camiguin

There are so many tourist destinations in Camiguin. Gladly, I could say that this island is with full boost of natural wonders. One traveler said that roaming in Camiguin can be done for a day but for me it’s not enough.

The White Island is the most photographed site and became famous as background for any traveler who have been in the island. It is a white sand bar that can be accessed by renting a  motor boat situated in Marina port near Paras Resort, the most known resort in the island.

By paying 650 pesos as rental, the motorboat brought us to the white island. It is a long sand bar with actually nothing. No trees, no plants. There were so many tourists, both foreigners and locals, but couldn’t fill the entire place. Nobody stayed longer in the white island because there was nowhere for shade. We’re still lucky, the gloomy sky kept the sun hiding from the clouds.

After an hour, we asked the staff to call our motor boat to fetch us. The staff is the man having handheld radio and stationed in the center. It took few minutes before the motor boat came and brought us back to the mainland. Before we left the dock, everyone availed the shower rooms for a fee of 5 pesos per head.


The Walkway. A few minutes drive from the port is what they called Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross. The group stopped just to buy souvenirs and not part of the itinerary. As we were curious of what was on the place, we stepped on the stairs and paid an entrance fee. As we are moving upwards passing station 3, we met a staff and asked her if what services they are offering on the hilltop and how many minutes to reach the last station. It looks like the gap between stations are quite few meters. She told us that there is a volcano crater on the top and might reach there within 30 minutes. We didn’t have so much time, so we agreed to go down and continued to our next destination.

Standing on the exact location of the real cross of the Sunken Cemetery

The Sunken Cemetery. Whoever thinks that it was an old ruined cemetery. Beneath the water lied hundreds of dead people. I thought that we will just pass by after taking photos with a big cross on the water as a background. But there was a twist on the visit.

I was invited to do snorkeling on the sunken cemetery. It was a weird thing. Swimming on top of the cemetery! Hesitated,  but I agreed and we did the stuff. There we have to pay the environment fee and the guide. The area is a protected area since long time. But who dares, it still a cemetery!

The next thing happened was the nicest experience I did. Swimming on top of the colorful and different types of corals, big shells and fishes. I personally saw the real cross under the water and some of the evidence that there were buildings on this part of the sea. The area is no longer a cemetery. For me, it was the most remembered place of Camiguin. However, I didn’t have underwater camera to prove what I saw under the sunken cemetery.


Old Church Ruins. A few minutes from the sunken cemetery is the old ruins church which was damaged when the volcano erupted in 1871. A candle lighting on the unseen altar was done with a solemn prayer. At the back of the old church was a tree which was believed to be more than hundred years old.

Majestic Katibawasan Falls

Katibawasan Falls. We moved back passing the town proper ascending up to the mountain to see the famous Katibawasan Falls. After paying the entrance fees, we directly headed to the magnificent water falls.

The water drops made the entire place covered in humidity. It looks like it is always raining. The water from the falls was so cold that nobody can stay longer. I noticed a rope as caution. I asked the guard if what was the rope for. He told us that getting near the fall was restricted for the falling water was sometimes with rocks.

After the whole tiring day in Camiguin, we spent our last hours in Ardent Hot Spring. We enjoyed the day exploring one side of the island. Camiguin has still more wonders so it has more reasons for me to come back and continued rediscovering this wonderful island.

On the next day, we woke up early for our long road trip back to Central Mindanao.

Beautiful island of Camiguin, Northern Mindanao, Philippines