"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Thursday, May 31, 2007

destination: tinago falls

"It's possible to believe in something
and still fail to live up to it."

-- Dr. Wilson of House, MD

manman, one of my ids99 buddies in manila, wanted to take his canon eos 400D (digital rebel xti) "out for a walk". since he wasn't able to count on the company of his usual gimmick pals here in iligan, he decided to "pester" me one monday morning (may 28, 2007) with a series of one-liner text messages: "val, naka-adto na ba ka sa tinago recently?" followed by "tinago ta ninyo karon."

05.29.07 tinago falls tinago refers to tinago falls, one of MY iligan city's majestic falls and, as such, a tourist destination. from where i live here in iligan city, tinago is quite far and getting an invitation to hie off to where it is in such short notice is not my idea of a morning/wake-up greeting.

i was interested to visit tinago but i wasn't keen on going that day. i made use of my negotiating skills (read: bratinella powers) and convinced manman that the trip be moved to tuesday -- a day after. so last tuesday, may 29, 2007, three of us ids99 peeps went -- manman, naomi, and i.

getting there
we met at the city proper. jollibee abalos, hello! then, we boarded a jeepney bound for brgy. buruun -- a 12-peso ride away. in brgy. buruun, we took a habal-habal (motorcycle) ride which cost us PhP20 each. the habal-habal took us up the mountain -- all the way up to tinago nature park. we could have hiked the entire distance from the foot of the mountain to where the nature park is. had we done so, however, we would have used up much of our chakra (haha, blame naruto!) -- energy, i mean -- and it would have taken us longer to get to our destination.

we wanted to get there fast and with less effort. thus, the fun motorcycle ride up the winding road...

tinago falls
one of the things iligan can really boast of is the abundance of water. on one side, it is bounded by mountains where cold springs and cascades of freshwater come from, and on the other side, it is bounded by seawater. the city has 23 waterfalls -- tinago falls is one of the better known ones among them.

waterfalls i have to admit that it sounds kinda ironic that, in my 24 years of existence, i -- an iliganon, by heart and by breeding (haha!) -- have only been to 5 (or 4?) of these 23 waterfalls. i need not be ashamed of this "tragic" truth though. i know of a greater tragedy and it is this: an iliganon afraid of going into the water, not knowing how to swim!!! hahaha. fortunately for me, i don't have this kind of problem -- thanks to the drowning episodes i went through when i was sillier and younger -- they surely made a braver kid out of me.

owkey, back to my tinago talk.

peek through tinago is so named because of its location and accessibility. it is hidden (thus, the name tinago) deep in a ravine and in order to see the cascading waters, one has to go a long, long way down first. with "long, long way down," this means that visitors have to be physically fit to make the energy-zapping trip to and back from the falls alive.

actually, the walk down to the falls isn't as difficult as it used to be. when my mama went there for a tree-planting project many years before, there were no defined steps and they had to cling to roots and branches of the trees growing in the area. there is a winding staircase leading to the falls now, which makes the trip easier and, yes, less dangerous. however, those with respiratory or cardiovascular problems are not advised to go. to see the hidden waterfalls, one has to take all 300 steps down the steep ravine -- not for the faint of heart and spirit. BUT the wonderful sight of tinago's cascading waters and blue lagoon is a lure worth pursuing and "toiling" for.

05.29.07 tinago nature park: going down the steps

we've only gone halfway down when my acrophobia got the better of me and my knees started shaking uncontrollably. i toyed with the thought of "pwede magpaligid na lang ko?" but, good thing, photo moments were there to distract me from minding my knees and my fear and all that queasy feeling. ehehehe! hooray to my most recently recognized "anti-acrophobia" medicine.

manman insisted that we use his camera only... but i knew that it would take time before he'll upload copies of the photos from his toy (waaaaaaaaaaah, i want a canon eos 400D / digital rebel xti, too!). so i insisted on playing with the point-and-shoot camera i brought along with me.

05.29.07 tinago falls

ain't tinago a marvelous sight? cool, clean and clear water, as freshwater should be. it's fun to swim to the foot of the falls and meet the waterdrops there. wait, what waterdrops? they're more like jets of water beating down on your head and body -- free natural massage with cool ouch factor.

a word to describe the place? paradise!


(1) from tinago, we were supposed to go to mimbalut falls that day, too. however, we started our day late... so no "falls-hopping" (ehehee) for us.

(2) pictures that appear on this post are point-and-shoot outputs.

(3) pictures of us a-frolicking and a-swimming in tinago's 55-foot deep lagoon will have to wait 'til manman makes the pictures from his camera available.


  1. mingaw nuon ko samot sa iligan!

  2. yawn, uli na. hehe.

    Abaniko, yep, laag na pud. i'm getting very predictable. :-D

  3. i love tinago! i love the free softdrinks they give out after you come back from below. do they still give free soft drinks out?:)

    unta magkita sad ta, 'noh? duol lang baya ta. asa ka connected ron? iit?:)

  4. no free softdrinks anymore. entrance to tinago is PhP10 only. malugi sila pagmagpa-softdrinks sila.

    lagi, unta magkita ta -- naa ra mi iligan and i'm currently bumming so i'm only connected to my family. ehehehe.

  5. Wow, that place (falls and lagoon) looks idyllic. Is it cold down there? Now I really have to urge my buddies to push through with our plans to go there!Whoa!

    Great photos! And a very informative site. Thanks to Abaniko a stumbled at your site. Can we exchange links?

  6. yep! the water is cold in tinago. you should be there… :D

    i’m all okay with exchanging links. go ahead.

  7. Were actually going to Tinago Falls come tuesday October 9. My buddies and I are on a road trip from Davao to Iligan (And to wherever our breathes can take us north). Is the place accessible via our four legged chariot?

    Thanks again!

  8. yep, your 4-wheeler can take you up the mountain… then you’ll have to hike down the stairs to see the falls.


  10. i remember when me and my fiance now my husband..went to tinago falls..i wasnt that fit to have that kind of tiring force use of walk...but i did it...it was my second time of going there anyway....i miss iligan now..and wish i can have my vacation to philippines soon and see the amazing tinago falls..

  11. hi! i recently went to Iligan City and visited Tinago Falls. and thanks, by the way, since i used your post as one of my references to get there. Tinago Falls is really beautiful! :)

  12. you're welcome! i'm hoping i could go back to iligan again and visit the maria cristina fall... :)


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