Food was overflowing as my parents-in-law brought some of the specialties of Mindanao. From the famous durian to the yummy lechon. This was also my first time to swim in a looong time! It felt really good. I still miss the beach though. However, J told me that there's not much beautiful beaches in Iligan but they are famous for their majestic waterfalls! So, the next day, I braced myself for a whole day of waterfalls hopping!
Sunday morning, we headed to Maria Cristina and Tinago falls. We left JB at home with his lolo and lola so they can spend more time with their apo, plus, the 500-step stairs in Tinago would be a very hard ordeal if we will bring JB along.
When we arrived in Maria Cristina falls, it was closed for viewing because of red alert. I was a bit disappointed but J and his friends told me that Tinago falls is just as beautiful, only smaller. And so we immediately headed to the smaller falls. The stairs going down to Tinago falls was, of course, pretty easy. But I was already dreading my way up. Hehe.
half-way down: nakakangiti pa kami
True to its name, Tinago falls was indeed "nakatago". We ate the lunch we brought and then immediately took a dip in the water. Btw, for dessert, we had marang. A fruit that can be found in Mindanao and Aurora (yes, in Luzon). If you have get the chance, try it. Yummy! Especially when chilled.When we got bored swimming, we decided to take a closer look at the falls using a balsa.
This activity looked easy on picture. Pero sa actual, ang sakit sakit sa mata and J and the other guys bruised their hands sa kakahila ng tali. I wish I brought my goggles so I would have appreciated the falls up close. Of course, we had a grand time taking pictures of ourselves because of the beautiful view.
Before sunset, we packed our bags and I readied myself for the climb up. It was a wake up call to my already dormant muscles. :P
On our way back home, they all showed me the top view of the Maria Cristina falls. At least man lang daw yung tuktok makita ko. While we were taking pictures, we saw that there were some people taking pictures in the viewing deck of the falls. We thought that they are now allowing people to come in. We tried our luck again but the guard there told us that viewing is still not allowed. Since it's already our second time, J pulled some strings so we can get in. Luckily, we did! Yey! Finally. And i wasn't disappointed with what I saw.
They have so many plans to improve Maria Cristina. They are planning to include activities such as white water rafting, kayaking, zipline and cable cars so as to attract more tourist in that area. J and I were so excited with this plan. We initially wanted to go white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro but due to budget constraints, we weren't able to do so. Hopefully, this dream will become a reality on our next trip back to Iligan and hopefully, peace will finally settle in Mindanao so people will be enticed to go on vacation there. Sayang kasi talaga yung ganda ng lugar.
The next day, we were set to go back to Manila. We brought home lots of goodies from my MIL. During my stay, I really enjoyed their pinakurat na suka and so MIL gave us 3 bottles! Yey! Pinakurat na suka is my newfound favorite condiment. =)
Our 5-day vacation was packed with a lot of activities pero bitin pa rin. While waiting for our plane, J & I decided to extend our vacation to 15 days when we go back to Iligan next year. =) Maximize!
There, it took me 3 weeks to compose this very long post. Hehe. When things finally clear up in Mindanao, I encourage you all to consider Iligan as one of your vacation destination. Promise, it'll be money well spent. =)
More of our Iligan Vacation here!