Seeking Tinago Falls
While Maria Christina Falls wasn’t enough, there’s another cascade that was set to be as one of Iligan’s finest. True to its name, Tinago Falls is a turquoise gem hidden in the lush verdant greens of the highlands of Lanao del Norte. Getting here is an effort, but totally rewarding.
Tinago Falls is located more or less 15 kilometers south-east of downtown Iligan City, near the Timoga cold springs. The first time I saw it was somewhere in a television show, about a white curtain of water falling into a crystal blue pool beneath and surrounded by lush vegetation. It seems so tempting to go there.
Together with Lai and Alex of Iligan Bloggers, we went on the Iligan side of the falls (since Tinago Falls itself lies at the border of the city and the town of Linamon). According to Lai, there was already a resort here back in the 1990s, however it was abandoned due to financial and legal issues. Today, you will still see the “ruins of the ancient resort” as you pass by going to the falls. It somehow gives a bit of “Indiana Jones” feeling as you go along.
Descending towards Tinago Falls may be easy, but be careful since its quite slippery—especially during the morning. The old steps of the old resort are still there but a bit unreliable. And it seems to be very daunting since it is really steep.
And after five minutes, you can hear the rush of the water. Then amidst the verdant vegetation comes the crystal blue pool with its white curtain of water. Tinago Falls at last!
Since it is a weekday, only a few people with some locals were there. A bamboo raft for those who like to be pounded by the seemingly freezing waters of the Tinago Falls is available at the “Linamon Side.” But seeing it alone, with its crystal clear water and blue hue in its pool is almost as refreshing as being in an airconditioned room!
The water here comes from Agus River and some tributaries. There is a part in the river where it forks away from the main river (which is going to Maria Cristina) and leads its way towards Tinago Falls and end up at Iligan Bay. Yes folks, the same water that feeds the mighty Maria Cristina Falls herself!
Too bad, I don’t have spare shorts or trunks—I was tempted to take a dive on this magical pool!
Unlike Maria Cristina Falls’ thunderous power, Tinago Falls is as serene yet enigmatic in aura–as if you are somewhere in the enchanted forest. It was indeed a respite from the worries of the real world.
With time running out, I have to bade goodbye to her—but promised to be back, with a much healthier and leaner body…and you’ll get to find out why.
While going down was quick, returning to base was like carrying a cross to Calvary for me. My heavy weight and sedate lifestyle has taken its toll on my body. It was 400 to 500+ steps up with a steep ascent. While Lai doesn’t have problem for it (more with Alex who was there at the top in no time!), it took me more than 20 minutes to climb all the way back. Gasping for air and my legs seem to hurt as I get up. Sige lang, kaya yan! Exercise yan! Kelangan ko to!!! Then I realized, I need to change my lifestyle. Buti pa ang mga taga-probinsya, may oras sa pisikal na gawain! I envy them in a way as compared to my suburban-Manila lifestyle. Babalik ako’t magiging papable ang katawan ko, sa itsura at sa kalusugan!
Reaching the top, I immediately sought water—but there’s way better quencher for that! Coconut water!!!
Seeking Tinago Falls was indeed arduous for me, especially going back to Iligan base. The white curtain of enchanted water with the deep blue crystal clear pool—I must come back here!
And as for me, I still have several months to slim down!