Misamis Oriental (Mis. Or.) is a province in Northern Mindanao, Philippines, with Cagayan de Oro City as its provincial center and capital. It is bordered on the east by Agusan del Norte and Agusan de Sur, on the south by Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte and on the north by the Bohol Sea, with the province of Camiguin just north of it.
Three of the province’s cities are Gingoog City, El Salvador City and Cagayan de Oro, a highly urbanized city and probably the most independent one among the three.
As a center of commerce and trade in Region 10 (Northern Mindanao), Mis. Or. has a wealth of natural attractions that span from uplands to the seas. This province has a lot to offer for ecotourists. First off, it has first class diving sites and beaches. There are also outdoor activities and sights such as historic caves and picturesque waterfalls.
And as much as Misamis Oriental is abundant in cold springs, it likewise has among the coolest and freshest natural waterfalls in Mindanao. Located in various cities and city outskirts within the province, the following waterfalls are highly valued and maintained by the governments as they improve its tourism.
ODIONGAN FALLS. It stands about 150 feet and can be seen from various parts of the River Odiongan.
MALIBUD/SAN ISIDRO FALLS. Situated 18 kilometers from Poblacion, Malibud Falls lies in a reforestation area. Its height is about 10 feet and it has a pool area, which are usually crowded by nearby inhabitants who are out for a picnic. The area is also fit for retreats and a congregation with Mother Nature.
BAKID-BAKID FALLS. Gingoog City boasts of its 100 feet high waterfall, which originally came from a creek, which can be accessed by motorcycle, jeepney or other off-road vehicles.
LIBON-LAWIT FALLS. Thirteen kilometers from Poblacion in the City of Gingoog lies the three waterfalls that are connected with one stream, with intervals at 80 and 100 meters. First is the Tiklas Falls, second is Kilubag and the third, BangBang Falls. Truly, this integration of bodies of water is a distinctive phenomenon:
Tiklas Falls. Situated upstream in the Balantian Creek, Tiklas Falls is approximately 120 feet in height, with a swimming pool that is about 30 meters in diameter. The deepest part of the pool is about 20 feet or more.
Kilubag Falls. Located almost 50 kilometers away from the Balantian Bridge, the Kilubag Falls is considered as one of the main attractions in the City of Gingoog. Upon approaching the cataract, one can hear the rumbling intensified by a cave that was said to have been carved by the twisting and falling water throughout these years. One can also pass through cave-like, solid-stone, high river banks and then reach the base of the cavernous earth.
Bangbang Falls. Standing approximately 70 feet, the Bangbang Falls of Gingoog City is smaller in size compared to Tiklas. At this site, guests can get a good panoramic view of the Gingoog River, which is over a kilometer below the cataract.
MAT-I WATERFALLS. This waterfall, which is located in Barangay Mat-I, Claveria, stands 100 feet high and has constantly maintained its untouched and natural beauty.
SAGPULON SPRING AND FALLS. Although it is currently not functioning as a resort, the Barangay San Isidro, Jasaan waterfall is in a lush forest. What can be experienced at Sagpulon, which is situated 31 kilometers east of Cagayan de Oro City, is the beauty of untouched nature. With a natural swimming pool, it draws the cold and clear water gushing from the mountainside to the basin.
MIMBOAYA FALLS. Located in Barangay Poblacion, Sugbongcogon and 71 kilometers east of the City of Golden Friendship, Mimboaya is a strong waterfall that is easy to access. It has a height of about 10 feet and has a swimming pool where one can dive directly into.
SINABAYAN FALLS. Another strong waterfall that is located in the same place as Mimboaya, the Sinabayan Falls is 12 feet in height and is one of the places locals visit to dip in cold and crystal clear water.
LUBILAN FALLS. In Barangay Lubilan, Naawan, one can find the moderately strong waterfall called Lubilan Falls, which is about 12 feet in height. It is located 60 kilometers west of Cagayan de Oro and it takes a quarter of an hour hike to reach the place.
KANAPOLAN FALLS. Situated 60 kilometers west of Cagayan de Oro in Barangay Tagbalogo, Naawan, the Kanapolan Falls can only be accessed by motorcycle. One has to go through a river path filled with large rocks that has a minimal flow of water. At the end of the path, the 20 feet high cataract can be seen running through a large dark gray solid rock. This site is occasionally where the Naawan Sangguniang Bayan gathers for an assembly.
AYA-AYA WATERFALLS. About 73 kilometers west of CDO, in Barangay Aya-Aya, Lugait is where the small Aya-Aya Waterfalls is located. To get to the site, one has to get through foot trails up to an elevated area with a pool of water. Climbing up farther will take one to a place where he/she has a scenic view of the waterfall that is bordered by lush vegetation.
CATANICO FALLS. Some 10 kilometers away from Cagayan in Barangay F.S. Catanico, the Catanico Falls is a small narrow body of water that is surrounded by magma stone boulders and drops into a wide pool for swimming.
A small area located along the falls was established by the City Government and it now offers cottages for rent, basic toilet facilities, as well as a viewing site that is on top of a large rock. Cooking with the use of charcoal (or “sugba”) is permitted.
Since the area built is small, there is not enough room for a large number of people as it only accommodates about 50 persons. The parking is, however, limited, accommodating about only six vehicles and there is a caretaker who collects the entrance fee, which is only Php2.00 for each person.
-by Rose Anne Quirante-
(Photo taken from kingston-lodge.com)