A guest post by: Stacey Cavalari
Iligan City, in Northern Mindanao, is known as the “City of Majestic Waterfalls” and is home to about 23 waterfalls, including the powerful Maria Cristina Falls which provides electricity to most of northern Mindanao through the hydro electric plant. But, despite the majesty of all of these different falls, one of the most beautiful and enjoyable waterfalls in all of Iligan is Tinago Falls.
Tinago Falls is one of Iligan’s most enjoyable destinations, not only because it is so beautiful, but because it is a challenge to reach. You must climb down around 420 steps to get to the bottom of the deep cliff to the basin that the falls run into. This steep trek keeps away the less committed sight seers, so Tinago is not as crowded as some of the other more easily accessible waterfalls.
After the main pool, there are many smaller pools of water where the water is shallower; this is perfect for the kids. There are also many picnic tables that you can have your lunch at, and enjoy the day with your whole family. If you are feeling up to a good swim, you can splash your way out to the base of the falls and find a cave that you can enter. You can take a break here and listen to the roaring torrent of water above you.
Legend has it that this cave was once the hiding place for the daughter of a rich and powerful sultan. As the story goes, the sultan’s wife was exceedingly beautiful, but also quite cruel. When the wife was pregnant, she made the mistake of refusing to help a poor old beggar woman. Of course, it was no ordinary beggar woman; it was a powerful enchantress. As punishment for the queen’s mercilessness, the enchantress cursed the child she was carrying, and when the time came for the child to be born, the parents were saddened to see that the curse had come true: The child was ugly and not beautiful, like her mother, as they expected her to be.
Ashamed of themselves and of the child, they hid the poor baby in a cave at the bottom of a deep ravine. They named her Tin-ag (Which means “hidden-face). When she grew up, she went out of the cave, and there stood the enchantress waiting for her. The sneaky enchantress offered to make the girl into something so beautiful and splendid that all would love her. Tin-ag agreed, and she was instantly transformed into the beautiful and majestic Tinago Falls.
Whether this story is true or not, Tinago Falls is still one of the most beautiful falls in all of Iligan. It is indeed loved by all, and if you are ever lucky enough to visit Iligan City, this destination is one that should not be missed.