Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sta. Cruz Falls, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte

"Your home is behind you and the world is ahead"

The Municipality of Kapatagan, located in eastern part of Lanao del Norte is not a usual "attractions touristiques" in the country for individuals who wished to sojourn the place as one has to travel with brave heart and strong knees. Nonetheless, the province offers grand attractions and absolute adventures to those who dared enough to explore its hidden treasures and be entwined with its natural scenic charms.
Among the many waterfalls located in the province, one grand spot that molded by Mother Nature and untouched by human modernization is the waterfall located in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte known by the locals at the Sta. Cruz Falls.

"The Human Spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man."
Sta. Cruz Falls of Kapatagan is said to be mysteriously enthralling as it is located about 4-5 kilometers away from the highway where one must be brave enough to trek for almost two hours of unpaved terrains, natural up and down slopes, climbing on a mossy and slippery hill, rocky grounds, and even wrestle to several river flows just to reach the waterfall of fascination. 
Photo courtesy by: Ferdinand Decena of Ironwulf.net

Extremely amazing, I got the chance to visit it myself after the IBS WAT 2.0 (Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc.' Waterfalling Adventure Tour 2.0) officially ended last September 22, 2013.  Together with Top-rated Travel Bloggers in the country such as Mr Ferdinand Decena of IROWULF ENROUTE , Ms Lisa Marisol of PINAY TRAVELISTA, Ms Shugah Kang of WANDER SHUGAH, Ms Doi Domasian of TRAVELLING FEET, Mr Alexander Singcol Jr. of CHOOSE ILIGAN CITY, Mr Glen Santillan of ESCAPE MANILA, and even the Tourism Officer of Kapatagan joined our team Ms Rhoda Secuya, we sojourned our next destination with excitement and full of interests.
Pinoy Travel Bloggers with Brgy. Captain Mr Neceas Booc (center) and his Kagawad.

Barangay Captain Mr. Neceas Booc (Barangay Captain of Barangay Sta. Cruz) was first introduced to us with his fellow Councilors and discussed about the hidden charm of Sta. Cruz Falls that one must be explored to promote its concealed beauty. Then after, the two councilors (Local Kagawads) became our official Trek Guides for us to reach the falls easily.

From the highway itself, it took us almost 2 (hours) of trekking, climbing, walking, river brawling just to reach Sta. Cruz Falls. Imagine, we hiked for several grasslands, climb again for a series of hill tops, then wrestling with mighty river flows? It’s about 4-5 kilometers trek and it’s a blast! Well, the trek must go on!

The vicinity is clandestinely astounding as you will notice easily the innate nature of the environment like how such big rocks travel across the hilltop into the river bed creating a panorama of landscape view. You will also be amazed by the richness of green vegetation and if the river is the sole source to regenerate the life appearance of the plants.

Upon reaching the sheer size of this secret attraction, you will first notice a natural rapid that was molded by the water flowing into the bedrock. Turning right from those spot about 80-90 meters, a big amusement will surprise you as you will be witnessing the grandeur of this waterfall- Sta. Cruz Falls!

The falls is about two third high (2/3) than of the Tinuy-an Falls of Surigao del Sur. Most likely, it’s about 90-100 feet high from its plunging area. Sta. Cruz Falls can be categorized into a Block Waterfall.

TRIVIA:
A BLOCK WATERFALL is a type of waterfall with less powerful distribution of the water from the top to its plunging pool. It is basically classify as a waterfall that is sourced by a wider river and usually wider than they are tall.
By its own distinctive feature, I could say that Sta. Cruz Falls is one example of a Block Waterfall. The height might be 100 feet or more from my own calculation. Nonetheless, it is a close relative to the famous Niagara Falls.

TOUCHDOWN:
Reaching the Municipality of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte from Iligan City is about 2 hours and 20 minutes by a non-airconditioned utility bus. An Air-conditioned Bus is also ideal which will take you about 2 hours and a private transportation is a better choice which is less than 2 hours from Iligan City.
As per experienced, we paid for the non-airconditioned bus for P110.00 each going to the Municipality of Kapatagan.
Upon reaching Kapatagan, hire a habal-habal (a two-wheeled motorcycle) for P30-P50 going to the jump off or starting point of the Sta. Cruz Falls. It will just take about less than 20 minutes reaching the starting point which is very ideal.
One of the many rivers you need to cross before reaching the Sta. Cruz Falls of Kapatagan.

The best way to have a wondrous experience in Kapatagan is going to Cathedral Falls first, then going to the Rice Field and proceeding to Sta. Cruz Falls in the afternoon.
Yes, climbing down is one of the adventures!
While on a road going there, you could see the vastness of the rice field that is said to be imported to the areas of Luzon. Also, you could see the virgin forest that is said to believe that a great variety venomous fauna such as snakes and a wide array of flora are situated. Moreover, a unique feature of a coconut tree with two branches and/or its own body can also be enjoyed watching while going to Sta. Cruz (right portion).

P.S.:
Photos i captured during our trip to Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte.
Presenting the Sta. Cruz Falls of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte
The upper portion of the Sta. Cruz Falls using a Macro Zoom Lens.
With the Tourism Officer of Kapatagan, Ms. Rhoda Secuya.
Jump shot with the Sta. Cruz Falls
Sta. Cruz Falls of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte

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