Usually when I talk about waterfalls, I talk about the great lengths on how to reach a good one, the extensive hikes, the stair climbs and the sweat you have to invest. Well Cathedral Falls, found in Baranggay Waterfalls in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte defies the norms. After a 15-minute habal-habal ride from the main bus terminal in Kapatagan, we pulled off on the road and there it was in all its glory.
Our trip to Kapatagan was actually an extension of our waterfalling adventure from Iligan WAT 2.0 (which is yet to be finished) but trip that can stand on its own. We took a two-hour non-aircon bus ( Php 110 ) from Iligan City bound for Pagadian all the way to Kapatagan where we got off to its surprisingly modern and good-looking Bus Terminal and Town Center. We asked for assistance from the Kapatagan tourism office in which we were warmly welcomed at their well-organised and well-kept Municipal Hall. We had one of their staff accompany and guide us on our tour.
The Cathedral Falls was named as such not only because it’s at the boundary of nearby Baranggay Cathedral Falls, but because of its vast rock wall has rectangular rock formations unevenly clumped vertically resembling huge bamboo pipe organs found inside cathedrals while the falls pour majestically right smack in the middle. The basin is wide though we weren’t able to check how deep since the water was murky at that time caused by the previous day’s rain. The sandbank is spacious enough for groups of more than 30 people to enjoy.
Top of the Falls
We then met up with Avelita Tongco, the Baranggay Captain of Baranggay Waterfalls, who led us to view the stream source of the falls. We had a couple of CAFGU personnel escort us for security purposes. It was just a short walk on a rocky slope from the falls then a quick climb which led to a narrow passageway enclosed by wall of rock. The trek in this waterway felt like I was in an enchanted passage somewhere but in reality only leads to the stream on top of the falls. It was a fun easy trek to get to the verge of the Cathedral Falls wall and see it in a different perspective.
Cathedral Falls is easy to find. From the Kapatagan Town Center and Bus Terminal hire a habal-habal to the falls. Travel time is about 20 minutes and fare goes around Php 15 at the time of this writing.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.