It’s been much talked about by my backpacking friends how wonderful the island of Calaguas is. Finally this month, I was able to visit the place many thanks to Isla Lipana who initiated the Philippine Gems campaign, a search for emerging tourist destination in the country. Calaguas Islands and its Mahabang Buhangin didn’t disappoint. The journey may be long but it was well worth it. It eventually won the top spot in the Philippine Gems.
We’re still mid-way from a day of waterfalling in Iligan City and Iligan Bloggers Society still has a couple more in store for us. Satiated from lunch at Pampam Falls, the group was ready to move to the nearby Kalubihon Falls. It took us about a quarter of an hour’s hike, from gradual ascending hills to steep rock walls with some natural pools coming from a stream above. From the looks of the trail, this promises to be an interesting one.
“Let’s call this one Junakis Falls!” I remember Shugah telling the group as we were trying to recall the name of the first 2 falls we visited in Barangay Dalipuga. Well they don’t really have a name so locals consider it as part of the nearby Pampam Falls. There may be 23 falls in Iligan City but those are documented ones, this one had no name, but the crystal clear basin was calling and the cool cascades inviting. Oh what a start for our “waterfalling” adventure.
I must admit, Iligan City is one of those cities in Mindanao that sees little tourist because of its smeared reputation from past “bombing” incidents in the city. I even remember a friend telling me that “I have to dodge bombs there before I can visit the waterfalls”. But I learned many times already from past visits to Tawi-tawi, Basilan and even Cotabato to not hastily judge a place by how media perceives it. One thing I know for a fact, Iligan City has plenty of waterfalls, 23 of them documented, and for a waterfall chaser like me, I know I’m gonna have a field day in this city. More apt this time is that Iligan Bloggers Society, organised a Waterfalling Adventure Tour event, where in 5 days, we get to explore 7 waterfalls, experience the festivities and culture of Iligan. I only have to shell out a minimum amount, my flight ticket and I don’t have to trouble myself in logistics . How can I resist that? I signed up immediately and was lucky to be one of the participants to this year’s tour. It’s time to experience Iligan!