[Throwback (Travel) Thursday 05.15.2014] Maria Cristina Falls once upon a time

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This intense summer heat always has me thinking of the beach, air conditioning, and water. Back in 2002 I had the chance to see the famed Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City. It was one of those "famous" tourist spots in the country that I only got to see and read about in Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) textbooks in grade school. And of course I was glad to have seen it for real.

Unlike Tinago Falls, also in Iligan, you can't swim in the waterfall's natural pool as it's taken over by a hydroelectric power plant. But visitors can see it from a viewing deck within the facility. It's supposed to be a really powerful waterfall but our timing was off as the area was experiencing some drought at the time. So what we saw was practically nothing but still beautiful nonetheless.

Under ideal conditions, however, Maria Cristina produces a mighty cascade that's separated by a rock at the top, giving it the appearance of a "twin falls."

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And oh, I was still so young back then.

Iligan is a two-hour bus ride from Cagayan de Oro City, where the nearest airport is located. I'm not sure about organized tours but you can hire a ride in Iligan to take you to Maria Cristina and all these other falls around. All this can be done in a day but for a less rushed experience, I suggest you stay at least a night in Iligan where hotels are available.

And because going to these waterfalls can be done in a day, to make your trip worthwhile, you can simply include Iligan in your itinerary if you plan on visiting Cagayan de Oro.


  1. I was about to say...did they turn off the faucet? I imagined Ma Cristina falls as a mighty gushing one (I haven't been there yet), but then you did mention Iligan was experiencing drought that time.


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