Like a miracle pill, Tinago waterfalls presents a soothing cure for any hangover, it washes away each unsavory tendencies with its strong current. In the drunkenness of life, how each sways and falls drives anyone to search, find and eventually marvel at a place like this, only to realize that nature at its finest is bullshits' alter ego. As the white water spew out from the river above and cuts through the tiny cracks of the high rise rock formation. The blue colored water surrounded by the lush vegetation, forms an inviting pool. Notwithstanding the embarrassing attempt by men to construct un-necessary infrastructures around, while threatening the waterfalls, one can still describe the place in all favorable adjectives.
But for how long? is asked with caution, if the people managing the park would continue to allow visitors to leave their decaying trash, the waterfalls stands to lose some of its appeal. The caretaker said, it was due to the influx of visitors during the November 1 and 2 holidays. I hope during ordinary days, the place is kept well maintained and clean of liters. Seeing the leftover bottles of beer, plastics was the only downer of the trip to Tinago Falls. The bright blue colored pool of water was calling us from the get-go. It had us rushing through our lunch of "Marang" and "lechon" so quickly, we literally jumped into the water after taking our last bite.
Leading to the waterfalls, you will pass by an abandoned resort with only the ruins of what used to be villa's and other cottages now almost cowered up under the embrace of long vines. A deserted swimming pool lies occupied now by insects and frogs and filled with dark water. It felt like a ghost town of what was once an expensive resort. It wasn't supposed to be built in the first place as any attempt to make the Tinago Falls exclusive should be a no-no.
A downward cemented stairs leads you 100-200 feet to the waterfalls. As we come near and hear the rapid flow of the water, a feeling of excitement reigns over. Visitors can swim by wearing a life vest for safety and can ride a bamboo raft towards the falls. Which we did and got us a back massage courtesy of the dropping water, which felt like extra hard rubdown administered by a mad masseuse.
We took shelter under the rocks just behind the waterfalls and listened to Dennis tell us the legend of Tinago Falls. My girlfriend Lauren kept doing the jiggy moves only she can do, while we tease Lisa Marie about the out of this world super-Lakas of her secret admirer.
After that, Dennis egged us on to climb a part of the rockies to jump into the water. Which we did, when we climbed over an 8 feet cliff. Not as high as where the local kids jumps from, which was like 20-30 feet higher. We took turns jumping into the water and had us experiencing another form of 'high'. Crashing into a whirlpool seeing nothing but small bubbles while waiting for what seemed like a long time before surfacing, was an awesome sight.
Tinago falls certainly belongs to the best waterfalls I've seen. It is right up there with Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig. I just hope the place be taken care of and rules about bringing trash back be strictly enforced. After a couple of hours we packed our things and prepared to climb back the hundred or so steps. I took a moment to stare back at the waterfalls and yes, I felt all the bullshits of the world disintegrates at the mere sight of the rapid prowess of the white water flowing from its mouth. I was glad to share it with Lauren and the company of new friends.
Tinago Falls in Iligan can be reached by land from Cagayan de Oro or Ozamis. Airphil Express flies daily from Manila to Cagayn de Oro and to Ozamiz. Like their Facebook page and Follow them on Twitter to get latest seat-sale updates.