Asik-Asik Falls’ Sprinkle of Wonder | North Cotabato


Even before the two dogs moonlighting as our unofficial hiking guides plodding the muddy trail, paused, and looked back at me, I already figured out what they wanted to tell. Surely if they could talk, I'd hear them tell me, "here we up, look up." Taking cue from their excited body language, I directed my eyes upwards. A massive wall covering the length of my vision revealed an unimpeded view of Asik-Asik Falls.

Marla Espina
Soaking the view before taking a dip

Our two canine companions wiggled their tails, echoing my own enthusiasm and overjoy at finally being able to visit this spectacular waterfalls.

Isa Rodriguez
One of our canine guides leading the way

A Hiligaynon word, “Asik-Asik” translates to “sprinkle-sprinkle” in English and towers 60 feet spreading more than 140 meters wide.  Known to a few locals before it was discovered as a hiking destination in 2010, Asik-Asik Falls wowed the world when it became the subject of a winning entry for a photography competition in 2012.

North Cotabato Travel Guide
Sprinkle-Sprinkle of wonder

Since then, travelers have set out to this sleepy town of Alamada in North Cotabato for a rugged two-hour habal-habal ride and another hour of hiking just to reach this exceptional nature spectacle.

Irresistible urge to take dip

Fortunately nowadays, getting to the jump-off point to Asik-Asik Falls no longer necessitates an agonizing motorbike ride, thanks to the paving of the roads going there. The waterfalls can now be reached after a steep 30-45 minute descent over an established trail.

Mindanao Travel Guide
An established trail now makes it easier for hikers to reach Asik-Asik

Hurrying ahead of the rest of our group, I picked up my pace right as I hear the streaming water reverberate louder in the mountain. Making my way across verdant meadows and into a forest, I soon realized I was drawing near the waterfalls.

Waterfalls in the Philippines
Lush vegetation covers Asik-Asik 

My two canine companions suddenly quickened their strides as they sense our close proximity to our destination. True to form, the jaw-dropping image of Asik-Asik Falls that I used to ogle at on glossy magazine pages and travel blogs, uncovered itself to me.

Ayi Del Rosario
Greens everywhere

Despite wearing a hiking pants and only a boxer shorts underneath, the temptation to gaze closely and enjoy the soothing cool waters of Asik-Asik became irresistible, that I hurriedly stripped down to my short-shorts and dove waist deep for a pleasant dip.

Katrina Manahan
The falls' water flows directly to a tributary of Alamada River

Hearing nothing but the sound of the sprinkling water oozing from the cracks on the wall, I can’t help but marvel at the uniqueness of Asik-Asik, as there’s no body of water flowing from a stream. Instead, water emerges through the holes on a curtain of rocks, like how water from a balloon pricked with needles would flow while gripped tightly.

Dogs of Mindanao
This dog also accompanied me on the hike back

Asik-Asik, which is surrounded by the waving hills of Barangay Upper Dado in the town of Alamada, is Mother Nature's version of a valuable treasure, veiled in this case by a thick curtain of lush vegetation and steep cliffs.

Krisma Rodriguez
Therapeutic view

One by one members of our small group started arriving. I’m already in the water when a couple of drones flown by content creators who were with us starts flying overhead. I wave my hand each time it would hover over me.

Cotabato Travel Guide
Definitely, one of the most beautiful waterfalls I've seen

Inching my way to the wall and waist-deep in the plunge pool, I started feeling the current getting stronger. Ditching the idea of at least touching the wall of the waterfalls, I opted to sit on a rock and enjoyed dipping half of my body for a rejuvenating dip instead.

WHere to go in NortH Cotabato
But first, a much needed rest

Lost in the exquisite harmony of nature; an orchestra of the cascading water, the chirps of the birds and faint sounds of “ohhs and wow” from our group, I remained in the embrace of the gushing water while deeply concentrating my stare on the majestic Asik-Asik Falls.  

Kring Kring Carbon

Even as I am in the middle of a Zen state of existence, the thought of the upward hike came to mind, I immediately dismissed it and with good reason. Blessed to have finally seen the misty beauty of Asik-Asik Falls, it makes sense to free my mind of all the worries in the world. For several precious minutes, I cleared my thoughts to soak at the moment and let a fantastic remembrance with Mother Nature be engraved in my memory vault.