The Awesome Maria Cristina Falls
by Danny Tariman
My family had been traveling around Northern Mindanao for the past 4 days. This is the last day of our pleasure tour.
From Cagayan de Oro City, we headed towards the province of Lanao del Norte to our destination, the awesome Maria Cristina Falls.
I had been reading about this falls and seeing its photos or drawings since my elementary days in geography books. I had never thought that one day, it will be a tour destination for me.
We passed by Iligan City. This is a highly industrialized city with many factories and big buildings – oil companies, oil depots, cement plant, glass plant, etc. We enjoyed the almost 2 hours ride from the Cagayan de Oro.
We further drove down and find our way to the Maria Cristina Falls Nature Park. The park is operated and maintained by the National Power Corporation. The falls powers the hydro-electric plant that generates electricity that powers Iligan industrial city and its neighboring cities and provinces.
We reached the gate to the water falls at about 8:30 in the morning. To our surprise, it was closed for tours because of fallen tree branches that blocks the road. A storm just passed by the area the day before; even the water flowing in the downstream river is muddy-brown.
Fighting our discouragement, my family prayed for God’s intervention to allow us to see this beautiful falls. By 9am, the gate was opened to tourists! Thanks be to God!
We drove slowly passing through a forested area.
Lo and behold, a gigantic falls gushing immense water from the top! Maria Cristina Falls is just in front of us! Really an awesome view!
I really don’t know how high the falls is, but the volume of water cascading down from twin-streams is just spectacular! Really huge! The water flowing at the bottom is so swift and its current strong! Maybe because of the rains the past couple days.
At the right side is the hydro-electric plant which converts the water power into electric power. Tourists are restricted from going to the hydro-electric plant.
The viewing deck near the falls has a coffee shop-restaurant, in case you want to rest and have some eats or drinks. The surrounding area is rich in tropical plants and trees, with some wild small animals freely roaming around. We saw a big lizard [see photo].
After the photo shoot, we packed-up and move on to our last tour destination.
Indeed, an experience I cannot forget.
Our thanks to our Aunt Cedeng and cousins for lending us a 4×4 Strada pickup and for the warm hospitality. We also thank Mel-An, for touring us and driving for us.