Tinago Falls in Iligan, Mindanao

After getting a shave and a pretty unflattering haircut in Cagayan de Oro I made the short one and a half hour drive to Iligan. I read in my guide book that Iligan had some beautiful waterfalls so I decided to stay the night and visit the falls today.

On my way to the falls today around noon I stopped for some lunch, gigataan nga langka, or jackfruit cooked in coconut milk. Some fruits here are used as vegetables when they’re not quite ripe and this is a really good meal. It was only ₱18 for the rice and jackfruit dish.

After I finished my meal I continued toward Tinago Falls (tinago meaning hidden). My guidebook said that there was a signpost indicating when I should turn off the road, however expecting obvious signs has made me lost on many occasions. After a few times back and forth I finally found the turnoff and made the 5km drive up to the parking area.

Immediately a group of guys ran out to meet me, offering to serve as my guide down to the falls. Since I didn’t know how far it was to the falls I accepted one for what ended up being a short walk to the stone steps leading down to the waterfalls, a path that I could have easily found myself.

Once I found the path I left my guide behind, paid the ₱10 entry fee, and started down to the falls. It was a short and beautiful hike down to the bottom.

I hung out at the falls for a few hours. It was a lot of fun and I made some friends.

Those two cute kids above were there swimming, very well actually. They lived at the top of the falls and said they swam every day since they were on summer break. The little boy on the left is John-Paul and he’s 8, and the little girl on the right is Ema-May and she’s 10. I asked her to watch my bag for some money while I swam around; she patiently waited and waited until I was ready to leave, then they walked with me up the 300+ steps to the top. I gave them each ₱20 for their trouble and they looked pleased. John-Paul walked with me the rest of the way to my car, and as we walked past a huge abandoned house he said it was scary there because there were monsters who lived inside it. So, I naturally had him pose in front of it.

On my way home I decided to stop and try some durian at one of many durian stalls close together off the side of the highway. It’s very expensive elsewhere, here it’s only $1.50 a kilo. I bought one and tried it. It wasn’t quite so bad as Anthony Bourdain thought, who said, “Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.” It was actually quite good, tasting completely different from what it smelled like, having a very soft and custardy texture and having a taste that changed depending on what part of the fruit I was eating it from. Some parts tasted very sweet and mellow while some parts had a slight oniony taste. Many have tried to describe the taste, but it is really indescribable. I liked it.

I continued back to Iligan, but stopped off at Jollibee to eat a small burger sammach and some other foodstuffs. There were a couple kids outside who homed in on me and asked for some money but I gave them a job instead: they were to watch over my bike and my helmet while I was inside and then I would pay them. While I was inside I saw that they sat down right by my bike and didn’t leave the whole time. I only ate half of my fries and drank half of my drink so I gave it to them plus all the change I had.

After that I came back to my hotel room and wrote this blog post. Street Fighter (the movie) is on and it’s terrible and I’ve got a bad case of the munchies.

This is an entry in my Philippines 2010 travel log. Thanks for reading!



I really like the panaromic view pictures. It gives you a sense of what it relaly looks like and pins me there in the Philippines for a minute. Super cute kids.


Looks awesome! Durian is something my friend who served a mission in Malaysia loves. I would like to try it someday. I love the panoramic pics and the cute kids you are meeting. It makes my heart ache to be their teacher. :)


The jungle looks warm and humid. We just got back from Anchorage where it was in the 60's and this morning in PG it snowed! Gone now though. I had my own adventure in Anchorage--I rented a Harley Road King, a bike that could swallow your Honda whole--and put on 350 miles in a day. Fun! I could get into the adventure touring thing.



Wow, 350 miles on the XR200 would leave my butt feeling VERY sore. The Harley was made for cruising though. Adventure touring is great, part of the fun is finding the balance between riding and resting and finding cool out of the way places.

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