Maria Cristina Falls | Waterfalling Adventure in Iligan City
Just like any other legends, the tale of Maria Cristina Falls is an adorable jaunt into fantasy. And yes, once upon a time in Iligan, there lived by a beautiful waterfall, the twin sisters, Maria & Cristina. The maidens were so pretty that they were offered fragrance, jewelry & all the wealth by many men in the land. But no one succeeded, not until a wandering sultan found them and coveted their hearts.
Maria & Cristina fell in love with the same man but they could not tell whom the nobleman truly desired. So then the sisters fell in despair and plummeted the waterfall. Their bodies buried beneath the waters. In honour of the maidens he loved, he named the waterfall Maria Cristina.
Maria Cristina Falls: A Story More than Once Upon a Time
Maria Cristina is fabled but for as long as her waters fall, she will live to tell the stories of love & beauty, grandeur & power. From Lake Lanao, she runs through the Agus River then plunges on a high precipice like raging teardrops. Its twin cataract spews megatons of water into a 320-foot bedrock slapping thunderously against the boulders that hem its huge basin.
In the early 1950s, Maria Cristina lighted every home in Iligan & most parts of Mindanao. The loud turbines that swivel endlessly in Agus VI harness its water into power. And like her legend, she was paid homage by the country’s manufacturing giants and catapulted Iligan into industrial fame.
However, fortunes changed in the 90s until the city mercilessly fell on its knees. The world’s business realities altered its illustrious past. But despite it, Maria Cristina Falls remains the paragon of graceful supremacy.
Growing up in Iligan, I have visited Maria Cristina Falls many times. I saw it from different view decks & even from a privileged spot that is restricted to tourists. However, if you want a thrilling vantage point, check out the view from the bridge in Ditucalan. At 98 meters of equally raging drops, it tops the list of the highest twin waterfalls in the Philippines.
Maria Cristina Falls is more than just a landmark captured in countless photographs and paintings. She is beyond a folktale told in a plethora of dance, music and theatre interpretations. Maria Cristina Falls lives for her people who thrive from her power beyond once upon a time.
How to Get There
Regular commercial airlines fly to Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental. Alternatively, Iligan can be accessed from Ozamis City in the Occidental side. Check www.philippineairlines.com; www.cebupacificair.com for tariff and schedule.
From the airport, shuttle services to Iligan City are widely available. Travel time to Iligan is approximately 1.5 hours.
From downtown, take jeepneys bound for Buru-un or Linamon. Then get-off at NPC-Agus VO Power Plant in Buru-un.
Minimal fees are collected at the gate. Free shuttle from the gate to the viewing area of Maria Cristina Falls is available.
NPC Nature’s Park also offers ziplining, botanical garden & zoological park tours.
A cafeteria is available within the park. Also, parking spaces are available inside the park.
Iligan is also home to differently fantastic versions of Filipino food favourites. Check it out here.
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Betwixt and between the arthritic 40 and a horrendous body mass index of positive 30, escapism and yummyeology are my real-life double post-graduate degrees conferred with the highest honors. I lived nearly half of my life in fancy suitcases, jetsetting between reality and fantasy... read more