2 hour away from Cagayan de Oro is the progressive city of Iligan in Lanao del Norte. Now while some may reject the idea of going to Lanao all together, I was eager enough to discover what the province has to offer. And of course, there was one place that I had to go to, the grand Maria Cristina Falls.
Iligan City is known to be the City of Waterfalls, since aside from the Maria Cristina Falls, there are several other beautiful waterfalls in the province. However, since I was just here for a day, I had to go to the mother of all waterfalls.
We entered the Nature Park that had very tight security. I was then told that the bridge near the park's entrance was bombed by rebels, hence, they've become very cautious ever since. We were told to leave our bags even though we were allowed to take our car inside. I thought that was a bit weird though. Inside, you go through a narrow road that leads you to the entrance of the falls. The park offered several activities, like trekking and zip lining.
Maria Cristina Falls is located within a complex that houses one of the largest hydroelectric plants in the country. The power generated by the falls provides electricity to most of Iligan City. You could already hear the roar of the water as you approach for a closer look.
The mad rush of water ravaging inside the plant's machinery is a sight to behold. I was wondering if someone ever tried to go white water rafting here. We went up to the viewing deck to catch the best view of the falls.
And there is was, at its pristine grandness. The surrounding environment was also spectacular, since most of the forest are preserved. There are several smaller waterfalls around, that look like veins on the cliff sides. I was wondering though why there is only one layer of falls, when there should be two. To think it was already the rainy season.
The source of water comes from lake Danao that spans the entire Lanao provinces (Norte and Sur). Lake Danao could be accessed from Marawi in Lanao del Sur, which is only a 30 minute drive from Maria Cristina. However, it was already getting late, so we had to go back to Cagayan de Oro.
The grandness of Maria Cristina Falls was amazing, and though we weren't able to get up close (not allowed), you could still feel the power of nature.