The pandemic is not yet over. The fight is still ongoing. We've been stuck for months in the four-cornered wall (or more) in our room. The economic activities are regaining but others stopped since the quarantine started. One of these is tourism.
I've been viewing all the pictures and videos since my first travel up to the last getaway I had a week before the official announcement of the enhanced community quarantine. I miss the fun travels but what I miss the most right now is my home. I miss my family and my fur-babies, my friends, the places, and the food! I've been here in Cebu City since November 2019. I never had a chance to go home on my three sisters' birthday on April 21 and probably, will never be for this year.
I lived in a barangay (a small village) located in the province of Lanao del Norte known as the Land of Beauty and Bounty. But, I haven't traveled much in our province since I have been to Iligan City for almost a decade because of studies and work. Geographically, Iligan City is part of Lanao del Norte, but it is now the lone district of Iligan City.
So here are my top three places I highly recommend when you visit Iligan City, Philippines:
If you are up to chasing waterfalls then Iligan City will never disappoint you. Iligan City is the City of Waterfalls in the Philippines and as of now, there are 23 majestic waterfalls. Probably, there is still more that is yet to be discovered.
Tinago Falls, dubbed as the Hidden Majestic Waterfalls of Iligan City, is one of the main tourist attractions in the city. To reach Tinago Falls, you have to trek in the man-made cemented and winding stairs approximately 500 steps. While descending, you will be covered by large and small trees and flowers. You will be serenaded by the sound of nature and as you go deeper and nearer, you will instantly hear its reverberating waters.
The water is from the discharge of the man-made Lake Lanao in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. The water then drops into the deep pool-like basin offering you an emerald green cold water. The main pool is very deep and cold. I experienced muscle cramps on both of my legs while swimming towards the cave. That's why in the area, there are locals who offer rentals of a life jacket for a cheaper rate. There is also a shallow basin of Tinago falls where small streams flow to the sea.
As mentioned, a small cave is hidden behind the falling waters where you can go there either swimming or riding a balsa. In the cave, you can listen to the reverberated sound produce or can have a water massage when riding the balsa. What's more, you can climb to the rock formations and leap into the cold water.
Balsa is a Filipino term for Bamboo raft.
I highly recommend going there in the morning where the sun shines and hits the cascading waterfalls. It forms a rainbow and appears a few meters above the water. It adds to the breathtaking beauty of Tinago Falls.Map of Tinago Falls
Another stop for an icy-cool plunge is the Timoga Springs. Timoga Springs is a group of spring resorts located at Timoga, Buru-un, Iligan City. It is prominent for its free-flowing waters of the swimming pools in various sizes. The water comes from Lake Lanao in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. The cool and crystal clear waters of Timoga springs are filtered beneath making it one of the richest sources of fresh and high pH water.
There is a total of five spring resorts you can choose. From the City, you have the El Lauriento Holiday Resort, Timoga Spring Pool, Mimar's Springway Resort, Dela Mar Resort, and Maravillas Swimming Pool. The four spring resorts are located along the highway. The other one, Maravillas Swimming Pool, is at the back of the Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House, beside Dela Mar Resort. Each resort has a different opening and closing time but some offer an overnight stay.
There are fountains of different forms, diving boards in a 16-feet pool, an Olympic size pool, slides in different styles and lengths, and a flowing stream forming different levels where you can also enjoy a good soak after swimming in the pool. Unlike other pools, the pools in Timoga Springs are drained at night and cleaned without the use of chlorine.
Timoga Springs can get crowded on the weekends, during holidays, and in summer. When traveling by groups, I highly recommend going here in the morning to avoid competition in the parking lot and the tables and cottages.Map of Timoga Springs
Paseo de Santiago
After a long and tiring day, Paseo de Santiago offers you a great ambiance where you could relax and feel the sea breeze while listening to the music played by the band. It is a privately owned property located at Barangay Santiago, Iligan City, just a 15-minute ride from the city proper.
Paseo de Santiago is a park where you can enjoy your "me-time" or have bonding with your friends or loved ones. The park is at the seaside where you can have a breathtaking view of the sunset at Iligan Bay. During the nighttime, the lights on the trees are turned on giving off a relaxing and intimate ambiance.
Foods and drinks are served in the area, mostly are barbecues. But there are several stalls in the park where you can choose Filipino dishes for your dinner. You can listen to live bands while waiting and devouring your dinner.
In the area, there is huge signage of ILIGAN CITY and PHILIPPINES. The PHILIPPINES signage is in between the figure of jeepney and kalesa, the two are the primary transportation of the locals. Also, a gigantic Philippine map is painted on the floor where a bird's eye view is best to capture it. Riding a bicycle and a kalesa is available in the park, too. Plus, with continuous developments, a castle has been constructed giving you a medieval vibe. It is the first attraction you will see upon entering and it also serves as a function hall of the park.
Kalesa is a Filipino term for a two-wheeled horse carriage.
Map of Paseo de Santiago
These are only three out of the many tourist attractions of Iligan City. For a low-budget trip, consider Iligan City and it will never disappoint you of the wonders, adventures and even the food it offers.
K N E E L Y R A C