You either skipped your History Class or paid your way through Elementary graduation, Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City can’t be missed because it is published in every geography book for its beauty and purpose to many communities in Mindanao. As high as 320 feet, this majestic fall is the primary power source across Mindanao.
The National Power Corporation (NPC) was created under Commonwealth Act No. 120 on November 3, 1936, as a non-stock government corporation. On top of powering the islands, NPC is also mandated to perform effective and efficient management of the government’s remaining power assets such as the 981 MW Agus and Pulangi Hydroelectric Power Plants in Mindanao. (napocor.gov.ph)
NPC took advantage of the falls’ grandness. Constructing the power plant a few meters from the falls’ foot, NPC was able to supply power across the island of Mindanao. The Agus Power Plant Complex consists of six (6) cascading power plants from Lake Lanao in Marawi City down to the famed Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City.
On weekends as well as holidays wherein the Power Plant is not operating, NPC accepts tourists to explore the park they developed to fully enjoy the magnificence of Maria Cristina Falls. A viewing deck located on the third floor of the NPC building, you can capture an Instagram-worthy photo featuring the roar of falling waters.
The Park features a botanical and zoological garden too. Learn new species of plants while getting a safe encounter with animals such as monkeys, ostriches, and even crocodiles! Plus, a butterfly sanctuary can be visited. Lastly, don’t forget to bring your basket-full lunch because you are allowed to have a picnic by the river. Remember to keep your wastes at your proper disposal.
For those who seek adventure other than simply strolling down the garden or snapping photos by the falls, a connecting area from Maria Cristina Falls was also developed for rock climbing and trekking. The Tree Top Canopy Tour and Zip Line Adventure are perfect to conquer your fear of heights.
Secured with the safety harness, tourists will climb the switchyard stairways to reach the top, traversing a rope bridge. Upon reaching the super tall tree that overlooks the Argus River, one at a time, you will go through three zip lines! Make sure to bring Go-Pro attached to your helmet since cameras, as well as phones, are not allowed for safety purposes.
Back in our childhood days, Maria Cristina Falls was always featured as one of the beautiful sceneries in the Philippines in our history book. What the book failed to mention was there’s more to its beauty than meets the eyes.
RATES & OTHER INFORMATION
- Entrance fee: Php25.00 for the kids, Php35.00 for adults.
- Opening hours: The waterfall is open to the public only on Saturdays, Sundays and special holidays when the power plant is shut.
- Contact number: (063)221-3988, (063)221-9032.
- Email address: [email protected]
- Facebook Page: https://web.facebook.com/Maria-Cristina-Falls-1715758671988789/
HOW TO GET THERE?
Exact location: Misamis Oriental – Maria Cristina Boundary Rd, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
BY BUS/JEEP/HABAL-HABAL (FOR COMMUTERS):
Cagayan de Oro, take a jeepney going to Bulua Market Bus Terminal. After arriving at the bus terminal, ride the bus bound for Iligan City. From the terminal to Iligan, the travel time is approximately 2 hours.
From the town proper, ride a jeep bound to Buru-an/Linamon and inform the driver to drop you off to a corner going to Maria Cristina Falls. From there, ride a motorcycle (habal-habal) to Agus River that costs about P60 to P80 per way. There are also taxis available in the area if you want a more comfortable ride.
BY CAR: Navigate with Waze or Google Maps and set your destination to Maria Christina Falls in Iligan City. Free parking space is available.