Make time to see the famous Ma. Cristina falls
when you are here in Iligan...:):)
Its a great opportunity for any Filipino traveler to see this magnificent view..;)
I am just lucky at that time because I was accompanied by an officemate who knows
a person working there.....so everything is kinda well prepared....
from the car to the people to talk to.....
I saw some tourist shuttle in the area from the entrace of the park going to the Ma. Cristina waterfalls...but If you havent seen any...i think walking to the falls is a nice things also..you can see and appreciate the area more..:)
It is also very nice to learn the folklore behind the famous....that its a story between two sisters Maria and Cristina...the whole of the story the traveler has to find out from himeself..;)
Don't forget to take some souvenir photos ok..:)
Situated high atop Buhanginan Hill in the Pala-O Barangay ( bourough ), one of the highest locations within the city proper you will find City Hall and the entire municipal complex of Iligan City. As you ascend the beautiful approach along the roadway leading up the hill, you will pass the Anahaw Amphetheater on the right and the Municipal building on the left as you approach the top of the hill. Make a right turn at the top of the hill and the last building on the left which is about a 5 to 10 minute walk you will find the Iligan City Department of Tourism.
If you wish to have a tour guide for your visit or any other special arrangements, the Department of Tourism is there to assist you in many ways. If you wish to visit or view something special that may not be considered a public access or specific tourist attraction the Dept. of Tourism will do their best to acomodate your request.
The Department of Tourism is headed by Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Agnes M Clerigo-Maingat along with a staff of Iligan Tourism professionals that are at your service. Additional information is available at their website.
I have heard and read many times about getting a haircut in The Philippines. After hearing advertisements on the worldwide webstream of Iligan Citys DXMA 95.9 FM " The EDGE " radio station ( see a review on this station on this website ) for a place called " Reyes Haircutters " it gave me the idea of getting a haircut there on my visit in late 2011.
As I have been using the same place here in the USA where I live for over 25 years, I had no idea what kind of haircut to ask for or describe to a barber in a Philippines Barber Shop. I decided to take one of my Filipino friends with me who is also much more fashion savvy than myself and left it up to my friend to decide what kind of haircut I wanted.
Arriving at Reyes Haircutters in Iligan, I found this was more than what you might describe as a typical barber shop. Reyes Haircutters is a full service family salon featuring a variety of services suited to all members of a family. Obviously there were people ahead of me so I was given a number to be called when it was my turn. The wait was only about 15 minutes which gave me some time to get a good look around the place which to me is a form of sightseeing !
In comparison to a costly Madison Avenue high end salon, at first glance Reyes haircutters may appear to be somewhat basic and scaled down. Once you get in the barber chair and the barber begins I found this is where the basic and scaled down dissapears. I can not recall a haircut where the barber spent this amount of time doing precision cutting, looking, a little more trim here and there etc.
I am always in a lot of photographs when I visit Iligan City and I wanted to try and look my best for many of them. A visit to Reyes Haircutters was a good idea for me. I had a lot of compliments on my Filipino Haircut. What really surprised me is when I got home to New York and co-workers at my job complimented the haircut. They never did that before.
There are many barber shops and haircutting places in Iligan City. My reason for going to Reyes Haircutters was from hearing their add long before my 2011 visit. Reyes is part of a nation wide chain which has an interesting and impressive history behind it as described on their website.
The cost of my haircut and a shampoo at Reyes Haircutters came out to the equivalent of around $1.20 USD ( 50 Peso ) . A fantastic job at what to me and to many other foreign visitors would seem a real bargain.
Photo Credit: M. Sedenio
You may need an early morning wake up call or dual alarm clocks for this one but it is a fun event for working off a bit of weight that may have been gained from many of the great places to eat in Iligan City.
" Hataw Na " which I believe translates to "Exercise Now " began in Feb. 2011 initiated by City Councilor Atty Marlene L. Young. From 6 to 8 AM on Saturday mornings this weekly event takes place at the City Plaza. I had seen many pictures and videos of Iligans Hataw on the internet and have seen the attendance grow each month indicating its continuing popularity with Iliganons of all ages. This was something I looked forward to attending on my 2011 visit. There are always new things happening in Iligan that I look forward to and this was one of them.
In addition to the exercise from aerobic dancing not only local and regional music, what really made it enjoyable to me as an American visitor were so many familiar songs being played and danced to from the 60's 70's and 80's in their original " Hit version " by the original artists. It is not quite like one of those Richard Simmons videos and it is not quite like American Bandstand from Philidelphia but I would have to say somewhere in between. What really makes the difference is that instead of watching it on TV or an internet screen, you can actually be " In The Picture " and enjoy this to the full extent !
There is No admission charge and it is open to everyone including visitors and tourists. Don't be surprised if you find yourself engaging in conversation with some of the Iliganons you meet there as this is some of the " Iliganon Hospitality " this city is known for.
Iligans " Hataw Na " may not yet appear on tourist maps or in many tourism journals or books ( yet ). I found this to be a most enjoyable event. If you remember the song " Dancing In The Streets " which was a big hit for Martha & The Vandellas, being at Iligans " Hataw Na " certainly reminded me of it. I had a great time.
Early in 2011 Iligans Night Market premiered and has become a primary weekend attraction ever since. Night Market takes place at City Plaza ( aka Rizal Park ) Friday and Saturday nights from approx. 6 PM until 2 AM. The streets running parallel to the plaza are blocked off from traffic and on one side of the plaza are set up with a wide variety of food stalls featuring what seems to be a nearly unlimited amount of local food and delacacies of all kinds. On the opposite side of the plaza are stalls featuring interesting items of all kinds although many of them feature clothes and footwear in many popular styles.
For foreign visitors to The Philippines from other parts of the world there are many health advisories for those that have never been to a tropical climate country before, one of those being not to buy or eat anything from common street vendors. You need not to be too concerned with this when enjoying food from stall holders at Iligans Night Market as the food stall holders are Not common street vendors. Many of them have full time food businesses in Iligan City and set up at Night Market to make their specialties and other well known food easily available to visitors and residents. All stall holders are registered with the city government. I had no problem with any of the food I consumed and I must say I had a well satisfied and full stomach leaving Night Market !
The plaza area is set up with tables and chairs to enjoy a meal or just a snack. Beverages of all kinds are available including well known soft drinks, fresh fruit juices, bottled water and of course Beer etc. After a great meal, I enjoyed a San Miguel ( beer ) at a very popular stall I had seen pics of on the internet for many months, Stall 79. It is one of the more popular stalls and I remembered it from the colorful sign I had seen in pictures on the internet.
There is live entertainment on the stage a bit later in the evening for your enjoyment while dining and socializing with friends which is one of the great features of this weekly event. Iligans Finest are present to insure a safe and enjoyable time for everyone and at no time did I feel uneasy amoungst the crowd. There is No admission charge to Iligans Night Market and it is open to the general public including visitors and tourists. I found it a great place to sample some of the local food specialties and local culture.
Ride a Dalipuga line Jeepney and tell the driver to drop you off at the Dalipuga Checkpoint. It's the next "kanto" after the KALUBIHON Entrance.
Ride a tri-sikad to bring you to the starting point of trek for the Dalipuga Falls. Just tell the driver that you are heading to the Dalipuga Falls. You will actually pass by the underconstruction (New) Dalipuga Brgy Hall and a covered court.
+ PRIVATE CAR:
Turn right to Dalipuga Checkpoint/Waitingshed after the KALUBIHON ENTRANCE.
You can ask a local to accompany you for free or with a fee. To be safe, you can contact me and I'll point you to the right direction. (I would love to roam around with you too :D )
Follow your instinct. Just follow the narrow path that will lead you to the Dalipuga Falls.
EXPENSES (per person):
+ Jeepney Fare : Php 15.00 (from the city proper)
+ Tri-Sikad: Php 5.00
WHAT TO BRING:
+ If you plan to swim, bring extra clothes.
+ If you want to stay for quiet sometime for lunch, bring packed lunch as there are no stores in the area.
+ Always bring emergency kits and always be safe, since you are open to the wild.
+ Respect local beliefs
+ Share a food with your local tour guide.
+ Bring drinking water, unless you'd like to drink the water from the water falls, which i super don't recommend. :)
+ Gadgets for documentation (camera)
+ Wear a good working slipper or shoes, which ever is comfortable for you.
September 29 - Sinulog
The Sinulog is the most attended and popular of the fiesta highlights. Performed only in the afternoon of the feast day, this ritualistic street-dance drama (also called eskrima) mimics the celestial battle between Lucifer and San Miguel. It is an improvised dance on the street and anybody from the crowd is free to join in. The performers, upon vanquishing their imaginary foe, cry out, "Viva Señor San Miguel!" and the crowd roars back, "Viva!" This is repeated throughout the dance.
The Diyandi (ritual dance) is performed only during the feast of Iligan Patron Saint, Senior San Miguel (Feast Day: September 29). Other curious dance-forms, also performed during the San Miguel Fiesta, include the Eskrima (a dance simulating a fight between San Miguel and his enemies, and the Yawa-yawa, literally, devil-devil), a dance from depicting the celestial battle between the forces of good and evil as impersonated by St. Michael, the Archangel and Lucifer.
Sometime in 1986, it was somehow felt by the local fiesta committee that there was a need to further popularize the folk-dance forms of the Iliganon. Thus was an idea born: the concept of a street dancing festival that will not only preserve certain traditional art forms but promote them as well. In an age when culture and tradition are battered by the incursions of modernity, the significance of such undertaking as a completion of traditional art forms cannot be belittled.
Now called the KASADYA (street dancing and merrymaking), which showcases these rich and varied cultural traditions. Highlighted by the traditional Diyandi, Eskrima and the street drama. KASADYA that was started, as a local form of entertainment has become a major tourist attraction of Iligan drawing crowds to about 50,000 people both local and tourist alike. It is considered as a non-income generating project having the most number of spectators both in the streets and in the showdown venue proper as compared to other tourism related activities.
It is to be noted that the San Miguel Fiesta focused on KASADYA was acclaimed by the BBC Holidays (a monthly consumer magazine published in the United Kingdom and the only publication officially endorsed by the prestigious British Broadcasting Corporation) as a tourist destination. It cited the tribal pageantry mixed with Christian piety famous with brightly costumed participants miming a fight with unseen adversaries to cries of "Viva Senior San Miguel". Other participants, dressed as warrior angels, march solemnly. It added that it is very unique because of the miracle play called the Yawa-yawa, performed in vernacular dialogue and depicting Lucifer's unsuccessful revolt against God and the good angels. Other national and local publications also cited KASADYA as a tourist attraction in Iligan.
Fm Broadcast station DXMA 95.9 FM began broadcasting in Iligan City about mid year 2010 and soon after that began broadcasting to the world through its webstream. This is the only full time radio station in Iligan City broadcasting locally and to the rest of the world via webstream in English Language.
I always like to bring a radio with me when traveling to hear of local advertisers and other information about where I am visiting. The first time I visited Iligan City several years ago I could find no station in English. Well, when I thought about it I was in a foriegn country so what was I expecting ? I believe Bisaya and Cebuano are the most prevalent languages spoken in Iligan City neither of which I am very familiar with. Most of the people in Iligan City can and do use English to one extent or another although I could not find any on my radio. Additionally long before actually going to Iligan for the first time I could find no radio station webstreaming from Iligan City.
This all changed when I read the news of DXMA 95.9 FM and then a short time after that they began webstreaming to the rest of the world on the internet. Although the air staff and musical programming are formatted to appeal to todays trendy younger age local listeners of college age, DXMA can also be of interest and use for potential tourists contemplating a visit to Iligan City.
A very high percentage of advertisers on DXMA consist of Iligan City hotels, restaurants, local shops and attractions that would be of interest to both domestic and foriegn tourists.
I had the pleasure of visiting DXMA 95.9 FM on a recent visit to Iligan City and felt most welcome by the station management and staff. I complemented them on their excellence in broadcasting to the world in English Language and giving me an ear to Iligan when I am home in New York USA.
DXMA 95.9 FM goes by the moniker " The Edge, Your iPod Radio " . Their over the air transmitter tower is high atop the Days Inn Building in Iligan City with their offices and studios on the third floor.
Their webstream sound quality is quite good although at times there may be variables of the internet that may cause temporary disruptions. I usually get a good steady webstream from them from half way around the world at any time day or night.
I have dubbed this station as " Tourist Friendly " as it enables those from other parts of the world that may not be fluent in Bisaya, Cebuano or Tagalog to gain an auditory taste of Iligan City from anywhere in the world.
My compliments to the Management and Air Staff of DXMA for a continuing job well done.
Iligan CIty & EDGE-FM 95.9
Simply Amazing !
There have been many additions to NPC Natures park located a few short miles from the city proper. It is accessable by car, taxi or jeepney. NPC Natures Park is the home of the famous Maria Christina Falls, an Iligan landmark as well as being one of the prime attractions Iligan City has to offer.
One of the most popular additions to the park in the past year or so was the construction of a 4 section Zipline. These seem to have become very popular in recent years as an adventure / thrill ride that are enjoyed and expereinced by many people around the world.
The first section of this Zipline is about 100 meters above the ground and takes you over many treetops between the first and second platform. Initial trials of this part of the zipline found it to be a bit too fast for the average individaul or beginner to comfortably land at the second platform and is now controlled by platform attendants. When I rode the Zipline I was lowered part way out on the first cable and then " paused " for a few moments ( for a great view of below ) and then let go to freely ride the cable to the second platform. The rest of the ride you freely travel along the following 3 cables to the rides conclusion. Each cable is at a slightly lower elevation than the previous one. There are attendants at each platform to guide you in for a safe landing at each platform.
One of the best views of Maria Christina Falls is from platform 2. The cable between platforms 3 and 4 takes you right over the rapids of the Agus River and back over it again at a lower level going from platform 4 to the finish line platform only slightly above ground level.
Prior to entering this adventure, you are issued a harness and a safety helmet along with a pair of gloves. This is followed by a safety talk and demonstration of how to use the zipline. A description of the harness hardware, pulleys and other equipment you will be wearing to experience the zipline are also explained in detail to re-assure you that all details to safety have been adhered to.
From ground level you then ascend a stairway consisting of about 200 steps going up the side of a hill to get to the 1st ( starting ) platform. This staiway is well made and is equipped with railings on each side. If you have to stop part way up the stairway to catch your breath, rest or just enjoy the view this stairway is wide enough for others to pass without difficulty. Once you reach the top a table and seating is available.
This was the first time I have ever been on a zipline and I must admit some thoughts of reluctance did cross my mind when looking at the ground from the first platform ! I have always had such enjoyable experiences in my visits to Iligan City, I knew that if I endured this adventure it would add to my enjoyments of visiting and in the end it certainly did ! I was glad I had some of my Iligan friends with me for a little reassurance and we all had a great time on this " Treetop Adventure " .
Cost of admission to NPC Natures Park 30 Peso
Cost of goin on the Zipline 200 Peso
( at the time of my visit Oct. 2010 )
it's an arduous trek down hundreds of steps but the "hidden" waterfalls is definitely worth each knee-wobbling step. ;)
swim in its cold blue waters or rent a bamboo raft and pull yourselves towards the falls itself. either way, seeing tinago falls is definitely an iligan city must!
no public transport roams the area so renting a jeep or a motorcycle is a necessity. if you have friends in the city, better ask them to arrange your transport for you... iliganons are more than willing to accommodate and be of help to tourists like you. ;)
one good thing about not being as "developed" as the booming CDO is that more and more people here appreciate the beauty and importance of art...and it's varied forms.
Dance: the resident cultural dance troupe of MSU-IIT, IPAG is reknowned worldwide. the guild specializes in dance and theatre...by the way, they have a dance interp of the tale of Maria Christina Falls - very nice! breathtaking. i just love em!
another noteable cultural dance troupe that i know of is KALIMULAN (MSU-IIT). they dance and perform well, too!
Music: i'm from IIT, so i'd be a little biased. i have little knowledge of other iligan-based musicians kasi ehehe. so here goes:
OCTAVA - they just finished touring Malaysia, i think. very good. their pianist is my teacher in Music...a genius! ;)
ECHOES - they're more into pop. good vocals.
oh yeah, the city government's own "choir" is also good. =) i think their choir's name is the anahaw...something. hehe. basta, they'r good.
Theatre: IPAG is aslo known for theatre productions. they usually use the "arena" type of stage wherein a limited number of people "encircle" the acts. at first, maninibago ka but then afterwards you'll realize that theatre is best appreciated this way: up-close, as if you're also part of the act. some of their good productions: Mingming,kwits,new yorker sa tambacan...
i'm not really sure if the yearly "drama" at the public plaza falls under theatre. oops i even forgot the word to call it. hehe the act dramatizes dialogues between archangels and ends with the defeat of once-angel Lucifer by Archangel Michael.
Visual Arts: visit Linya Gallery. the gallery shows paintings and other works of visual arts by local artists esp. Leah Padilla.
BEST TIME TO VISIT ILIGAN:
*last week of August. MSU-IIT palakasan (where iit cultural groups usually show what they got!)
*last week of September. city festival.
*when IPAG posts schedules of their acts ( told you, i just love the group although i'm in no way part of it hehe)
Iligan City is A City of Contrasts! Coastal areas with flat plains and mountainous areas! and Most of the waterfalls are in hilly areas that you have to hike up and down to visit these wonderful works of nature so when you are in iligan city. Walking and Hiking is just Natural!
Iligan Bay is the Area Around iligan City and nearby provinces of Zamboanga and Misamis Occidental. From Iligan City, there are ferry services to these areas and you can also swin here since the water is crystal clear (but the sands are brown). The bay aslso is a nice spot for pictures.
Timoga Cold Spring Resort is obviously a mountain spring resort hence it has icy cold waters flowing from the springs that you can have a bottle of beer dipped in the water and in 30 minutes viola! it's near ice cold!. It is also the most famous getaway in iligan City with about 5 resorts subdividing the whole water spring area. Entrance fee is 50 pesos and there are a variety of pools that you can try. you can also buy food here!
The Ancestral House of The Current President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is here at the National Highway, just beside timoga cold springs resort. Although the president is from pampanga province, she grew up here in Iligan City. At Present You Can Take Pictures of the Place Outside since the place is off Limits to visitors.