Journey to North Cotabato

North Cotabato is not exactly the place you go to for a vacation. The stigma of danger still lingers, but our small group of adventure seekers decided to visit the province just to see Asik-Asik Falls.



Voyage to Asik-Asik Falls

Part of the adventure to see the waterfalls is the scenery and adventure it takes to get there. We traveled straight to Midsayap, the closest jump-off point to the falls, as soon as we arrived. The strong military presence in the city is unlike any other I've experienced traveling around the Philippines. When rebels are just a few towns away, you will definitely take all sorts of precautions. The feeling of danger didn't deter us from our objective from seeing Asik-Asik Falls.


Saying the trip was long is an understatement. We rented a habal-habal from the city to take us to the falls and back, costing us P700 round way. We drove through unpaved dirt roads that seemed impossible to pass through when it rains. We felt every rock, big and small, as our motorcycle forced its way through.


After the numbing ride, we finally made it to the registration area for the falls. It was verdant landscapes everywhere we looked. The rolling hills were a refreshing sight for someone who's used to the city.


Young, wild and free

Kids being kids



I thought our adventure was over, but we still had to make a short trek before reaching the actual waterfalls.


The waterfalls unveiled its majestic appearance to us slowly. It started with the changing temperature, which was cooler, and then the stream led us to the torrential downpour.


The waterfall was simply amazing, breathtaking and all travel cliches you can think of.



The water was ice cold but refreshing, especially after we got covered in dust traveling through dirt road.



The waterfalls is a unique phenomenon because the water comes from a spring blanketed by vegetation and rocks, cascading down into the shallow rocky pool beneath it.

A local delicacy
After our trip to the falls, I tried this local delicacy (I forget the name).

How to Get to the Waterfalls

The nearest airport is in Cotabato City, from there, ride a bus bound for Midsayap for P70 one way. Once in Midsayap, you can rent a habal-habal for P700 round trip to get to the falls.

The Grand Mosque


Other than visiting Asik-Asil Falls, visitors can also head to the Grand Mosque (Masjid Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah) in Barangay Kalanganan in Cotabato City.






The mosque was partly funded by the Philippine government and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam. The structure occupies 5000 square meters and the minarets are at a towering 43m high. The Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in the Philippines.

Expenses

Our group of three only stayed in the region for three days and two nights, here is a breakdown of our expenses:

P500 - Overnight Hotel Angelo
P600 - Overnight Diamond Hotel
P117 - Transportation
P512 - Food and Drinks
P100 - Habal-habal ride to Grand Mosque from Cotabato City proper round trip
P700 - Habal-habal ride to Asik-Asik Falls from Midsayap round trip
P40 - Entrance and Parking fee for Asik-Asik Falls
P70 - Bus to Midsayap from city
P60 - Van to Cotabato City from Midsayap
P150 - Terminal Fee Airport                                                                                            

P2849 - Total expenses (just me)

Despite the negative news we always hear about the region, the Grand Mosque and Asik-Asik Falls are noteworthy destinations for intrepid travelers looking for something different. I wish I could've stayed longer to explore more of the region, maybe on another trip.

1 Comment

One Comment


  1. That local delicacy is the muslim "Pastil" :) read with a silent 's' XD

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