ASIK-ASIK OR PAGURAN FALLS
It was once belief a fairy haven nature, hidden in a vast of forested, greenery and mountainous area of Alamada, North Cotabato. Above is an agricultural land with corns, vegetables, coconut trees and upland rice as their major crops, well maintained and valued by both Christians, Muslims and natives who are original settlers of the area. This paradise was totally hidden and difficult to reach due to limited access, communities along the area believed that it was an enchanted place where the fairies have lived long before. Until such time that the nature naturally opens itself to share its wonder to the public and for all who love nature. Wonderful nature, a one of a kind and only can be found here. A panoramic views of spring curtain waters that gives amazing experience to those who have witness for this beautiful paradise in the midst of mountains.
Amazingly the source of water is not coming from a stream or cause by a river. It is a spring water gush flow through the stone crust of the mountain wall. A crystal clear cold water and its finest taste of natural and rich of minerals is quite good and rewarding to your thirst during a long trek and adventure, aside from what you might have experienced in this paradise.
Asik-asik was named after the visayan term of ilonggo as sprinkler of water, where the constituents are mostly an Ilonggo hiligaynon and ilonggo karay-a. Before it was called Orantimor in Muslim dialect and changed to its name as Paguran, later on it was changed to its name as Asik-asik. There was also a proposal from the President of the United of Idelman Tribe Association in the Philippines Bai Rebecca Alamada-Buan, renaming Asik-asik to Lamihan that signifies meaningful description to the natives. No matter what they call it, it is still majestically sacred sanctuary and a truly blessed with wonderful nature.
We traveled way down from South Cotabato to North Cotabato, coming from General Santos City. I woke up as early as 4:00am to prepare my things and hit Bulaong Terminal by 5:00am. I took my breakfast in the terminal and started to travel by bus for Digos City. From Digos City took another bus for Cotabato City and dropped in Midsayap. My contact was already waiting along the terminal, it was past twelve noon we arrived at Midsayap. We took our lunch while our friends were waiting with their motorcycle. We started to travel with single motorcycle riding in tandem and hit the road to Alamada. It was a rough ride, most of the road is not yet cemented, totally an adventure happens always to test your perseverance for this mystical nature. I timed our travel before we started from Midsayap, it was more than 3 hrs. It was about 4:00 pm we arrived at the area, the Barangay Tourism Officer Jude Magbanua, welcomed and approached us as we signed and registered our names, he also introduced us the honorable vice-mayor Leo Nigildo "Toto" Calibara of Alamada Municipality, who were also an advocate for nature preservation. For his love of nature Vice-mayor is constantly supportive to all the activities of Asik-asik. We had a short conversation and interviews for the brief history of Asik-asik and how it was discovered. The generous Vice-mayor accompanied us down with his staff and the Brgy. Tourism Officer who are dearly almost dedicated his time and effort to support the Asik-asik conservation and protection program to attract more tourist and to promote the hidden paradise of Alamada.
From the jump off, we started to descend from its 375 concreted stiff steps down as counted, along the way you can see the 360 degrees of panoramic view of entire North Cotabato. The concreted stairs were constructed through the joint effort and funded by local government unit, communities and non-government organizations for the development of eco-tourism.
Before it was discovered and opened to public it has been told that some people who might have already known this place long time ago, but due to accessibility problem no one interests to go further. Alamada is a highly difficult terrain and a hilly place, both mountains has a 90 degrees cliff where the waterfalls in the middle is located. The potential way down there were blocked with a huge balete tree, which they believed an enchanted sanctuary, who might guarding the waterfalls. Until such time when the heavy rainfall by typhoon frank naturally uprooted the said huge tree and there amazingly revealed the true beauty of once hidden and now shared to everyone that we should be proud of, we have this only kind paradise.
On the record it was officially discovered last April 4, 2012 and officially opened to the public last September 20, 2012. Inaugurated with some provincial and municipal officials and its benefactors.
SITIO DULAO, BRGY. DADO, ALAMADA, NORTH COTABATO
A panoramic view of Alamada and its neighboring provinces, Lanao del Sur in the North, municipality of Libungan in the South, Municipality of Banisilan in the East and Municipality of Pigcawayan and Buldon province on its West. It is totally elevated and hilly place.
Most of us when we have heard Mindanao it is like a virus that everyone must have to avoid and pre-judged as full of bad influences or packed with negative expectations. Arm conflict in this area is just an isolated cases, not all part of Mindanao are war zone. Way up there from the recommended jump off places is totally safe, here Christians and Muslims are harmoniously living together with respect for each other's cultures.
Once and for all, a brief and short visit to this falls gives me unforgettable and wonderful experience that forever be treasured.
In case you want to visit Alamada, North Cotabato I recommend a friend of mine who serves as our local guide going to Asik-asik. They are very accommodating and approachable you can contact him through his CP no. 09196161124 just call him Pastor "Toto".
THINGS TO KNOW
- Can able to understand and speak since most of schools and local offices use it as medium language.
- Karay a
- Greet everyone as
- "Maayo nga Aga" - Good Morning
- "Maayo nga Udto" - Good Noon
- "Maayo nga Hapon" - Good Afternoon
- "Maayo ng Gab-i" - Good Evening
- "Migs" or "Migo" - Calls for a friend
- "Pila ini or pila ni?" - How much is this?
- Greet everyone as
- "Maayong Buntag" - Good Morning
- "Maayong Udto" - Good Noon
- "Maayong Hapon" - Good Afternoon
- "Maayong Gabi-i" - Good Evening
- "Bay" or "Bai" - Calls for a friend
- "Tag-pila" - How much
- You can do access by boat but only from Cotabato City, Cagayan de Oro, Davao City and General Santos City port.
- There is no airport serves in the area the nearest airport is in Cotabato City but you can go another options in Davao City and General Santos City Airport.
- P8.00 in short distances in Midasayap Municipality.
- Take Haba-habal or passenger single motorcycle type from Alamada proper to Sitio Dulao, Brgy. Dado, Alamada, North Cotabato.
- From Midsayap or Libungan you can take a jeepney ride to municipality of Alamada.
- From General Santos City two routes going to Alamada
- 1. From Bulaong terminal take a bus to Cagayan de Oro via Koronadal City, Isulan and drop off to Kabacan.
- Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. bus
- From Kabacan terminal take a bus to Cotabato City and drop off to Midsayap.
- 2. From Bulaong terminal take a bus to Digos City.
- Holiday bus and Yellow bus
- From Digos City ride a bus to Cotabato City via Kidapawan, Kabacan and drop off to Midsayap.
- Weena bus
- From Davao City
- From Ecoland terminal take a bus to Cotabato City via Digos City, Kidapawan, Kabacan and drop off to Midsayap.
- From Cotabato City
- Take a bus and you can drop off to Libungan or Midsayap.
- Weena bus
- There are plenty of restaurant you can find at Libungan and Midsayap since this is already considered as first class municipality, favorite fastfoods can be found in the town proper, but for the budget travelers take our recommendation to look for carenderias or Turo-turo.
- Where to stay
- check hotels here http://www.maplandia.com
- Financial Establishments
- Banks at the town proper as well as ATM
- Remitance centers are also available here