I’ve been to a few waterfalls that can be counted in just one hand and I know it’s not enough for me to generalize that waterfalls are all hard to reach areas. Still, most waterfalls I’ve heard are not exactly a walk in the neighborhood kind of leisure stroll. Except for Cathedral falls, so far.
Anyway, as we went to the small rural town of Kapatagan (Plains) for this near enigmatic waterfalls, my primary concern was how to get there, because it is one of many waterfalls that are rarely blogged, especially in this part of the country – Lanao del Norte. In short: No effing idea!
So here we were in Kapatagan, just ate dust and smog from our two hour trip of frequent bus stops beneath the microwave summer heat. Yeah, we took a non-air-conditioned bus because we were in a race against the all-of-a-sudden appearing rain. The bus though was like a mobile toaster on steroids. Bus rides? It’s more fun here in the Philippines. Anyway, finally at Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte Bus Terminal.
The first thing that we noticed in Kapatagan was their bus terminal. It was small but way better than our very own Iligan‘s bus terminal in seven-folds. They have free wifi, a super small, but nice cozy coffee shop named Betty Beans, a Mang Inasal food joint (and others), a parlor (I think), and the travelers lounge area is clean and air-conditioned – even their bathrooms are squeaky clean which is a rare trait for public bathrooms.
So here we were cooling ourselves off from the discomfort of the sun baked buses and blazing weather with Betty Bean’s Roasted Mocha Almond Frappe and Strawberry Smoothie paired with (not pictured) super cheap but not bad burgers at P25 a piece. If your taking a private ride and your heading to Pagadian City and beyond in that direction, this place is a great pit stop for your basic traveling needs and a refreshing break from long driving too.
Finally, we were on our way to Cathedral falls and the words from the locals about the waterfall kept swirling in my head. I thought of loose hanging bridges, deep ravines and native warriors, but the phrase “it’s just a 10 minute (habal-habal) motorcycle ride kind of distance” doesn’t seem to fit in my action-packed imagination. Oh well, I was eager to dispel such disbelief with my own eyes as soon as possible or I might act out Indiana Jones along the way. The falls is located at Barangay (District) Cathedral Falls…
– Where you from stranger?
– Cathedral Falls. (Clint Eastwood stare)
Barangay Cathedral Falls
HALLELUJAHHH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLEEELUUUUJAAAAHHH! (a tune in my head)
Lo and behold! The glorious Cathedral waterfalls basking in our star struck gaze like witnessing Michael Jackson. Maybe not Jacko level, but it was enough to capture our “wooaah” expressions and itchy fingers for some snapshot sacrilege. The wide rock wall at both sides of the brink does look like a pipe organ usually found in Cathedrals.
What is so amazing with this waterfall from the other bunch was that it is so accessible. It’s just like around the neighborhood in some backyard where you go buy a soda or something and the falls is just right there in front of you minding business. As you can see below, kids are just playing besides the falls basin.
Locals with some nice tidy looking small houses who lives literally in front of the falls were probably looking at us with silent amazement. They were amazed of our amazement. To them, the falls could be like any other big mango tree in your neighborhood. For us, it was like little Mt. Everest or more like… a glimpse of heaven on earth (enter church choir – “You raise me up” background music with operatic singer vibrato and slow motion scene).
Check out Leia’s blog post about Cathedral Falls.