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Outdoor Adventure At Tinuy-an Falls, Bislig, Surigao del Sur, Philippines
My "winter vacation" in the Philippines is almost over. Yet, I wanted to visit one of the exciting and fascinating wonder of nature in my home country. The most talked about waterfalls in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur. The Tinuy-an Falls.
Tinuy-an Falls is located in the forest of Borboanan, Bislig City. It is one of the best travel destinations in Caraga Region, Mindanao. People who have been there said that it´s the "Little Niagara Falls". It is 95 meters wide and 55 meters high. (Source: Wikipedia). It´s a three tiered waterfalls where water plunges down like a snow white curtains.
Our Family Outdoor Adventure
It was in the second week of May this year that I decided to pursue my plan of having a family outdoor adventure into action. I had to do it or leave it. Now or never.
My siblings and I agreed to share the cost of renting a van with a driver for a day, excluding the petrol which I offered to pay myself and each family had to bring potlucks for the picnic. Some of them slept in my house as we were collected by our van driver Dodong before 4 o´clock dawn. Some of us were excited that we were not able to sleep.
Our trip started from my home town which is 16 kilometers away from Butuan City. We dropped by a petrol station in Ampayon, Butuan City and paid 2,500 Pesos ( ca.€ 50) for the petrol. It was so early that the road was empty and we had a pleasant travel. We arrived at Tinuy-an Falls before 8 o´clock. So our road travel was only ca.3 1/2 hours.
Tinuy-an Falls Video
Our Travel Route
From my place, we drove to Butuan City, crossed the Magsaysay bridge in a direction to Ampayon and drove straight to the highway to Surigao del Sur. We passed through the city of Bayugan in going to San Francisco. From San Francisco, we turned left and drove to a small but rough and curvy countryside road, passed through Barobo, Tagbina, Hinatuan and then Bislig.
It was a rough ride that I was glad I did not sit in front of the car. It was a serpentine road that I felt I was in a roller coaster inside the van. Though it was a rough travel, I did enjoy seeing the beauty of the countryside filled with coconuts, bananas, mango trees and some beautiful flowers along the road like bougainvilleas and wild orchids.
Tinuy-an Falls is in the forest of Bislig City. The road was narrow, rough and unwinding. Our driver had to be careful in driving as some local children were playing in the street.
Picnic and Photo Shooting
At last, we arrived. The first tier of Tinuy-an Falls was right at the entrance. It was stunning! I had to take photos first before marching to the entrance to pay the entrance fee. Carrying our picnic bags and Angus on his leash, we paid P50 per person and P100 for the cottage. There were not many people yet when we arrived.
The majestic three-tiered Tinuy-an Falls was awesome to look at. The scenery around the falls, too. The sounds of the plunging water were inviting for a swim. There was a bamboo raft on the side of the pool. It was perfect.
Every member of my family was busy looking around. I was busy with filming and taking photos with or without family. Angus was busy too, but I´m sure he enjoyed the adventure. I saw it in his face how delighted he was.
Video Camera, my companion in traveling
This is a kind of video camera that I am using for my travel. I can´t travel without it as it is very important for taking awesome videos of plants, animals and nature.
Things we brought for the picnic:
- Clothes for changing
- Insect repellent
- Video camera
Tips: When you visit Tinuy-an Falls
- Be sure to charge the battery of your camera or video camera.
- Start early as possible to avoid the traffic jam.
- Be sure that your driver did not drink alcohol for this travel.
- Don´t forget to bring food and drinks as there´s no restaurant nearby. The small stores at the entrance sell very expensive snacks and drinks like mineral water.
- Insect repellent should be with you in case you have mosquito or any insect bites. Remember you are in the forest.
- Sun blocker is a must. The weather is so moist and the sun is too hot. You might get a sunburn.
- You don´t have to wear a bathing suit when swimming at the falls. Filipinos go swimming with their T-shirts and short or pants on. Girls, if you must wear your bikinis; be aware that you will be the center of attraction and Filipino men might gather at the falls just to observe you.
- If you have trouble with your back, spine and was operated before: The drive through rough and curvy roads is very dangerous to your health. The sudden movement of your neck and shoulder could be fatal to you. So think wisely. I know it through this travel. It took me a few days to recover from my neck, shoulder and backache.
A must have companion in going to the forest
When I am traveling in my home country Philippines, I carry insect repellent spray in my bag as I am easily bitten by mosquitoes. It´s my emergency first aid spray. A must-have for traveling in the tropics.
Costs in Pesos or $
- Hired van P 4,000 = €80 (included tip for the safety drive)
- Petrol P 2,500 = €50
- Entrance fee P50 = €1/person
- Parking fee P20 = € 0.4 for the van
- Simple cottage P100 = €2
Goodbye Tinuy-an Falls
Goodbye Tinuy-an Falls. How I wish I stayed the whole day with you. How I wish the ladder to the top tier was not destroyed and closed for the tourists. I could have been there on top taking a bath. Your warm flowing waterfalls could have massage my back. It could have been perfect for me.
Well, I think it was not the last time I visited you. I´m sure, I´ll be there again for a whole day long. You are worth it!
Thanks to Dodong Autor who had brought us all home safe. If you want to hire a van with an expert driver, just write a comment below. I still have to ask permission to post his number here.
Sources: Wikipedia and Adventure Caraga Brochure
Map of the Caraga, Mindanao, Philippines
© 2013 Thelma Alberts