NSOCCSKSARGENM: NORTH COTABATO’s Asik-Asik Falls

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ASIK ASIK FALLS of Alamada, North Cotabato💚 The most secluded & best waterfalls lies at the lower slope of Mt. Ragang (Blue Mountain-active volcano). Asik-asik Falls is located at Sitio Dulao, Upper Dado, Alamada, Cotabato. ALAMADA was named after the brave hero Datu Amaybulok Alameda. He fought against the foreign invaders and summoned hundreds of his men from the south.

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I have to show you this funny looking local transportation in Cotabato. So far, it is the second fascinating sidecar I have seen. First is Pagadian’s unique tricycle.

HOW TO GET THERE?
🛬Fly to Cotabato Airport, 🚍Van to Midsayap 🚜motorbike to Upper Dado and walk the flight of stairs heading to the secret waterfalls

You may include the neighboring provinces in your itinerary, read along: NSOCCSKSARGENM: Sultan Kudarat NSOCCSKSARGENM: Lake Sebu and the T’boli Tribe

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TIPS AND REMINDERS:

  1. I wouldn’t recommend Asik-Asik falls to solo travellers as it is a secluded tourist spot. It would be best to form a group of 6 or more and feel safer. Get a reliable and legit contact. Always register at designated tourism offices or barangay hall for security.
  2. It is quite a hike. From Midsayap, the road is unfinished, steep and muddy especially if it rains. Although there are public jeepneys heading to Upper Dado, I suggest you hire a private vehicle. In our case we took an equipped 4×4 to mount the North. A motorbike would be the fastest mode of transportation yet safety is not guaranteed due to the unfenced, clay road. You will also notice that tires are chained to give them a better grip on the slippery road.
  3. Waterproof your gadgets and money, bring clothes post bathing and a pair of slippers.
  4. Wear your sturdy hike boots preferably high cut, gore-tex with great sole grip.
    Even the chained tires of 4×4 couldn’t reach it nor a habal-habal (motorcycle/skylab as they refer) so we had to climb BAREFEET in the muddy trail for hoursđŸ»Â and face the unpredictable rain.
  5. Bring trail food. I love making my own mix of corn bits, green peas, raisins, M&M’s, nuts and sometimes jelly beans. It serves as fuel and emergency food along the trek.  Put it in ziplock and partition according to the days of your trip in Mindanao. Don’t forget your drinking water. There aren’t potable water source, just a small store at the registration area and a few wild berries while trekking.

Since my visit in 2016, it has then become the most popular tourist attraction in North Cotabato and neighboring provinces. The grand curtain of waterfalls is said to be the product of earthquake while some believe that nature took its course through time and produced the majestic 130-meter of fine waterfalls. Enjoy the cold water and don’t forget to leave no trace of non-biodegradables. Prepare to get dirty, stumble and fall!

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” I’ve seen the majestic beauty of nature and the overwhelming perfection of it. To me, there is nothing closer to God than that.”

-Cote de Pablo

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NSOCCSKSARGENM: Lake Sebu and the T’boli Tribe

 

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The view in the resort is similar to Sampaloc Lake of Laguna with tilapia fish pens overlooking the mountains of the said province.

WHY VISIT LAKE SEBU?

  • It is a prime eco-tourism destination in South Cotabato for dining, activities like hiking, riding a zipline, boating, siteseeing and staycation.
  • You can dance with the T’boli and Ubo tribes and try their local clothes.
  • Try out the various tilapia recipe served at Punta Isla Lake Resort on a floating restaurant.

HOW TO GET THERE?

Best point of entry is via General Santos City. From there, you may ride a bus to Koronadal then van to Lake Sebu or why not take advantage of an early itinerary and head first to Surallah via bus then jeep ride to Lake Sebu and allocate some time to visit Sultan Kudarat before 5:00 PM. Don’t miss the last trip in Lake Sebu unless you are planning for an overnight stay. Read my related posts: NSOCCSKSARGENM: Sultan Kudarat

Lake Sebu is a natural lake that serves as a major watershed in Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato. It has the 3rd longest zipline in Asia after Davao’s Zip City and Eden Nature Park. Lake Sebu’s zipline is the highest in southeast Asia standing at 600 feet. You can take a quick yet perfect topical view of the seven waterfalls upon riding the zipline. For those who are acrophobic, waterfalls view decks are provided for a closer look.

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Overnight at Punta Isla Lake Resort and other lodges are affordable. For 1,000 Php you can have a decent room for two. But what I really enjoyed is the variety of tilapia dishes to choose from. I was too preoccuppied with the mouthwatering viands that I forgot to try on the T’boli clothes and jam with the indigenous people. You may dance with the locals while on the garden or just listen to them play their wooden instruments.

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MY FAVORITE PART: The Food Trip

TILAPIA is a common term for cichlid fish. These are freshwater fish that are mostly seen in rivers, streams but mostly raised in pond lakes. In the Philippines, we commonly fry, grill or steam it. I like it stuffed with tomatoes and onion, wrapped in aluminum foil and grilled. Tilapia fillet is quite a work that’s why I loved the menu at Punta Isla Resort.

They serve tilapia in sweet and sour, sizzling, kinilaw and fried but I chose the most uncommon ways for a change.

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Tilapia fillet in creamy vegetable sauce

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Crispy Tilapia chicharon dipped vinegar

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Tinolang Native na Manok ( Native Chicken)

TIPS:

  1. Don’t forget to plan your mode of transportations and point of entry/exit before the trip. Avoid staying outdoors after dinner. It is best to be safe than sorry.
  2. Bring your sun protection spray or lotion, shades, cap and towelettes. It gets really humid in the afternoon and insect repellants help a lot as this is a forest reservoir.
  3. Wear rubbershoes and leggings if you are planning on riding the zipline. You will be sliding from 600 feet.
  4. There are no ATMs in the area so prepare sufficient cash for souvenirs and food.
  5. You could either stay at Lake Sebu overnight or head on to Sultan Kudarat for overnight depending on your itinerary.
  6. Wifi and cellphone reception is intermittent.
  7. Check out neighboring provinces to include in your itinerary: NSOCCSKSARGENM: NORTH COTABATO’s Asik-Asik Falls

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“Grace is finding a waterfall when you were only looking for a stream.”

-Vanessa Hunt