Location: Brgy. Lawit, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental
Back in May 2007, I passed by Gingoog City on my way to Butuan City. I was almost tempted to stay there for a day or two. But I got a commitment to meet a friend in Butuan.
After a decade I have finally returned to this Misamis Oriental city. For a good reason: in pursuit of my Chasing Philippine Waterfalls Project.
As soon as I arrived at Laguindingan Airport, I took a van outside to go to the public transport terminal near the Butuan-Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Road. From there, I transferred to a bus bound to Bulua Terminal in CDO, to a multicab going to Agora Terminal. The Rural Bus plying the CDO–Butuan route got my attention; hence, I boarded one of its aircon buses. Though lengthy, the four-hour trip to Gingoog was surprisingly comfortable.
Gingoog is one of the two component cities of the Province of Misamis Oriental; the other is El Salvador City. CDO is a highly urbanized city and therefore no longer under the jurisdiction of the province. Gingoog is a Manobo word for good luck hence it is nicknamed as the City of Good Luck. Gingoog is about 122 kilometers from CDO and 75 kilometers from Butuan.
In the Pre-Spanish Colonial Era, the city was a settlement for the Manobos, one of the indigenous people groups or lumads in Mindanao. It became a Spanish pueblo in 1868 and a regular town in 1903. As a result of the abundance of coconut and coffee, the town saw rapid progress and development. This helped in attaining its cityhood in pursuance of Republic Act No. 2668 which was signed by President Carlos P. Garcia. By income classification, Gingoog is now a second-class city.
From the city proper, I rented a habal habal that could bring me to Tiklas Falls, the city’s most famous and premier tourist spot. It was a short ride on mostly paved yet winding road. At the entrance, I paid the entrance fees for me and my driver! Haha! It was P20 per person anyway.
On that Saturday afternoon, the 50-foot high Tiklas Falls was showing off its brute strength and natural beauty. It was such a majestic sight!
During my visit, there have been developments in Tiklas Falls. There is a view deck, picnic huts and a swimming pool! At the end of the road, a bridge was also built over the river stream. Give or take, there are good and not so good points on these developments.
Regardless, Tiklas Falls is one of the most powerful and majestic waterfalls I ever seen in Mindanao. The long trip going to Gingoog as well as the return trip to CDO was worth it.
Note: This is part of LegendHarry‘s ambitious travel project: Chasing Philippine Waterfalls and the seven-day Northern Mindanao Backpacking Trip and Group Tour.