Iligan City‘s Majestic Maria Cristina Falls
Maria Cristina Falls is one famous fall in the Philippines I knew since I was in elementary. Located in Iligan City, where there are 23 discovered waterfalls, hence it is called as the City of Majestic Waterfalls. Maria Cristina Falls measures 320 – feet (98 meters) high on the Agus River. On a closer view, the falls looked like two waterfalls because of a rock separating water flow on the edge of the falls that is why it is also called the “twin falls”.Its popularity made it a landmark of Iligan City, It is located 9.3 kilometers away southwest of the city proper at the boundaries of Barangays Maria Cristina, Ditucalan, and Buru-un.
Just imagine how powerful Maria Cristina is. The voluminous water dropping off from her drives about 5 electric-generating turbines of the National Power Corporation at the base making it the primary source of electric power for the city’s industries, being harnessed by the Argus VI Hydroelectric Plant. Other turbines were said to have been located downstream making this falls supply about 60% of power demand of entire Mindanao. On rainy days and/or heavy downpour, the falls become one incredibly awesome gigantic mass of falling water. The drop makes a loud noise and wide mists of water; its turbulence creating massive waves and strong current downstream the river.
Many were adamant when the Hydro-Electric Plant was put up that it might ruin the natural beauty of Maria Cristina. However, they were able to manage it well and even improved the place by making it more accessible to the visiting tourists. With the construction of the Hydroelectric Plant, roads were paved and some amenities were also added to the gardens, surrounding landscape, Zipline, souvenir shop and the Zoological Park. Snack bar and a viewing deck are provided at the power plant because swimming is strictly prohibited in the area.
The National Power Corporation Nature Park is located at August 6/7 HEP Complex, Tourism Triangle Boundary, Maria Cristina, Buru-UN, Iligan City.
Private vehicle: From Iligan City, just drive along the highway northwards going to Misamis Occidental until you reach Buru-UN bridge (some distance after the junction separating Iligan-Marawi highway and Iligan-Ozamis highway) then turn left at the crossing right after the bridge.
On public transport: From Iligan, ride a jeep bound for Buru-UN (PHP 12) and get off at the Maria Cristina junction (right after the orange bridge). The fare is PHP 10. Ask the driver to drop you off at NPC. Walk 15 minutes to the main entrance of the park. The park has an entrance fee of PHP 30 (PHP 20 for Seniors and Students).