Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lanao del Norte: NPC Nature Park at Maria Cristina Falls & Macapagal-Macaraeg House in Iligan City

Lanao del Norte is a a short ferry ride from Ozamiz City. From the Ozamiz Port, it's a 20-minute ferry ride to Mukas Port in Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte. The ferries across Panguil Bay cut land travel by several hours.

I was met by a colleague, Lanao del Norte Board Member Alexander Ali, who took me for a ride around the province. Our first stop was the Lanao del Norte Provincial Capitol in Tubod where a small museum on the province, its culture and attractions was set-up.

From there, we rushed to Iligan City to catch the Maria Cristina Falls. The flow of water is usually at 30 percent on ordinary days. But at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, the Maria Cristina Power Plant opens the water gates for five minutes to allow the falls to go on full-blast for the tourists. Unfortunately for us, Lake Lanao was experiencing a water shortage. So the scheduled full-blast did not push through that day.

They opened the NPC Nature Park just two weeks before my visit. So I got to try their brand-new zip-line. Unlike the usual single or double drop zip-lines, the one in Maria Cristina had four segments. You had to climb up a hill to get to the jump-off point. The first two segments were above land over a canopy of trees. While the last two segments were over the river.

The NPC Nature Park charges Php30 for entrance and Php200 for the zip-line. Other attractions in the park include an orchidarium and crocodile farm. If you plan to fly by air to visit Iligan, the Cagayan de Oro Airport would be closer.

After Maria Cristina Falls, we had lunch at Gloria's Ihaw-Ihaw for some lechon manok. The name is no surprise since it's located right in front of the Macapagal-Macaraeg Heritage House.

I walked over to the Macapagal-Macaraeg Heritage House after lunch to take some photos. In the yard is a sculpture depicting the young Gloria Macapagal on a swing, with her father President Diosdado Macapagal.

From Iligan, we drove through Baloi which is quite popular for its dodol, a toffee-like candy made with coconut milk, panocha (unrefined sugar or jaggery) and rice flour. Baloi is a relatively peaceful town (it's home to the Philippine Science High School in Northern Mindanao) and the local government plans to construct a Maranao heritage village soon to showcase the Maranao culture.


  1. Ca de Ramos1.9.10

    i just read your blog, and so excited to see ma. cristina.

  2. Richard Tuason-Sanchez Bautista1.9.10

    wala ang tinago falls? sa iligan din. i think it's nicer there, kasi tago and needs proper guidance ang mga tao doon.

  3. @Ca, have fun!
    @Richard, it required some hiking. We didn't have enough time. Sayang kasi maganda nga daw

  4. Richard Tuason-Sanchez Bautista1.9.10

    it's great, not really hiking, but you have to drive like 10 minutes and take a 435 step stairway to the falls.

  5. Yup, I really didn't have time since we also went to Marawi

  6. @Richard&Ivan: oo nga. Maganda talaga sa TINAGO FALLS. You can appreciate what nature is. (taga-iligan kasi ako)

  7. Hi, do you remember what time the park was open? Are there a lot of places where we can eat? I don't mind the ihaw-ihaw, really. Around how many hours is a good enough stay at the Falls/Park?


  8. Hi, around how many hours is a good enough stay at the Park? Are there a lot of places where we can eat? I really don't mind the ihaw-ihaw. I think that's nice. Are there guides in the park?

  9. Anonymous7.11.12

    On our way home from CDO to Misamis Occ, we took a dip at Timoga Spring Resort and had our lunch with their mouth watering lechon. The kids enjoyed the whole segment of our journey only to get bruised by a traumatic experince from car thieves that took two of our bags with some important belongings. I think the place has to mobilized their tanods to keep watch on tourists vehicles. Remember, they (the tourists) inject a lot on their economy.


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