Alamada, North Cotabato: The Adventure Begins In Asik-Asik
I was clueless when I arrived in Cotabato City. Figuring out my next move upon arrival at Maguindanao’s Awang Airport would take a bit longer if it weren’t for some friends who picked me up. Well I guess all my travels start something like that, especially in new locations – just like this photography journey to the Philippines’ 12th paradise, the region of SOCCSKSARGEN. And it all began in the North Cotabato towns of Alamada.
Alamada‘s bizarre Asik-Asik Falls has intrigued travelers across the country which led to a drastic increase in tourism influx since its discovery in 2010. Getting to Asik-Asik Falls requires a challenging habal-habal ride on Brgy. Dado’s uphill roads composed of rock, dirt, and clay. From the jump-off, a trek on a steep concrete staircase, lies between you and the reward of charming curtain falls that will make the uncomfortable journey worth the effort. Amid the difficulty, the waterfalls receives an average of 500 visitors daily which doubles during weekends.
The crystalline cascades of Asik-Asik Falls emerges, not from the a river or a stream, but from the very earth, and descends into vertical wall wrapped in green, showering mist in this mystical sanctuary tucked deep in the highlands of North Cotabato. Locals believe that the waters of Asik-Asik possesses therapeutic capabilities that it can heal ailments of a sick child. To me, this curtain-like waterfalls of Alamada is simply a grand spectacle unlike any other.
Capturing the picturesque Asik-Asik Falls was a great way to start this journey but what truly made this memorable beginning was the unparalleled hospitality of the people, old and new friends from Midsayap, who took me in, not only as a visitor, but treated me like a family member. They provided me with shelter, food, local intel, even transportation. I couldn’t be more thankful. Maraming salamat.
Next destination, Cotabato City.
1. Asik-Asik Falls is located at Baranggay Upper Dado, Alamada, North Cotabato. If you’re coming from Cotabato City, take a van bound for Midsayap, where there is a jeepney terminal to Alamada. Alternatively, if coming from Davao, you could take a bus bound for Cotabato City and get off at Midsayap.
2. From Midsayap, take a “double tire” jeep to Alamada, and from there hire a habal-habal to the jump-off point to Asik-Asik.
3. To save you from all the hassle, you could hire a habal-habal from Midsayap or Libungan to take you to Alamada.
4. Our motorcycle didn’t have chains that could shrug off the clay on the wheels which would make going to the jump-off point easier. So be sure, the habal-habal you get has “wheel chains”, if does not have, take another habal-habal from Upper Dado.
5. Entrance to Asik-Asik Falls cost P30.00
6. Midsayap has lots of hotels and lodges. If you’re going to Asik-Asik and get an early start, you could spend a night in Midsayap, then leave early the next morning.
8. More destinations in North Cotabato
9. Like Biyaherong Barat on Facebook.
10. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter
11. Be safe and happy travels.