Nasa Mindanao pala ang Maria Cristina Falls. That was my reaction back in college when our Linguistics professor lectured about the language of the people living around Lake Lanao in Mindanao. Like most Filipinos in Luzon, I have heard about Maria Cristina Falls many times but I didn't know it was in Mindanao.
That's why when we planned our trip to Northern Mindanao, we made sure we included the Maria Cristina Falls in our day trip to Iligan City. Iligan City is known as The City of Majestic Waterfalls because of its waterfalls numbering to more than 20. The most famous of them is the Maria Cristina Falls.
|Maria Cristina Falls in her full glory|
Unknown to many, Maria Cristina powers the main hydroelectric plant of National Power Corp. (NAPOCOR) in Mindanao. The plant is in fact Mindanao's main supplier of electricity. The facility is that important that security is very tight in the complex. Visitors are required to fill-out a form and present a valid identification card. An entrance fee of Php35.00 per person is also collected at the gate.
|viewing deck is on the opposite end, left side of the building|
Be sure to visit Maria Cristina Falls on a Saturday or Sunday so you can witness her full force when the flood gates regulating the flow of the waterfalls are opened to release excess water from the upstream reservoir. This releasing of water, usually between 11:30am to 1:00pm, creates the twin falls effect. To get a better view, you can go up to the viewing deck located on the far end of the power plant facing the falls. Just look for the signage or ask directions from the staff or other visitors.
There could be other waterfalls in Iligan City that are less touristy, less commercialized and perhaps more beautiful. But Maria Cristina Falls in still "the" Maria Cristina Falls, the Queen of the Majestic Falls of Iligan City. With this we say, You haven't been to Iligan City if you haven't seen Maria Cristina in her full glory.