A DIY Guide to Asik-asik Falls

Saturday, April 22, 2017

asik asik falls diy guide

Its many runnels formed white gushing veins against the green-and-black slab of mountain. I stood before it awed, tracing the tendrils back to the awning of thick shrubs up high, wondering how it worked. With Dennis, I had just spent forty-five minutes on a habal-habal and another thirty on foot descending the trail to the stony banks of Asik-asik Falls.

BACKGROUND

Asik-asik Falls is this baffling waterfalls in Alamada, North Cotabato. I say "baffling" because, unlike other cascades I've seen, it doesn't have a visible source upstream. At roughly 140 meters, Asik-asik's waterways are concealed within a verdant mountain slab. Upon first glance, its waters seem to come out of nowhere, forming a rushing veil against the wall of stone. Aside from inspiring wonder, its alkaline waters are cool and refreshing.

THE TRAIL

Getting to Asik-asik Falls requires going through a stairway for 15 to 30 minutes. The path descends and wounds through picturesque landscapes composed of undulating hills and vast plains. According to pioneer visitors, the trail used to be rugged and difficult, but as the falls gained popularity, the local government improved the trail to avoid accidents and provide accessibility. The cemented stairs maybe winding, but it's good that even non-adventurous types and those with limited range of movement have the chance to behold the majesty of Asik-asik Falls.
diy guide to asik asik falls

The stairs will lead you to an enclosure. A river courses over smooth rocks and driftwood. Straddling the width of the river is a massive tree trunk, serving as a bridge and a great spot to admire the trickling curtain of Asik-asik. 
waterfalls in mindanao


On the other side, tall trees provide ample shade from the sun. There are plenty of space here too, leading us to think this was the camping ground – yes, it's possible and allowed to spend the night in the area.

Right beneath the cascade, the river continues to run its course. Instead of the usual "pool" we get from a waterfall, a strip of ankle-deep estuary serves as the bathing space. The water is clear and cool, but do mind the projecting shrubbery overhead as they tend to snap and come crashing down.

Make sure also to bring plenty of water as the trek back up is quite taxing.
diy guide asik asik falls


Related Adventure: 8 Adventurous Destinations Near the Metro


SAMPLE ITINERARY


(From Davao)
09:00 to 13:15 - Van from Southern Mindanao Transport Terminal (SMTT) to Libungan Junction
13:15 to 13:45 - Multicab from Libungan Junction to Kitacubong (poblacion)
13:45 to 14:00 - Lunch and hire habal-habal and driver
14:00 to 14:45 - Kitacubong to Upper Dado jump-off
14:45 to 14:50 - Register and pay fees
14:50 to 15:15 - Trek to the Falls
15:15 to 17:30 - Bathe, photoshoot, rest
17:30 to 16:00 - Trek to jump-off
16:00 to 16:45 - Back to Kitacubong (Poblacion)
<We stayed with a family friend in the area before going to Cotabato City the next day. There are plenty of homestays in the Poblacion and at the jump-off as well.>

Related Adventure: DIY Guide to Bukal Falls

BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES

(Per pax unless otherwise stated)
Van Fare (SMTT to Libungan Junction) - Php350; but if you leave at 4AM, fare is only Php300
Jeepney Fare (Libungan Junction to Kitacubong) - Php35
Lunch (carinderia) - Php50
Habal-habal (two-way) - Php600
Environmental Fee - Php30
Parking Fee for Habal-habal - Php5

HOW TO GET THERE

We started at Davao. From here, take a van bound for Cotabato City at the Southern Mindanao Transport Terminal. Ask the driver to drop you off at the Libungan Junction. Travel time is approximately 4 hours, including a couple of stopovers. In Libungan Junction, take a multicab that will take you to Kitacubong or Poblacion. After 30 minutes, you will arrive at the Poblacion where you can stock up on supplies and have your lunch or meryenda. Here, there are plenty of habal-habal drivers that can chauffeur you back and forth Asik-asik Falls. To get back, there are multicabs in the Poblacion that will go to Libungan. In this junction, there are vans and buses that go to various destinations such as Cotabato City and back to Davao.


OTHER CONCERNS AND REMINDERS

- Practice the LNT Principles at all times (Read: 8 Basic Etiquette Rules Every Modern Traveler Should Know)
- Wear appropriate clothing to avoid injury and wounds, put on some sunscreen too.
- You can wash up at the jump-off
- There are homestays and karinderya in the jump-off and small sari-sari store right before the stairway
- Bring plenty of water since the trek could be exhausting
- All mobile reception is intermittent once in the falls. A bar or two is possible in the jump-off
- There is no electricity in the vicinity of the waterfalls, bonfires are strictly prohibited
- Come during weekdays to avoid the crowd
- You may park your vehicles near the registration area. There is plenty of room for parking.
- Yes, you can stay the night in the grounds round the falls.
- There are tents for rent in the registration area: Php200 for 4 persons; Php150 for 3 persons
- Homestays in Upper Dado starts at Php100 per head

CONTACT DETAILS

John Estella
Habal-habal Driver
+63 910 406 3646

Tourist Assistance Desk
Smart - +63 930 988 8044
TM - +63 997 316 1230

SPO1 Castillo
+63 905 194 3504


Into DIY Travel? Check out all my other DIY Guide!

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