Saturday, April 20, 2013

Day Two: Iligan City

Second day of our tour! This day for us has been sooo tiring and exhausting but it was all worth it. We have 4 destinations to visit for this day namely: Divine Mercy, Maria Cristina Falls, Timoga Spring Resort and last but not the least, The Tinago Falls. Before leaving Cagayan de Oro City, we had breakfast at Marco Hotel, the food were really great! Before 10am, we depart the place and head on to Iligan City. Iligan City is a first class highly urbanized city in the province of Lanao del Norte which is also in Region X, Northern Mindanao. If you're familiar with this, I bet you know what I'm saying. If not, you may read their Wikipedia. It is just a small city, people that're simple living and it is the home of The Majestic Falls. The supply of water in this place is massive! Why? Because Maria Cristina falls is located here. You'll know so much about this later! Second day of the tour has been amazing, seeing the wonders of nature you could ever imagine! I never thought even just in Mindanao, there are thousands of beautiful creations. It's truly more fun here, I preach that! Anyway, this is a long blog for tonight! So much views I'm gonna share with you. I hope you will have fun and gain knowledge on this. Enjoy! :-)

Did you know that I was the first one awake on our group. Hahaha! I think I was just too excited to go and visit a lot of places on that day. And I didn't regret waking up as early as 5 AM. I know! First time. Lol
So this is what I've been preaching about! Marco Hotel offers cabins that has a huge space for everyone! It's also beautiful inside...
Just don't mind how messy our beds were! What would you expect? Just kidding! I know, we're such in a hurry to go out and eat! Starving like Lions.
Here are some of my roommates! We were actually 10 people inside the cabin and we surely were rested! :)
My friends from another cabin woke up so early as well and ready to dig in!
If you're wondering, Marco hotel isn't just a typical hotel. It has a private subdivision on the left side. This place is a first class, though! You have to walk from your cabin/s to get to the dining area. They have shuttle but we prefer to walk and sightseeing.
Creepy but beautiful. These "leaves" fell of from Acacia tree.I don't know what is the name of this but I think it's something else.
This is Marco Hotel's lobby.
Front desk area and wifi area. Fast connection, I say! 
Just steps away from the front desk, you can now view the hotel's pool.
On the right side of this area, they have a Hot pool. Not Jacuzzi but a hot pool.
It opens from 9am and closes by 9:45PM. 
Here's Via and I
Tada! Finally! Buffet breakfast for everyone. But I prefer, if you are gonna travel for hours and hours, don't eat a lot. You might get sick and dizzy along the way.
As far as I remember, this was the time we were all talking about the Boston bombing. It trend number one spot worldwide. Oh Lord, we pray for all the souls who were perished. It's a sad morning news for everyone! :'(
Forgive me if I'm really a child-friendly, because I really am! Saw this cute girl wearing my fave Disney princess. Len and I were talking to her but she doesn't wanna respond or so. Lol! 
I have more that 10 photos of this kiddo. I think she wants to be tan that's why she was playing under the shade of the sun! Cute!
So here's King (on top photo) and I playing on the door-viewer on our cabin which is Cabin 314. My birthday! :)
Since we aren't on the same bus with Len, Nice and Elai. Here's the vanity of me and Sha on the way to El Salvador, 1 hour drive to visit and see the Divine Mercy! 
After an hour, we arrived at the Divine Mercy Shrine in El Salvador City.
Upon entrance, you will see these signs. 
You can buy colored candles (each candles has its specific meaning and grants) you may also buy a pack with each color for only 25PHP or less than a dollar! 
This is Divine Mercy Shrine
Isn't it huge and beautiful? Oh, indeed! I have actually a lot of photos of this but I think it's better if I won't post everything on my blog.
Did you know:
The Divine Mercy Shrine in El Salvador City Misamis Oriental, Philippines is located in Divine Mercy Hills, overlooking Macajalar Bay on the Mindanao Island, southern part of the Philippines.
The nine-hectare land for the Shrine was purchased for a nominal amount and the shrine was constructed by donations. The shrine was completed in 2008 and is noted for having a 50-feet statue of the Divine Mercy Jesus. It serves as a pilgrimage site for Divine Mercy devotees.

This is the overlooking Macajalar Bay
The colored candles I bought before climbing hundreds of steps to reach the majestic view of the Divine Mercy. 
Awkward fashion statement? Well, it's in their rules and regulations. You have to wear an appropriate attire before you can proceed to the hill. They provide these skirts for you to borrow. 
Souvenir's will never be out of style. You may buy these fronting the gate of the Divine Mercy Shrine. Rosaries, bracelets, even stickers are there! 
Sad to say, but we've to leave the place and proceed to Iligan City. It's sort of a long travel going to Iligan that all we had to do is sleep along the way.
After a couple of hours, we arrived in Iligan City! 
Iligan is the City of the Majestic Waterfalls because of the numerous waterfalls located within its area. There are about 23 waterfalls in the city. The most famous as well as the city's major landmark, is the Maria Cristina Falls. It is also the primary source of electric power of the city, harnessed by Agus VI Hydroelectric Plant.
Did you know that Iligan still uses Kalesa along the high-way! It's insane, but it's too vintage-y and I love it! Since the bus is always in a hurry, this is just the only one I got a photo opt. 
Our first stop in Iligan was the (drum roll)
 Maria Cristina Falls! Before seeing this majestic wonder, you have to take steps and steps to see it closely. P.s. You can't swim in here because it's too dangerous!
I have lots and lots of photos taken to this falls. They're all beautiful but since it's getting redundant if I keep on posting the same view, right? So here's to enjoy, all for you! 
On that day, the travel shirts and ID's were given to us. 
Absolutely beautiful! 
Mr. Heramil, one of our instructors for the whole tour.
Bat cave! It doesn't smell good. 
Cool dam, this is actually the first ever checked dam I've seen in my life! It's gigantic!
Yep! We had fun seeing for the first time in just near distance the famous
Maria Cristina Falls! 
Half an hour to visit the falls and we all head to Timoga Spring Resort which is amazing has numerous of pools on the resort! I mean, A LOT!
Welcome to Timoga Spring Resort! 
Our third stop for the whole day tour :) Fronting to far, there you can see the 16feet deep pool! Well, if you're that brave to swim there then so be it! 
We're actually at the top of the whole resort so this is the view! We didn't spent too much of our time here, just had lunch and rest for a while before heading to our next destination.
Tada! Welcome to Tinago Falls. 
Our fourth destination for the day! If you're wondering why KC Concepcion and Sam Milby are on the tarp, well it's because they've been here! The shooting from the movie Forever and a Day a 2011 film produced by ABS-CBN.
That before you can reach the majestic Tinago Falls, you will have to trek down for about 436 steps. Tinago is from the Filipino term means "Hidden" it's a hidden falls found in Lanao del Norte. 
The falls is high, its very cold waters cascading beautifully into a deep and calm basin-like pool which appears like a blue-colored lagoon. Under the falls is a small cave where people can enter and listen to the rumbling waters. As what a tour guide residing there, it's approximately 65feet deep. 
Read the Wikipedia here

If you're wondering, the waterfalls has a rainbow by it. I don't know why but it's so cool! 
The trek down to this beautiful wonder is worth it seeing a beautiful scenery just like this.
You can't swim (even if you're the best-est swimmer there) without any life jacket.
You can borrow it for only 20PHP (less than a dollar) it's for your own safety. Since it's a nature spring, you will not float when you're in/underwater. So beware, folks! 
On the right side of the photo, you can see group of people riding a "balsa" made up of bamboos. It's totally safe! I tried it once and when you get to the current of the falls, it's truly amazing! It was my first time to ride a "balsa" and it didn't failed me. Since I can't swim, or should I say, I don't know how to swim, I can't get off the "balsa" then. 
I swear! The water is as cold as ice, we love it! 
Here's my most favorite shot among all my shots (which are a lot) it consumes half of the half of my camera's memory. I never thought this falls could be so amazing! I am totally out of words the first step I got after trekking down 436 winding staircase! It was totally my first time and probably my last time to visit that majestic place. I think I can't afford to back, but if there's another chance, why not?
We Conquered. We Survived!
We spent our 1 whole hour to Tinago falls, we surely had fun and didn't think of trekking back since it's much more difficult to go up than going than. Don't you think? But still, we survived it! Thank God.
2 hour drive or less going back to Cagayan after a long and exhausting adventure. But before that, we had a stop over somewhere I'm not familiar. Locals welcomed us with their delicacies called "Bibingka" it is a type of rice cake. It's really good that I had to buy 2 packs of it. It's much better if it's served hot! :)
Heading back to Cagayan and the Sun is also setting! Since I was seated from the right side, I can't capture the sunset perfectly. But I tried my best! Lol.
We're back in Cagayan by night! After the 2 hour drive, we had dinner in Mindy's. Local restaurant in the city proper. We were also had a chance to pass by at Xavier University and their DV Soria plaza!
Since it was our last night in the hotel, we all went out and swam to their pool until 10:30PM. The hotel extended the availability of the pool since we were longing to it since the other day.
Here are my classmates enjoying our last night in Cagayan! Beautiful place with humble people!
Our second day was full of happiness! Everyone enjoyed all the places we had visited. It was all worth it and to think that it's a once in a life time experience mostly to each and everyone of us. As you can see, we all have our huge smiles. And oh, if you'd been wondering, the photos that has no watermarks aren't mine, those are from Camille, my classmate. I just grabbed it on her facebook since my camera was lowbatt (and tired) by that time. So thank you Mate for letting me borrow your photos! So to sum it up, the first two days were truly satisfying. It's an adventure that each and everyone of us will cherish forever! 

Long blog post, isn't it? I know! But I'm so enjoying sharing these stuffs with you. I always wanted to let you see the beauty of what nature has offered. That's not all because I still have to more days before ending this blog-tour-post with you guys! I hope you had enjoyed this article as much as I do! Lots of love, kisses to everyone.


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