- CO-FOUNDER & SENIOR EDITOR
- Posts: 3570
- Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 4:55 pm
- Location: 13,750 feet above sea level
I come from Surigao del Sur, a province whose bosom has been meticulously designed by God to play host to numerous natural attractions, not least of which are beaches.
But IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m no beach person, and God is not called God if He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know that not everybody likes beaches. So He made waterfalls so that people like me can have something to write about.
I always have a special fascination for waterfalls, which makes everything easy to understand why God made sure IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be born in Surigao del Sur. And IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m willing to bet my whole yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pittance of a pay that my province has the most number of waterfalls than any other province this side of the continent.
Let me tell you about my recent discovery---the Tinuy-an Falls of Bislig.
Late last year, the Provincial Tourism Office launched the Discovery Tour that included Tinuy-an Falls. I was not part of the camera-toting, tripod-dependent, paparazzi vest-clad group. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. When the tourism group made a courtesy call on Mayor Paterno Guaza of Bislig, I was having an audience with the latter. Upon seeing me, Lala Ambray, provincial tourism officer and a good friend, egged me to join them.
If Surigao del Sur were a globe, I live near the equator, while Tinuy-an Falls, which is in Bislig, is part of the South Pole. Thus, it was my first time to hear about it. And because I have an enduring love affair with nature, I joined the group, raring to add another name to my ever growing list of natural concubines.
From Bislig, Tinuy-an Falls can be accessed from two points: San Isidro-Bagnan and Mone. If you have a ride, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best to take the Bagnan route because a one-lane, PICOP-maintained road leads you to that precise point where the waterfall joins the river. Otherwise, the Mone route becomes your best bet. By comparison, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s closer but you have to take a 15-minute walk after a PUJ ride.
A trip to Tinuy-an Falls right at the very heart of PICOPÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s concession area in Bislig can easily become a dream come true for wholesome thrill seekers, especially for the Ã¢â‚¬Å“I-want-to-commune-with-natureÃ¢â‚¬Â type.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen so many waterfalls, including the fabled Ã¢â‚¬Å“7 WaterfallsÃ¢â‚¬Â of Lake Sebu. But Tinuy-an Falls inspires the kind of awe that makes one want to genuflect. Standing at a vantage point where the full length and breadth of the waterfalls looms ahead, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s easy to appreciate GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s magnificent flair for creation. And that is why, to say that Tinuy-an Falls is simply breathtaking is to miss the whole thing altogether. Because Tinuy-an Falls is more than that!
Metaphoric of the province, Tinuy-an Falls is a surging cascade of sheer beauty in its rawest form. Painstakingly carved by nature, the three-tiered cascade gushes out mirror-like water that becomes a psychedelic canvass as it captures the blue skies, lush greens, and exotic blooms. But more than anything else, Tinuy-an Falls is a perfect sanctuary. The melodious tunes twitted by birds blend beautifully with the swish-swash of leaves and the soothing cascade of water.
Maybe God willed Tinuy-an Falls to be discovered so much so that He designed it in such a way that everybody may enjoy it. Children can do their thing in the lowermost tier where the water is only waist deep. Teens can take a dip in middle tier under thick foliage, while the adventurous may dare the rapids or simply wash their worries away in the uppermost tier.
The three tiers are bedecked with flat rock formations that are so well-arranged they might as well be the concert stage of angels and fairies. And if you plan to unseat Lady Di as the most photographed person on earth, Tinuy-an Falls is the best studio to consume all those rolls of film.
Let me inject a bit of history here. During the halcyon days of the early 80s, PICOP built a rest house nestled just a few inches away from a cliff, overlooking the falls. For countless times, top honchos of PICOP broke bread with their guests and visitors. But then, an ensuing insurgency problem made Tinuy-an Falls more like a pocket of dread rather than a soothing place of retreat. For a time, it became, literally, a part of a road less traveled.
Fortunately today, thanks to an improving peace and order situation, Tinuy-an Falls is fast becoming the tourist destination it once was.
One caveat though: Tinuy-an Falls, at least for now, offers no amenities like cottages. You cannot buy anything there except time. You pay nothing except respect for nature. So bring enough provision. While you may find other nature trippers any time of the week, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still best if you go in a group. Nothing sinister, only that Tinuy-an FallÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leitmotif of Ã¢â‚¬Å“anything goesÃ¢â‚¬Â can be best enjoyed with a group. Unless, of course, you are the monastic type who badly needs the sound of silence to unlock the true meaning of your existence.
If you decide to visit one day soon, have the biggest pack on your back. You might not have enough of it and may want to make it your second home. Not a bad idea, actually. But not for me! Because you see, next to waterfalls, I happen to love movies. But thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s completely another story.
(The Philippine Daily Inquirer printed this on 2 August 1997. I cringe looking at the suffusion of adjectives and clichÃƒÂ©s, but heck, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my first published article!)
- Provisional Member
- Posts: 79
- Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 8:38 pm
- Birthday: 03 Oct 1979
- Location: agreohan
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