What is Iligan City famous for?
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Ever heard of the majestic Iligan Waterfalls? How about the popular Maria Cristina Falls providing a hydroelectric power in the whole Mindanao region? All this and more can be unearthed in the 1st class highly urbanized city in Northern Mindanao – Iligan City.
Iligan was derived from the root word “Ilig” which means “to go downstream” in the native Iligan dialect – thus the numerous waterfalls surrounding the city.
We’ve had a rundown of some of the best things to do Iligan City, which may give you more reasons to visit the promising city the soonest!
Celebrate with the locals at Diyandi Festival
Visit on the last week of September, and you’ll witness the grand celebration of Iligan City called Diyandi Festival. It’s a month-long celebration usually held every the 29th day in September in honor of their patron saint Miguel de Archangel and shows how the tri-people Christians, Higaonon, and Muslims harmoniously live together in the charming city.
The festivity also includes a different kind of events from KASADYA (street dancing and merrymaking), street parades, rave parties, beauty contests, and culinary competition. To further promote the local products and vibrant Iliganons trait, there are trade fairs, exhibits, and of course, concerts held as well.
Try the Durian Shake at Iliganon Cafe’ and Restaurant
Iligan City is the best place to try unique and savory delicacy including the Iliganon’s Restobar’s famous Durian Shake. It’s been a go-to place of both locals and tourists who wanted to have a taste of the creamy shake, said to be made from durian harvested from the owners’ farm, and of course, topped with chunks of fresh durian fruit to make it even more special.
Not to mention, this place also served amazingly good Randang, a spicy meat dish cooked in coconut milk, and is available in beef, chicken, and fish variety. And guess what?! They also have rental videoke rooms in case you wanted to have a good time!
They’re located at Quezon Avenue Extension Corner Seminary Drive, in Pala-o.
Visit the Tinago Falls
One of the places you should include in your itinerary is visiting Iligan’s pride – the Tinago Falls. Located at Barangay Purukan, between the town of Linamon and Iligan City, you will be awed with how it looked majestic in real life, and how peaceful you’ll feel once you’ve reached this destination. After walking through the 500-steps winding staircase, you’ll be welcomed with its very 240 feet falls, cold waters and its calm blue-colored lagoon, making it a picture-worthy tourist attraction.
To go here, take a ride going to Barangay Buru-un. From there, there are habal-habal for hire for only P100 which will take you to the falls. Entrance fee is P10 per person and maximum of P300 for cottages.
Spend the Afternoon at the Maria Cristina Falls
We’ve probably only read it in textbooks and read in blogs, but Maria Cristina Falls is breathtakingly beautiful in real life. It’s hailed as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines and called as the “twin falls” due to a large rock at the waterfall’s brink dividing the water flow. It is situated at the Nature Park at the boundaries of Barangays Maria Cristina, Buru-un, and Dicutalan, and generates 70% of Mindanao’s electricity.
The 320 feet high waterfall is open during Saturday and Sundays at 11 AM. To go here, take the Buru-un line jeepney from the Iligan City port area to Agus Bridgen which would only cost you P12. From there, walk the rest of the way for about half an hour. Entrance is P35.
Chill at Mimbalut Falls
Another paradise to check out in Iligan is the Mimbalut Falls, a part of the Iligan Paradise Resort and Eco Park situated near Brgy Buru-un. Easy to locate compare to other 23 must-visit falls in the city. It is surrounded by cottages for a picnic and lunch out! Visitors can either do various outdoor activities from ziplining, horseback riding, and cable car rides.
Enter the Hindang Cave
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try entering the Hindang Cave with a group? But did you know that before arriving at the cave, you need to trek about 2-3 hours uphill, so it’s quite the exercise, eh? But no worries, while you undergo the tad tiresome trek, you’ll be welcomed with different plants, cascading vines, and light-colored massive limestone which makes every minute worth it.
The cave is a 6-8 chamber cave complex and is notable for its wide entrance. Its two caves are home to hundreds of fruit bats, so make sure to close your mouth while inside the cave.
Taste their mouthwatering Lechon
You may not know it but Iligan is also the best place to devour some good ‘ol lechon! Feast or no feast, most of Iliganon swears that their lechon is better than Lechon Cebu. Just make sure to pair it with their signature vinegar called Pinakurat. Once you get to taste their lechon, you’ll get a hint of tanglad, onion, garlic, and bell pepper.
Buy some Cheding’s Toasted Peanuts
A staple pasalubong for some, Cheding’s Toasted Peanuts are one of a kind! It even has its own tagline saying “Nag-iisang pasalubong ng Iligan “. It has been in the business for almost 50 years now and tourists usually flock this place located at the city proper.
The packaging comes in different sizes, 1 kilo, ½ kilo, 370 grams, 50 grams, ¼ kilo, and 200 grams foil pack.
Have a bit of the famous Sunburst Chicken
Featured by a lot of blogs, wait until you try the Sunburst Chicken and attest to its great-tasting flavor. They’re located at Badelles St. Palao, Iligan City. Food tip: Try indulging the chicken with banana catsup and cold beer on hand! Definitely, the perfect way to cap off the night. Try the Tuna Steak too!
Visit the Night Market
Here one of the best things in Iligan’s famous night market – more lechon and street food. If you like trying different food, then this is the best place for you. Aside from the food and drinks, you can also buy some ukay-ukay items, and dry goods, a free live musical concert, and interesting activities to amp the night.
The Weekend Night Market at the Rizal Freedom Park is open every Friday and Saturday, starting from 5:00 pm. For more updates, you can visit their Facebook page.
Visit the Limunsudan Falls
Dubbed as the second highest waterfall in the country, this fall should be included on your Iligan travel bucket list because of its scenic view and the massive 870-foot two-tier fall which is one of a kind in the Philippines. Bur visiting here ain’t easy. You need to pass through days of trek from the city proper to Brgy. Rogongon, however, you can also take the habal-habal which would take 5 hours.
Not to mention, you need to take part in the community’s traditions and before visiting Limunsudan Falls.
Trek at Mt. Agad-Agad
If you’re thirsty for a more thrilling activity, then Mt. Agad-Agad can bring much joy to that. Located at Brgy. Pugaan, the trek would only take about 2-3 hours and has an estimated height of 1600m above sea level. To go here, ride a jeepney from the public market.
It may be a long hike, but nonetheless, the view from up above is certainly worth it.
See the so-called “Angel Wings” of Dodiongan Falls
You would really see the resemblance of an Angel Wings once you get here at Dodiongan falls. Located at Barangay Dingkila-an, this famous twin-waterfall soars about 20meter high and is separated with an oddly shaped rock that separates the flow. This waterfall is definitely picture-perfect making it one of the most visited attractions in Iligan.
Take a trip at the Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House
If you have more time in the city, you should visit the former president’s Diosdado Macapagal’s located 20-30 minutes away from the city center. It is now declared as a heritage house by the National Historical Institute last August 14, 2002. Apart from the garden which is said to be young Gloria Arroyo’s playground, inside are some memorabilia and paintings of the Macapagal family.
Swim at the Pampam Falls
One of the things you shouldn’t forget when traveling to Iligan is to bring and wear your most comfortable swimwear – and last but not the least of places you should visit would be here at the Pampam Falls located at Sitio Kalubihon in Brgy. Dalipuga. It is one of the easiest treks in the city and is a great place to have a quick dip.
The water basin is also not that deep so it’s overall safe especially if you’re traveling soon with your family.
How to Get to Iligan
From Manila/Cebu: Book a flight to Cagayan De Oro. From the Laguindingan International Airport, ride a bus or van going to Iligan City. Travel time is approximately one hour.
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