Bislig: Tinuy-An Falls, PH’s Grandest Falls
Of all the falls we’ve visited, this is the real deal. With almost a hundred meters wide, Tinuy-An Falls has the crown for being the widest waterfall of the Philippines. This 3-tier, 55 meters high cascading waterfall can be found on Barangay Burboana, Bislig, Surigao del Sur. As the leading tourist spot of the city, it’s been frequently featured in travel magazines and videos.
After being bewitched by Hinatuan Enchanted River (one of the province’s top destinations), Tupang Gala flock spent two hours (60 km.), including side-trip to Bislig Baywalk, going to Tinuy-An. It is said that traveling there is much faster nowadays; going to and fro those beautiful places before were troublesome due to rough roads and frequently broken bridge. Of course, the beauty of Tinuy-An can’t stay hidden; seeing its potential led to the road development of the area.
Our first impression of the falls was, WOW. We can’t help but feel praising the Creator and His creation.
To further our amazement, we rushed to change clothes and jump to its cold water. We also rode gakit or bamboo raft and went towards the drop point of the falls to feel its mighty downpour.
Then, we climbed the 95 steps to see the other tiers of the falls. Up there, we no longer need to use gakit to catch the plunging waters, as most of its parts are shallow. It was a whole new view and experience seeing the towering trees, ferns and vines, while feeling the current.
Behind the captivating beauty of the falls, lies a dark story. Its legend can be seen on the inscription on the entrance:
Legend revealed that long before, the Magdiwata Mountain Settlers were enslaved by cruel tribesmen coming from the hinterlands of Agusan. They were mistreated by their masters and were forced to perform hard manual labor.
Tired of the maltreatment, the brave natives convened among themselves and created a plan to be free of the cruelty. So, one day, while rowing the gakit (bamboo raft) boarded by their masters, the slaves jumped off and intentionally shoved the gakit towards the waterfalls killing all their vicious masters and attaining the freedom that they longed for.
From then on, the high falling waters is called Tinuy-an Falls to commemorate the courage and gallantry of the heroic natives.
It’s no wonder why Tinuy-An Falls is the main tourist destination of Surigao del Sur. Its natural formation is one of a kind. Of all the falls we’ve visited so far, this is arguably the best in the country. Hate to join the dubbing of Tinuy-An as the “Niagara Falls of the Philippines”, as giving it that title deprives its very own identity and beauty (at least for us).
Around 9:00-11:00 AM, a spray of rainbow appears to add to the already picture-perfect falls. We marveled the place so much, that we were unaware that it’s already dusk.
If planning to go to Mindanao, make sure to add Tinuy-An Falls on your bucket list. It’s a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Those who are already in their senior moments, no need to worry about trekking, as Tinuy-An Falls is just few walks away from the road.
From Butuan, San Francisco, or Hinatuan, ride a bus bound to Mangagoy, the business center of Bislig City. Then, ride a habal-habal going to Tinuy-An. Just be patient on your 18-kilometer (30-45 minute) ride.
As mentioned above, travel the road to Mangagoy. Before reaching its central, turn right and cross the Poblacion-San Isidro-Burbuanan-Tinuy-An route (18 km. from main road). Just look for the huge billboard along the highway.
- There are stores outside the grounds if you don’t have food and drinks.
- Phone signal is kind of weak there; just few spots have strong connection.
- Just a small group? You may rent a raft or gaket as low as PhP 100.
- Concerned about your safety? Chill. There’s a PNP substation there during weekends. Or, the police is just a 911 away.
- Support locals. Buy their handcrafted souvenir items. 😉
- Entrance Fee – PhP 50.00
- Cottage Small – PhP 200.00
- Cottage Big – PhP 300.00
- Function Hall – PhP 1,000.00
- Life Jacket – PhP 30.00 (whole day use)
- Table with chair (4 chairs) – PhP 100.00
- Chair – PhP 10.00
- Umbrella Shed – PhP 150.00
- Gaket/Raft – PhP 100.00-150.00
- Parking Fee – PhP 20.00
- Room Rental – PhP 1,800.00 good for 10 persons, if only 2 persons = PhP 600.00
- Camp site – PhP 100.00 (for camper tourists who bring their own tents)
- Bislig Baywalk
- Hinatuan Enchanted River