February 28, 2013

Limunsudan Falls - The Highest Waterfall in the Philippines

Limunsudan Falls is a two-tiered waterfall situated in Brgy. Rogongon, Iligan City, in the province of Lanao del Norte, Philippines. It is situated 55 kilometers away from the city proper. It is said to be the Philippine's highest waterfall with the height of 870 feet, with the lower part cascading alone higher than the Maria Cristina Falls.

The Majestic Limunsudan Falls
Locals claimed that Limunsudan is the highest, but some says that Aliwagwag Falls is the highest in the Philippines, located in the forest of Cateel, Davao Oriental. I hope sooner or later, environmental officials could come up with the right conclusions.

The beautiful two-tiered waterfalls
Although the beauty is enough to attract both local and international tourists yet still, it is not officially recognized well. Due to inaccessibility, lack of information and the clear and present danger, Limunsudan Falls remain strange to most of our countrymen. Even in Iligan City itself, the falls is not known generally to local folks as it sounds new to them when hearing the name of the falls.

Visitors enjoying the beauty of the waterfalls
Even in the internet, when I searched for Limunsudan Falls' images, I can only see a few pictures taken on the ground, most of it are taken from above, obviously from aerial shots during an area reconnaissance and surveys conducted by the military and other authorities.

Aerial view of the waterfalls
The source of the waterfall is feed by the abundant lush from the highlands of Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur as it is bounded by the two provinces. Also, through looking up the Google Maps (satelliste view), I can manifest a few evidence that the waterfall is also one of the exit waterways of Lake Lanao.

Although it can be reach by foot for a two-day trek from Brgy. Rogongon, yet local authorities can't pledge and assure a safe trek to the area as it is said that separatist group are still roaming and present in the surrounding locations.

You might also interested to know about Iligan's Dodiongan Falls or Tinago Falls.

February 20, 2013

Mount Malindang - The Precious Gift to Misamis Occidental

It lies tranquilly in the province of Misamis Occidental, Mount Malindang is a National Park and a home of a unique flora and fauna of Misamis Occidental and the neighboring provinces of Zamboanga Peninsula. It has an elevation of 7,887 feet making it as the highest peak of the entire Zamboanga Peninsula.

The beautiful Mt. Malindang
Mt. Malindang as viewed from Ozamiz
The range as viewed from Tubod, Lanao del Norte
Mount Malindang Range is a prominent feature throughout the entire province and even to the neighboring provinces of Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and even as far as the highlands of Bukidnon. It is also included at the top 30 highest mountains in the Philippines. The mountain range is separated by various deep ravines and gorges making its landscape very rugged and the thickly forested ridges and slopes covered with striking picture.

Mt. Malindang as viewed from Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte
The area features a crater lake, rainforest, pine and mossy forests, several river systems, streams and numerous creeks. Mount Malindang is a real gift as it provides potable water for domestic, agricultural and other uses to more than 1 million populaces of Misamis Occidental and the eastern parts of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur.

Satellite view of Misamis Occidental with Mt. Malindang in greener shade
One of the most visited areas within the mountain range is the said ancient crater lake of Lake Duminagat and the beautiful scenery of Brgy. Hoyohoy, which is part of Tangub City. It is now became a tourist attraction and named Hoyohoy Highland Park which houses the best outdoor activities in the province. Hoyohoy’s zip-line is considered the deepest, highest and longest zip-line in Asia.

Mt. Malindang and the surrounding landscapes 
The mountain range is a haven to an abundant and distinctive biodiversity that is yet waiting to be explored. Some of the area that surrounds the mountain range is unexplored, it is a home to some of the endangered species in the Philippines, and it includes the famous:

-Asian Palm Civet Cat (locally known as Milo)
-Water Monitor Lizard (locally known as Halu)
-Philippines Eagle
-Flying Lemur (locally known as Kagwang)
-Wild Boar (locally known as Baboy Sulop)

Rumors still exist about the sightings of a giant species of monkeys deep in the jungle. Philippine Eagles is also a visible feature roaming in the low areas of Brgy. Guimad and Brgy. Hoyohoy. 

The mountain as seen from the barge
Mountaineers over the protected zone of Mt. Malindang
Sunrise over Brgy. Hoyohoy  with Mt. Torong Torong far right
Guimad - one of the ridges of the mountain range
A chapel at the foothills of Mt. Malindang
Hoyohoy zip-line platforms
Sunset over Mt. Malindang Range as viewed from Iligan City
Mt. Malindang Range as viewed from one of the peaks of Bukidnon
There are several mountaineering and trekking activities held in the area and the most renowned is the annual Freedom Climb conducted every June to July. Mountaineers all over the country gather and exploit the verdant beauty the mountain can offer, strictly through their eyes only.

Mount Malindang Range is one of the exquisite gifts of the Misamisnon and the Philippines as a country. It is comparable to a glittering jewel; it must be preserved and cared for in its original grandeur.

Ozamiz City is the preeminent entry point and can be reached by flights from various cities of the Philippines, mainly via Manila and Cebu or by bus from Pagadian City and Cagayan de Oro via Iligan City. Also ferries from Cebu have a regular trip, usually 3-6 trips a week.

February 14, 2013

The Impressive Mount Torong Torong of Lanao del Norte

Mt. Torong Torong is a mountain located in Lanao del Norte, Philippines. It lies between the municipality of Tubod, Kolambugan and a small part of the municipality of Magsaysay. It has an estimated elevation of 2,500 - 3,000 feet above sea level. The summit of the mountain serves as a military base way back then when arm conflicts in Lanao del Norte was at its peak. The summit of the mountain can be reach 2-3 hours from a distance of 5 kilometers from the municipality of Tubod.

The mountain was once accommodated a group of trekkers during the invitational recreation climb held last April 2007. It was hosted by Tubod Mountaineering Society, an aspiring mountaineering club in the municipality. Mt. Torong Torong was introduced to the visitors from the neighboring province of Zamboanga del Sur and Misamis Occidental.  

The group of trekkers was showcased by scenic beauty and abundance of flora and fauna. A perfect sunset was also observed from the mountain during the trek.

Mt. Torong Torong has been acknowledged by nature trekkers and mountaineers as an amazing venue for regular climbs and adventure tours.

Mt. Torong Torong as seen in Panguil Bay
The Kolambugan side of Mt. Torong Torong
Mt. Torong Torong viewed from a distant city of Ozamiz
Mukas port at the foothills of Mt. Torong Torong

February 12, 2013

Lake Duminagat - The Hidden Treasure of Mount Malindang

Lake Duminagat is believed to be an ancient crater of an extinct volcano Mount Malindang. It is located between Barangay Lake Duminagat and Barangay Gandawan, which is part of the municipality of Don Victoriano province of Misamis Occidental. It is one of the favored destination to some local tourist especially mountain climbing enthusiast from Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Misamis Occidental and as far as Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon. Lake Duminagat is not so known until the early 2000’s when hiking clubs from Oroquieta and Ozamiz promoted the magnificent atmosphere the lake can afford to offer.

Lake Duminagat cuddled by the mountain mist.

Countless hiking aficionado are attracted by its natural wonders and pristine beauty brought by the fresh and cozy environment. It is situated at an elevation of 4,068 feet to 5,118 feet above sea level. Lake Duminagat characterizes the flora and fauna of the Zamboanga biogeographic region. 

The beautiful view of Lake Duminagat

The area that surrounds Lake Duminagat is inhabited by the Subanon people. They believed that the area is a dwelling place of the souls of their ancestors. The Subanon people are rumored to have extra ordinary healing power through their rituals and amulets. They don’t also allow fishing activities in the lake. There are also some tales that the lake is guarded by a fairy that cleans up falling dead leaves from the surrounding trees of mountain tops. 

Dwellings of the friendly Subanon people

Lake Duminagat is a small lake, with an area of 8.04 hectares, maximum depth of 20.95 m, water volume of 933,000 cu m, mean depth of 11.6 m, shoreline length of 1,060 m, and shoreline expansion of 1.054.  The lake maintained a vast diversity of indigenous shoreline fauna and flora.

Hikers clasp the beauty of Lake Duminagat

Lake Duminagat is favorable to mountain climbers as it is near to one of the highest peak of Mt. Malindang, the North Peak. Most of the hikers that visit the lake don’t miss the opportunity on climbing the highest peak of the Zamboanga peninsula. Though the peak doesn't offer a full 360 degree view of Mount Malindang Range but still you’ll enjoy the unique and unspoiled magnificence of the virgin forest.

Every Holy Week, noticeable amount of climbers and devotees visit Lake Duminagat for it is believed that the water from the lake can wash away their sins. This tradition was popular even before the pre-Hispanic times.


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