Tinuy-an Falls of Bislig City is one of Mother Nature’s most stunning gifts to the Philippines. This majestic 3-tiered waterfall is often referred to as the “Niagara of the Philippines” because of its wide water curtain. In fact, the waterfall is among the widest in country, measuring 95 meters wide and standing 55 meters high.
Mother Nature does have her way of keeping her most beautiful attributes tucked away in remote areas, ensuring that these stunning features are preserved and kept intact as much as possible. Thus, if you wish to visit Tinuy-an Falls, you need to sacrifice some effort and time, allowing at least 1 hour journey from Bislig City’s center, Mangagoy.
Set in a remote area surrounded by heavily forested hills, tourists who wish to visit the waterfall often have to endure a ride on the habal-habal. It may be uncomfortable but, I tell you, the little sacrifice will be worth it. The unmatched views of the waterfall will keep you in awe of nature’s beauty and make you forget the habal-habal ride even for just a few hours, anyway.
The lack of modern developments around the waterfalls coupled with its remote location ensured that Tinuy-an Falls is as close to its raw beauty as possible. There are some stores and cottages but no major developments in the area. The entrance fee is also very cheap. Just imagine paying a few pesos and already having access to this beautiful waterfall! Of course, you couldn't expect the place to have lots of choices in terms of amenities but what you’ll find there will surely suffice for the day trip.
There are picnic tables spread along the banks of the river just a few meters away from the falls. Indulge in delicious foods while marveling at the scenic views right in front of you. The tables are available on a first-come first-served basis so early birds can claim the spot closest to the waterfall. You don’t have to worry even if you arrive late because the rest of the tables still afford you with lovely views. A small playground is also available for the kids to enjoy.
You can get up close and personal with this lovely tourist spot at the main viewing area easily accessed via a wooden bridge. The bamboo raft allows more daring tourists to go closer to the main waterfall. Don’t forget to have your picture taken on the main viewing area, with the cascades at the background and foreground. If you’re lucky, you could even get a photo with the unique rainbow rays in the water! That would surely make you glad you took that habal-habal ride and have a one-of-a-kind photograph as evidence of your trip!
Make the most of your trip to the waterfall. Start off from Bislig City early in the morning so that you can also explore the area around the falls. You can go swimming in the cool waters below Tinuy-an Falls. There are also scenic trails perfect for hiking and bird watching. Vines, lovely orchids, ferns, and various trees line the riverbanks and offer a lovely backdrop at the falls. You can also admire the multi-layered riverbed of stones along this beautiful water body.
How Tinuy-an Falls Got Its Name
Legend has it that cruel tribesmen from the hinterlands of Agusan enslaved the good people of Magdiwata Mountain. As slaves, they were forced to do manual labor, building small boats called “barotos”, hunting for food, or other tasks their masters want them to do. They were once free people with their own community and, of course, freedom. Every day, they longed to escape the evil clutches of these cruel masters and get their life back.
The perfect window for rebellion and revenge presented itself while they were made to row their masters aboard the barotos across the waterfalls. Having control of these small boats, they forced the boats towards the waterfalls, pushing their masters over the cold waters, leading to their ultimate demise. The slaves were once again free!
That act of intentionally pushing the barotos to the waterfalls to rid them of their masters was used to name the water body. “Tinuy-an” (or “Tinuyo-an”) is a term in the local dialect which means an intentional act to attain an objective or goal.
Aside from this legend, the falls is also said to have gotten its name from the remarkable multi-layered riverbed of stones whose beauty and crafty designs could only mean that they were created by a powerful “Unseen Hand”.
What’s more, the spray of water over the waterfall allows for the formation of rainbows which are a regular feature from 9 am to 11 am. Magical, isn't it? So, maybe, that Unseen Hand also brings the rainbow every morning in a “tinuy-an” act.
HOW TO GET THERE
By Air | Major airlines have direct daily flights from Cebu and Manila going to Surigao City (Surigao del Norte), Butuan City (Agusan del Norte), and Davao City.
By Sea |Inter-island vessels like the Super-ferry and Sulpicio Lines serves the Manila-Butuan or Cebu Butuan routes on regular schedules with Nasipit Port as transit point. Aircon vans are available at the port area or take a jeepney to the city terminal for the regular bus trips going to Mangagoy in Bislig City.
From Butuan City. Ride in a bus (non-aircon) bound to Mangagoy (Bislig City)- 5-hour travel. In Mangagoy, go to the tricycle/habal-habal terminal in the market – there you can hire a habal-habal for P300-400- back and forth including waiting time. Travel time is less than 1 hour.
- You can also ride in an air-con bus bound to Davao City- that’s 2-hour travel, get-off at San Francisco terminal and transfer to non-air-con bus or van bound to Mangagoy. Then follow instructions above.
- For group tour (minimum of 5-6 pax) better to hire an air-conditioned van from Butuan City as the cost is quite close or much cheaper, less time consuming/tiring. You may contact 09295278589 look for Kuya Jo. During this Surigao del Sur trip we've got the deal (including Enchanted River) for P6000 only.
From Surigao City. Ride in a bus/van bound to Butuan City- 3-hour travel. At Butuan City Bus Terminal, ride in a bus bound to Mangagoy (Bislig City). Then follow instructions above.
- You may also ride in an AC or non-AC Bus in Surigao bus terminal bound to Davao City then get-off in San Francisco. Then follow instructions above.
From Davao City. There are non air-conditioned buses in Davao Ecoland Terminal directly bound to Mangagoy in Bislig City. Travel time is more or less 6 hours. Another option is you can ride in an air-con bus going to Butuan City, get-off at San Francisco Terminal and ride in a bus or van going to Mangagoy. Then follow instructions above.
NOTE: Entrance Fee is P50.00- General Admission, FREE fro children 7 years old and below. If you want to explore the 2nd and 3rd falls, better to get a tour guide for P100.00 only or you can add few bills as tip - the trail going up is quite slippery.
Up next is PART 2 of My Surigao del Sur Eskapo: Story and photos featuring the Enchanted River of Hinatuan. Oh by the way, If you’re planning to visit Tinuy-an Falls of Bislig City and other amazing spots in 7107 islands- better to plan your trip now! Book your flight ahead to get good discounts, geared up your ever reliable camera for souvenir photos and don’t forget to check Zolora for complete list of travel accessories and gadgets which are very helpful in your escapes en travels.
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