There are a lot of hidden paradises all over our beloved Philippines, we just have to rigidly search for it. Ask around, then prepare for an adventure and enjoy.
One of these paradises one should go to is in Lanao del Norte in Mindanao – the Sapang Blue Falls. I have no idea why the locals call it Sapang Blue, maybe because of its depth which some say it’s about 10 to 12 feet deep. There is also another falls nearby – the Johnny Falls, probably about 30 to 45 minutes walk from Sapang Blue.
It maybe located in Lanao del Norte, but I can guarantee that it’s relatively safe in this part of the province. It’s far from the known terrorists. But if the government issues a warning, I suggest to take heed, and just postpone your planned hiking.
How to get there:
Of course there are thousands of ways in getting there, but for the most people without private vehicles, I would tell how we got there.
1. We rode a Tipanoy jeepney and stopped at Pindugangan junction, jeepney fare is 9 to P10 each passenger. Once in in the junction, we had to negotiate and haggle habal-habal drivers (motorcycle drivers).
2. Hire a habal-habal driver to transport yourselves to Barangay Mibolo, we stopped at their small Catholic chapel. We paid P50 individually (50 per passenger/one way).
Some hikers who know the place better than us, stopped hundreds more meters than we were and still paid P50. So I guess having a knowledgeable guide can save you time, effort and cash.
3. From the chapel, you can start your hike, just the locals if you get lost a bit.
Map photo, credits to Bobby Timonera.
For the very physically fit, you can run your way to Sapang Blue, just like what Bobby Timonera, a run enthusiast and photo-journalist, here is a video of his run to paradise.
Prepare yourself physically first
In any in strenuous physical activity, one must be mentally and physically prepared.
1. Drink lots of water at least a day before the actual hiking.
2. Do some leg exercise everyday, such as up and down squat at least 3 days before the actual hiking.
3. Mental preparedness – just have a strong-willed mindset.
Ah, Sapang Blue Falls – the hidden paradise. Relieved me of my exhaustion even by just looking at it. Dipping my body into the waters, even more so relaxing because it’s called even though we arrived at sunny noontime.
Below is the video I recorded.
My companions are obviously enjoying our time here. We were even 30 minutes late on our agreed time to leave. At the back of our minds we just didn’t want to leave this paradise.
My apologies for putting Iligan City on the video, it was an honest mistake, again Sapang Blue Falls is officially part of Lanao del Norte.
Our side trip, the Johnny Falls, still part of Lanao del Norte.
Our guide, Yvette, taking a dip and a shower at Johnny Falls.
I was glad I went there, so I can also have a lot of stories to tell my grandchildren hahaha.
If you have additional information or some inquiries just write your comment below, I hope I can answer them in a timely manner.