Tinuy-an Falls of Bislig

Think of your life as a waterfall; it may come crashing down at some point, it may have its ups and downs, but in the end, it will continue to flow. – Anonymous

I would like to say that this cascade is by far, my most favourite one in the Philippines. A beauty contained in its sheer majesty, draped in white water curtains that span the length and height of the cliff that it leaps. The sound of water crashing doewn below seems to tell visitors of its might, commanding everyone to marvel on its breath-taking beauty amidst the greens of Burboanan.

Tinuy-an Falls with a bonus rainbow
Tinuy-an Falls with a bonus rainbow

This is Tinuy-an Falls, the beautiful gem of Bislig City. Surigao del Sur’s pride and main tourist attraction.

I heard a lot about Tinuy-an from people who have already visited it in the not-so-distant past. This marvellous cataract was just recently promoted and exposed to the world. Bislig was once a major logging site, anchored by a huge paper mill. For several decades, the city was known for its timber and paper but not for its natural attractions.
When the total log ban was implemented, and the closure of the huge paper mill in 2007, Bislig had to find means to lure people to come and visit their place. Lucky enough, the city has the Tinuy-an Falls to attract travellers to drop by Mangagoy.

You may want to consider taking a weekend getaway for Tinuy-an Falls. You can actually bundle the visit to Tinuy-an with that of Hinatuan’s Enchanted River. My Surigao del Sur weekend getaway involved both — The Enchanted River, which I visited on a Friday and Tinuy-an Falls which I saw the following day.

Hinatuan Transport Terminal
Hinatuan Transport Terminal

From the Hinatuan bus terminal, I took a bus again that is bound for Mangagoy. The distance between these two points is about 56km. It’s a one hour, Php 50- bus ride to Bislig.
I did not make any hotel reservation in Mangagoy. One tip I got was to ask people at the bus terminal in Bislig or hire a habal-habal driver and let him take you to the known accommodation in the area. A trike driver brought me to Casa de Babano Pension House, also known as Budong’s, which is located at the corner of Barreda and Abarca streets.

Casa de Babano or popularly known as Budong's in Mangagoy proper
Casa de Babano or popularly known as Budong’s in Mangagoy proper

It was already late in the afternoon when I checked-in at Budong’s. The habal-habal driver-cum-tour-guide I hired in Hinatuan referred me to another trike driver-slash-tour-guide for Tinuy-an Falls. The standard return trip fare is Php 500. I haggled for the price since I would be going there alone. We agreed at Php 400 and for a 7am call-time.
Dondon, the habal-habal driver arrived a little before 7am. I prepared early and had breakfast at the pension house’s restaurant.

Tinuy-an Falls is about 18km from Mangagoy. From Budong, we hit Abarca St and the Surigao-Davao Coastal Road, heading to Bislig but turned left for the road leading to Lake 77 and to Brgy. Burboanan.

Lake 77
En route to Tinuy-an Falls is Lake 77, a man-made lake.

Lake 77 is a man-made reservoir which was constructed for the paper mill in Mangagoy. The lake was fed by the waters from Tinuy-an Falls. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the waterfalls.

Finally, I was able to see the beautiful falls with my very own eyes.

The three-tiered falls. A view that will greet you as soon as you get off the Habal-habal
The three-tiered falls. A view that will greet you as soon as you get off the Habal-habal. The third tier cascade is at the foreground.
The first tier cascades
The first tier cascades
The second tier (Main Cascade)
The second tier (Main Cascade)

The rainbow in front of the main cascade is visible on in the morning, around 8-9am. If you want to get a pic of the falls with this spectral bow, arrange an early visit to the falls with your contact tour person.

Lovely Falls. Bislig's gem.
Lovely Falls. Bislig’s gem.

After I had taken more than a hundred shots of the falls, I headed back to Budong’s before lunch time. I checked-out a little before 1 pm and went to the bus terminal. There’s a bus going to Davao City, so I hopped into a regular bus and travelled for 6 and a half hours via the Surigao-Davao Coastal Road, passing through Trento, down to Compostela Valley, Tagum and Davao del Norte then to my pit stop for the day. I flew out of Davao the following day.

I chased this waterfall. I can’t wait to chase another one soon.

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