Situbo Falls

Awe inspiring Situbo Falls

Beautiful Situbo Falls in Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte dwarfs two men at the bottom

Beautiful Situbo Falls in Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte dwarfs two men at the bottom

Man fishing for freshwater food

Man fishing for freshwater food

I was mesmerized the first time I saw it up close, stunned with its awe inspiring beauty. But the foreboding dark clouds above were jealous that I had to take one last glimpse at it and walked away. If it didn’t started to rain, I would have just sat on a flat rock and stared at it for hours on end.

I first saw a photo of Situbo Falls in Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte a few months ago while researching online about places in that province and I wasn’t so much impressed. But while spending a few days in Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay for a magazine assignment, the proximity of the municipality to where I was, just a 15 minute jeepney/bus ride, was so irresistible.

View from farther away with a very small cascade over interesting rock formations

View from farther away with a very small cascade over interesting rock formations

The dirt road was rather smooth, wide and winding, unexpected in a rather remote municipality. The motorcycle driver was chatty while deftly handling his vehicle as it passed some rocky portions and a few puddles. It was a good thing that I passed by the tourism office which assisted me and gave me a driver.

Inside the hut where we waited for the rains to stop

Inside the hut where we waited for the rains to stop

After about an hour, we stopped at where the road has narrowed into a descending path more apt for a farmer and his carabao to pass. The path then opened up to a grassy area and continues to narrow again, steeply in some sections. As we headed down, ten minutes, the sound of thundering water can be heard.

The sight of the river made me all excited! The cascading flow was already louder and a few more meters of hiking upstream just revealed a glorious sight: Situbo Falls in its full glory! I was wide eyed at its massiveness. I was speechless with its breadth. And I was mesmerized with its two tier curtain of water.

It is such a humbling sight to behold that it just sears into your memory and never to be forgotten.

GETTING THERE: From the town of Tampilisan, hire a habal-habal motorcycle to the waterfalls

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

6 Comments

  1. Karl Ace
    February 7, 2013 @ 23:57

    indeed, it looks massive!

  2. estancabigas
    February 8, 2013 @ 5:03

    It really is. And humbling.

  3. Ron Cruz
    February 10, 2013 @ 10:59

    I can picture myself staying on those rocks even if the rain came pouring! Parang ang saya maligo sa ulan with this in your background!

  4. estancabigas
    February 12, 2013 @ 10:13

    yeah. but afternoon was approaching. but good thing we did it. the rains came in torrents!

  5. michael
    July 20, 2015 @ 21:58

    Hi Sir! how much was the habal-habal fare? Thanks

  6. estan
    July 24, 2015 @ 16:16

    I think it was P200 since I had the driver wait for me too

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