Awe inspiring Merloquet Falls in Zamboanga City

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Full frontal view of Merloquet Falls with visitors
Full frontal view of Merloquet Falls with visitors

It was an awe-inspiring sight, well, except for the bathers who have crowded the base of Merloquet Falls in Zambaonga City but still, it is something that you can’t forget: Wide curtain, beautiful rock face and water dropping on an elevated but flat rock base that becomes a platform for bathers.

Merloquet Falls is actually a two tiered waterfalls with the upper level located around 50 meters from the main cascade. This upper tier is stunning, with an inclined rock face with five separate but low cascades. The water stream into a shallow basin then flows downstream into the main waterfall in a wide curtain.

If you’re adventurous enough, both tiers is connected with a rather difficult trail with only a thick rope for support. You can even stand above the main falls and look at the people down below. A steep trail is located at the left side.

The main cascade is really beautiful. The flow is wide but instead of a single drop, you have a varied rock face that gives the waterfall its beauty: at the left has a higher fall then a flat rock platform, the right side is another rock form that gives it volume.

Merloquet Falls is one of Zamboanga City’s well known tourist destination and one of Mindanao’s popular waterfalls. Although it is located around 2 hours from the city center, at the time of this visit, an access road was being widened.

Another view of the waterfalls
Another view of the waterfalls
Bathers at the cascade
Bathers at the cascade
The low but still beautiful upper tiers of Merloquet Falls
The low but still beautiful upper tiers of Merloquet Falls
If one stands atop the main cascade of Merloquet Falls, this is what he will see
If one stands atop the main cascade of Merloquet Falls, this is what he will see
The river before the main cascade
The river before the main cascade
The picnic ara is semi developed and if you visit on a weekend, you have to compete with these visitors
The picnic ara is semi developed and if you visit on a weekend, you have to compete with these visitors

GETTING THERE: Merloquet Falls is actually found in Barangay Sibulao but is accessed at the bus stop in Vitali which you can reach by riding a bus, non-air or aircon from Zamboanga City and bound for Pagadian, Dipolog or Ipil. It’s also the fastest and reliable. From this stop, hire a habal-habal if you don’t have your own vehicle. Do haggle. The driver who I got charged me P200.

If you want an easier trail to the main waterfall, it’s a stepped slope down which will bring you to the picnic area. If you feel adventurous, there’s a shorter trail from above going to the top tier then a steep path with only a thick rope for support at the side of the main cascade.

TIP: If you want to have the waterfalls all to youself, visit on a weekday. Weekends can get crowded, like the photos above.

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.

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