Mindanao never runs out of places for tourists to explore, from white beaches and rivers to caves and coves, from deep diving spots to mountains grand and tall. Some remote and some easily accessible, these wonders of nature are proof of the timeless allure of Mindanao. Raw and wild, Mindanao is truly a nature-lover’s paradise. (READ: 9 spectacular places to visit in Mindanao)
Sadly though, this beauty is overshadowed by skepticism, even fear, largely to the image being associated with Mindanao as an area of conflict. While it is true to just very few areas here, the peaceful situation in large areas of Mindanao now serves as a magnet for tourists. ([WATCH] Hidden Mindanao: The beautiful places many of us may never see)
If the influx of visitors in key tourist sites is an indication of a shift in stereotyping of Mindanao, then the island is indeed ripe for the world to see. And just as an example, take a look at these beautiful waterfalls you can visit once you decide to come around to see Mindanao. (READ: 7 breathtaking Mindanao destinations you shouldn't miss)
1. Tinuy-an Falls
Asik-Asik Falls is by far the most unique waterfall you will see in Mindanao. This 140-meter curtain spring waterfalls’ gem is its landscape. Unlike most waterfalls, there is no known source of water above the falls. Instead, water just comes out from a towering wall bedecked with ferns and moss, an unexplained phenomenon that invites tourists to come witness this nature’s wonder.
People planning to do the same need extra patience, as the trip involves a one-and-a-half hour habal-habal ride, mostly on pot-holed roads of Alamada town in North Cotabato. From Manila, fly to Cotabato City and take a van to the town of Midsayap where there are plenty motorcyles catering to tourists.
These are just of the nature’s wonders that can be explored in beautiful Mindanao, a place so misunderstood that we fail to appreciate its true beauty. Maybe it’s about time you change your lens and see Mindanao in a different light. – Rappler.com
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect some corrections in the directions for Awao Falls and Tamsuvan Falls.