Sunday, May 4, 2014

TRAVEL GUIDE : Asik-Asik Falls of Alamada, North Cotabato

Everything you need to know about Asik-asik Falls : Where to Stay, Where to Eat and How to Get There from various routes and modes of transportation. 


Asik-asik Falls is one of my favorite waterfalls in the country. It is very unique compared to the other waterfalls I've seen so far. It is enchanting and majestic. It's a place I want to go back over and over again. The falls is located in the remote area of Barangay Upper Dado in Alamada, North Cotabato. Due to its location, only very few people have visited the place which make it more charming.


How to Go to Asik Asik Falls?
There a lot of options on how you can go to Asik-Asik Falls from various cities. I am listing down available options if you are coming from Davao City, General Santos City, Lake Sebu and Cotabato City.

From Davao City: 
Take a van going to Midsayap, North Cotabato, Fare is P240 and travel time is around 3-4 hours. You may also take the Weena Bus going to Cotabato City and alight in Midsayap. From Midsayap you may either take a habal-habal going to Alamada or take a jeep depending on the time of your arrival in Midsayap. The best way to go to Alamada is early in the morning especially if you are only planning of a day trip.

From General Santos City
You have two options when coming from General Santos City, you may either take a van or the Husky bus going to Cotabato City or a van or Yellow Bus to Tacurong City. From Tacurong there are vans going to Midsayap passing through Kabacan, North Cotabato. The latter option will take you to Midsayap at a lesser time.

From Lake Sebu:
From Lake Sebu, take a van to the town of Surallah, South Cotabato. Fare is P35 and travel time is around 30 minutes.  Depending on which route you take, you may either take a van going to Isulan, Sultan Kudarat or Tacurong City. We chose the former as we did not know about the other option. I forgot about the fare but travel time is about an hour it should be less than P100. From Isulan, take a van or bus to Cotabato City. Fare is P120 and travel time is about 2 hours.

From Cotabato City
From Cotabato City, take a van going to Midayap, North Cotabato. Fare is P60 which will take you around an hour to reach the town of Midsayap.

From Midsayap to Upper Dado, Alamada
There are jeepneys that travels from Midsayap to Upper Dado, Alamada but the first trip would be at 10AM so unless you are planning to stay overnight, the best option is to take a habal-habal. The fare for the habal-habal ride will depend on your negotiation skills but it should be around P800-P1000 per ride not per passenger. We paid ours for P900 Midsayap-Alamada-Midsayap. Travel time is around 1.5 hours with alternate paved and dirt roads. You will be passing a makeshift bridge and you will be charged P20 per habal-habal to pass by. The habal-habal will drop you in Upper Dado and you will have to transfer to a heavy-duty habal-habal from Upper Dado to the jump off point. 



From Upper Dado to Jump off Point
Upon reaching Upper Dado, you will have to register at the municipal tourism booth and pay P30 entrance fee. Right across the street are tourism-accredited habal-habal which will take you to the jump-off point to Asik Asik Falls. Fare is standard at P75 one-way per passenger for a 30-minute ride. Again this is a standard fee so don't try to haggle. Once you're on the road, you'll understand why it is way high than the usual rate. Brace yourself, it could be the worst habal-habal ride you will experience.




From the Jump-off point to Asik-Asik Falls
Upon reaching the jump-off point, you will be greeted with a scenic landscape. From the pavilion where you may leave your things, you will have to walk through a descending trail until you reach a stairway of about 500 steps. You will have to continue walking for a couple of minutes. It's only about 30-minute trek or less depending on how fast you walk. Upon reaching Asik-asik Falls, you will be mesmerized by its enchanting beauty. You'll forget about your stressful road experience. It's majestic, it's surreal. Don't just take photo, experience Asik-Asik by dipping and swimming into its cold waters. 




Where to Stay in Midsayap 
There are a lot of accommodation in Midsayap but we chose to stay at White Hut Inn Resort. It is about 15 minutes trike ride from the town center. We chose the place as it is far from the busy streets of Midsayap and is relatively safe as it is well guarded. It is also along the national highway so it will be easier for us to move from the hotel to Davao, our next destination. We rented a room good for 4 for only P1200. It was definitely a good deal. The room was clean and huge enough for the 4 of us. There is also a swimming pool in the hotel compound which you can use for an extra fee. You may contact them at 064-229-8630 or mobile number +63 920 5329974 or email them at whithutinnresortbarabat@yahoo.com

If you decide to take an overnight trip in Alamada, the vendor at the jump-off point, Ate Sally can help you with a place to stay. She has a hut for rent at P500 a night good for 4 persons. You may call her at 09058064501.

Where to Eat?
Make sure you buy your food from Midsayap or at least in Barangay Upper Dado after you pay the tourism fee. There are stores that sell bread, pastil (steamed rice with seasoned shredded chicken wrapped in banana leaves) and other food items. Also bring water, as you will surely need it. There is a small store near the jump off point where you could also buy food but it is a bit more expensive considering the road condition when moving goods from the town center to the store. Price maybe expensive but it is of course reasonable.


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