Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The grandeur of Asik-asik falls


We already heard and read stories and seen photos of Asik-asik falls, but we all know we can only really appreciate a spot if we got the chance to see it with our own eyes.

Last August 12, 2016, I embarked myself on a solo journey from Davao City to Alamada, North Cotabato. I was feeling excited because after four months I will get to meet my friends again from Koronadal City whom I first met during my Balut and Saranggani Island adventure plus a chance to meet new friends as well.
The Asik-asik Falls.
It took 6 hours and 30 minutes bus ride before I arrived at Midsayap Terminal and I lost the chance to ride on a double tire Jeepney bound to Alamada since the last trip was scheduled at 6:00 PM and I arrived late around 6:30 PM. Thanks to the initiative of Sir Japhet and my companions who arrived early in Alamada to have someone to pick me up at Midsayap terminal. So while waiting for the fetch, I have to eat my dinner at the ‘Kambingan’ fronting the terminal.

After an hour, we arrived in the town of Alamada and I was reunited with friends and got introduced to others. That same Friday night, we went our way to Brgy. Dado, the same barangay where Asik-asik falls is located. We had our sleepover at a small inland resort called the Hidden Spring (a cold spring) located at lower Dado some 2-3 kilometers away before reaching the Brgy. Hall for registration and information purposes.
The Hidden Cold Spring at the break of dawn.
The following day, we had our Asik-asik adventure. The way leading to the jump off point is passable by any vehicles but during the rainy season, it could get really muddy and slippery which is why it is best to check the weather before going there. Some roads are paved and some are rough making our habal-habal ride a tough one. I don’t complain, the ride itself is part of the adventure that I seek.
A view from the jump off point of Asik-asik.
We had our breakfast in the jump off and tourist registration place. I was amazed by the welcoming locals of Alamada especially those in Asik-asik jump off point. After a short rest, we then started to trek to the fall. The way to Asik-asik is made up of paved steps that I lost count but they said it’s around 500 steps. It’s easy, but going back up is hard for the one’s that is not used to hiking.
The stairs to Asik-asik.
Arriving in the fall, we were filled with awe and wonder. Just look at the pictures. The water is so cold but it doesn’t stop us from enjoying it. By the time we arrived, the sun was already up and the mist from the fall causing the rainbow to appear.
The gang! Photo by sir Japhet Moralde.
I can’t believe how this piece of nature never runs out of water getting released from the stone cracks of the mountain wall dropping before the mouth of the river.  I can only hope this place remains clean and preserved for others to enjoy and for the locals to always have clean waters to drink. Yes, the water that came out from the fall is clean and ready to drink. In fact, we tried and it tastes like a cold nature spring mineral water and I have to refill my tumbler before going back up.

At Caño strawberry farm.
After Asik-asik, we then visit the nearby strawberry farm of the Caño Family. Sadly, all the ripe ones are already harvested. They also have plenty of blooming flowers around their vicinity.
Strawberry farm.
After lunch, we then travel to Brgy. Rangayen and set up our tents on the school ground after seeking permission to their humble and very accommodating Chairperson and Councilor. We are very thankful for them for everything.
Camping on the school ground of Rangayen Elementary School.
Before breakfast the following day, we head to the sunrise viewing area located on one of the Sitio of Brgy. Rangayen and witness the beautiful surroundings of Alamada. From where we stand, we can see a village which is already part of Banisilan, North Cotabato.
The gang!

HOW TO GO TO ASIK-ASIK FALLS FROM DAVAO CITY

Ride the Mindanao Star bus bound to Cotabato City at Ecoland Bus Terminal and alight at Midsayap Bus Terminal. The fare is 270 in an air-conditioned bus and travel time is six and a half hours. For a faster mode of transportation, you may opt to ride a Van plying the route to Cotabato City at Gaisano Mall Davao and at SM Ecoland Terminals.

From Midsayap, charter a habal-habal directly to the Asik-asik jump off point. I heard the fare would be around 1000-1200 pesos per habal-habal and it could fit 2-3 persons depending on the sizes of the passengers, of course. The drivers will have to wait for you and will then bring you back to Midsayap. That’s a fair price, so don’t fret knowing the difficulties of the unpaved and often muddy road.

For a much cheaper option, you can ride a jeepney at Midsayap Terminal bound to Upper Dado, Alamada which travel time is around one and a half hour and charter a habal-habal to Asik-asik falls jump off point. I do not exactly know the fares but I am sure it is a lot cheaper but also it consumes much more time.

My advice, considering the travel time, I would suggest that you sleep at Midsayap first or at the Hidden Cold Spring at lower Dado where we stayed during our first night and go to Asik-Asik before or at first light. White Hut in Midsayap offers great accommodations and as suggested by a lot of visitors of Asik-Asik.

ASIK-ASIK FEES AND OTHER INFO

Asik-asik registration fee: 30.00 pesos each
Asik tourist assistance Contact Numbers: 09309888044, 09973161230

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