Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to bring pleasant surprises.

Never did the locals of a remote community in Southern Philippines suspect that a massive water system cascades quietly in their backyard. Or, is it safe to say that they just ignore the sound of water thinking it was just part of the nearby river?

The discovery of Asik-Asik Falls

The locals of Sitio Dulao in the small village of Dado, Alamada, North Cotabato did not realize that a towering rock mountain in their place was emitting lots of water. The said rock formation was covered with thick and lush vegetation and forest that nobody would suspect something was going on in there. Besides, how could they suspect waterfalls from the mountain when there is no river on its summit. Isn’t that mysterious?

That was before 2010.

It was only sometime in 2010 when the mystery unfolded. Some people in the area believed that a series of natural calamities and forest fires exposed the waterfalls. While others insist that the military uncovered the mysterious sight during a clearing operation. Anyway, whichever of the stories came first, it is no denying that the water is a mysterious but marvelous sight.

Mysterious, because unlike most waterfalls, the streams of cold water behind those vegetations ooze from the 60-meter high and 140-meter wide rock mountain itself. There must be a lot of water deep within those rocks to create curtain-like waterfalls that cover the entire width of the mountain. And, the sight is nothing short of marvelous!

The locals of the area named this newfound water system as Asik-Asik Falls. Asik-Asik literally means “sprinkle-sprinkle” in the native Hiligaynon language. It is aptly called since it sprinkles cold water as it drops into the shallow rocky pool at the base of the mountain. The water collected in the pool then flows to join a tributary of the Alamada River.

Since its discovery in 2010, Asik-Asik Falls has gradually drawn a number of curious individuals, first through the word of mouth. And then, the word spread like wildfire, capturing the attention of both social media and the mainstream media. Tourists from other parts of the country and abroad start visiting the place, too. Since then, the once quiet and remote village of Dulao has never been the same again. It now becomes a lively community with many visitors at any given time. Roads have been developed leading to the place. Several steps were carved against the mountain to make trekking down to the foot of the waterfalls easy for visitors. Small entrepreneurs have also set up stalls along the road, selling foods, drinks, and souvenir items. In a word, Asik-Asik Falls is now a tourist destination for both Filipinos and foreigners.

Getting to the waterfalls

Let me warn you ahead, however, that a trip to Asik-Asik Falls may not be for everyone. People with weak knees or leg problems may find it arduous to navigate through several steps, especially when going back up to the main road. But if you must, it’s best to go there when you are not in a hurry or under a time constraint. Slow-pace walking is the key here! Don’t worry, you would not get bored at all since the surrounding view is beautiful.

Anyway, if you’re coming from outside the Mindanao region, the means to visit Asik-Asik is by air. Take a flight from either Cotabato City or Davao City (although the latter is a bit far). From the airport, proceed to the municipality of Midsayap, North Cotabato and take a trip to the village of Dado, Alamada. And then, take a short trip down to Asik-Asik Falls. It would be more convenient for you if you consult a travel agent to arrange your trip.