Asik-asik Falls of Alamada, North Cotabato
If there is a highlight in my visit to Mindanao, then definitely I'll say Asik Asik falls in Alamada, North Cotabato.
Asik-asik falls is located at the northwest tip of North Cotabato. It is situated in Barangay Upper Dado in the municipality of Alamada. Just to note on travelers, Asik-asik falls is approximately 50 kilometers away from the center of Midsayap. The place is so remote that a roundtrip ride on a skylab motor (habal-habal) is priced at around Php 1000 - 1500.
Jimboy and I started our road trip in his motorcyle, he has a helmet and I do not have anything but my cotton jacket. We begin our ardous journey from Matalam at around 11:00am and it is pretty humid by that time. We stopped over at the center of Midsayap at around 12:15pm to eat. By that time, we just traveled a long 50kms from our hometown.
We restarted our road trip at 1:00pm and this time the weather is starting to become gloomy and converge at the north. However, the sun is still lit up in the sky that makes our journey quite a little hot.
The road to Asik-asik falls are both rough and sturdy. Some parts of the road are not yet cemented and it is still under construction. Some are narrow, some are wide. But one thing is interesting, the remote area is now accesible for everyone. But keep in mind that there are checkpoints in the area due to the threat of rebel attacks and during the time that I visited the area is when Duterte declared martial law because of the Battle of Marawi.
We reached barangay Upper Dado at around 3:00pm and the jump off at 3:10pm. The place is poor and the villagers we spoke to are surviving with few rations they have and with the tourists money from buying their sari-sari store goods.
The entrance to the place is at Php 20-30 if I remember correctly.
After paying the entrance fee, it will take you at least 15 minutes to reach the bottom. The trail going down is both rough and cemented. As I have heard, the development is started last 2016 so much of the area is not yet fully developed.
Upon reaching the falls, I was astonish by its grandeur and mysticism. It feels you are within a forest kingdom of the elves and fairies. The current of the waters on during rainy season is strong so the waters are not clear as presented by my photos.
The place is relaxing and calm but the distance that we traveled is around 100kms. Now if we had started earlier, then we can bring our lunch and enjoy the place much more. But then again, it depends on your perspective whether Asik-asik is worth the ride or not. If you are in Cotabato city or Midsayap, then it may be worthwhile to take a look.
But beware that you should tread carefully when traveling since most of the western Mindanao is not safe for both Filipino and non-Filipino tourists.