Friday, January 17, 2014

Tinuy-an Falls: Pride of Bislig, Surigao del Sur

Our second day at Surigao del Sur was a bit jam-packed, though we had enough time to appreciate the beauty of Enchanted River of Hinatuan and see the passion for toys and food by the married couple Willimans at Ocean View Park at Bislig, we were soon at a habal-habal ride for our last stop at this province, Tinuy-an Falls. It was a bit bittersweet to have our tour of the province end soon as we were juggling with a tight schedule, but I am glad I was able to fit all the highlights of Surigao del Sur within two days.

Tinuyan Falls
Tinuy-an Falls, Surigao del Sur

The majestic Tinuy-an Falls of Barangay Borboanan, Bislig City is locally dubbed as the 'Niagara Falls of the Phillippines'. This three-tiered waterfall is considered the widest in the country, being 95 meters wide and towering 55 meters. It's probably one of the grandest falls in the country that's why its also considered as one of CARAGA's most popular tourist destination.

Tinuy-an Falls

Before going to Tinuy-an, it rained quite a bit which made our stay at OVP a little longer than expected, and we didn't want to go there while its pouring hard because I don't want to take the risk of getting my gear wet and the roads going to the falls might be slippery due to the rain. We have arrived at Tinuy-an's entrance by around 3 PM and upon seeing this tiny water curtain, I was already amazed. Hearing the loud rush of flowing water gave me chills and excitement so I only took two photos of this cute cascade and made my way to the viewing area of the falls.

Tinuy-an Falls mindanao
this petite water curtain will greet you upon your arrival

My mouth was just gapen open in awe, this time probably "fall-struck" (what I am doing to these English words). It's a good thing that it was raining a couple of days in Mindanao, well in fact there was a typhoon before and during our trip, which was a good thing since it let us see the falls in its full form. It was also deserted when we went there! So it was just me and my friends and the local staff and guides that were present! Such a delight.

I was just amazed with beauty and grandeur so I took a couple of minutes to let it sink within me. It was one of the most picturesque waterfalls I have ever seen up to this date. Its height, wide berth and raging water reminded me of a very powerful and strict father figure. I decided to take a couple of pictures when it started raining again!

Tinuy-an Falls bislig
rain while taking pictures :(

We didn't want to be stuck there later by nightfall with heavy rain (I was only able to take a couple of shots T_T boohoo) so we immediately went to ask around how we can reach the two upper levels of the falls. The staff said we couldn't go by ourselves since some parts of the stairs going up were ruined and some parts of the falls are slippery. I was reluctant because I didn't want to shell out money if the service wasn't great and it didn't look dangerous enough to me. For some reason, four guides joined us saying we can give them whatever amount we'd like. After the tour, we were glad they were there to show us the way. Since it was raining hard, we couldn't really see which way to go since our surroundings were very dark. Two of the guides were also there taking our pictures and one of them was very good because I use an SLR and I wasn't expecting there would be good shots, really, because I actually left my lens at manual focus! It was a fun tour because the guides even directed us to do some buwis-buhay shots, though we probably left them a big tip (there were only three of us so we had to divide the tip to 333 pesos per person), but hey, it was worth it and it was Christmas season anyway :) It's not like everyday that you could experience this in Manila!

Tinuy-an Falls blog
goofing around at Tinuy-an
Tinuy-an Falls surigao

Tinuy-an Falls surigao del sur
yumo-yoga kuno! lol
taking a shower... more fun in The Philippines!
Tinuy-an Falls mindanao
topmost part of Tinuy-an
bislig surigao

yup, so goofy indeed!
Tinuy-an Falls
the view from the top of the falls, yup we were actually on the tip!
Tinuy-an Falls enchanted river
yup, us at the top of Tinuy-an!!!

Our guides showed us this bamboo raft that we can ride to experience the raging falls! Since they did not charge us anything, of course we gave them our big YES. I haven't been to any waterfalls lately so I actually forgot the feeling of the water hitting your body. It was sooo fun! Me and my friends couldn't really hear each other so we just enjoyed the "water massage" from Tinuy-an. I wanted to stay longer there if only we had more time. I wanted to take more pictures as I haven't got the image I was hoping for but the rain didn't look like it would stop anytime soon, I also thought about staying overnight, but seeing that we have an early trip to make the next day, it wasn't feasible. So after a few moments, we said our farewell to Tinuy-an Falls. I hope it won't be my last time there.

Tinuy-an Falls bislig

Tinuy-an Falls hinatuan
after our raft ride
mga batang maligalig! haha

Me and my companions were curious as to how Tinuy-an would measure up to Niagara before coming here, but I didn't really mind now as I though Tinuy-an Falls had this uniquely Filipino feel with all the tall plants around and friendly locals. Tinuy-an was a perfect end for our two-day trip to Surigao del Sur and I hope I could come back again soon with my family!

bislig surigao del sur
Tinuy-an Falls, Surigao del Sur

How to go to Bislig, Surigao del Sur:
From Butuan Bancasi Airport
From Langihan Terminal, ride a bus bound for Mangagoy (Bislig) (approx. 5 hour trip)

From Surigao del Norte
Take a bus bound for Butuan and take bus bound for Mangagoy.

From Britania, San Agustin
Ride bus going to Butuan and alight at Barobo terminal. From there, take another bus bound for Mangagoy (Bislig).

From Davao
Take buses/van that go directly to Bislig. Alternatively, you can also take those bound for Butuan and alight at Mangagoy (Bislig).

Breakdown of Expenses for Day 2 (Enchanted River + Tinuy-an Falls)

Habal habal contacts:
Kuya Rene (recommended! no cellphone though, look for him around crossing/Hinatuan terminal) Rate from crossing to river one way is 50 pesos. He resides at Hinatuan.)

Kuya Loloy (09485750496 resides at Bislig, rate from crossing to Tinuyan round trip incl. waiting time is 250 pesos)

* Drivers also accept tours combining Enchanted River + Tinuy-an Falls for a standard rate of 1,500 pesos

Day 1
Britania Group of Islands (San Agustin)

Day 2
Enchanted River (Hinatuan)

Tinuy-an Falls (Bislig)

International Doll Museum/Ocean View Park Restaurant (Bislig)
Itinerary and Expenses
2-Day Itinerary, Guide and Travel Expenses for Surigao del Sur

More of Mindanao here


  1. All the efforts you put in the blog post is appreciable. Entire blog is informative. Looking forward to read more blogs and contents from you. Wish you luck!

  2. I agree, Tinuy-an is majestic! Lucky you, you weren't charged for using the raft. :) I still have to write about my trip there. Five months ago. I'm just being lazy. As always :))

    1. I was really surprised that they didn't charge us anything! Yup, I was actually looking for your posts on Tinuy-an before when researching for our itinerary, haha backlogs!!!

  3. There some very impressive points in your blog. I must appreciate your excellent work. I find the blog post very interesting and moreover very informative. I am thinking to write a piece on related topic. Will definitely share it and waiting to read some more interesting blogs from you.

  4. Ganda! Very informative... thanks for sharing <3

  5. Wahhh, exciting! Arrived at your blog. Punta kmi jan next year! :) Yahoo!

  6. I will be travelling "alone"in Surigao..will go to tinuy-an falls and enchanted river... i want to go swimming ...anychance there is locker for rent there to where i can keep my valuables?

    1. yup, actually we also have bags with us when we went there, what we did was we entrusted our stuff to the tinuy-an tourism office, or basically this is just where they sell the entrance tickets :) they didn't charge us anything and don't worry mababait naman tao dun


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