Have you ever wondered why the Niagara Falls in Canada is such a popular place for honeymooners? It is not just because it is majestic. Waterfalls represent vigorous and beautiful life, and spending the first few moments of your married life amidst so much beauty and hope augers well for any couple.
You don’t have to go all the way to Canada to have a great honeymoon in the Philippines, however. You can head over to Bislig City in Surigao del Sur and visit our own version of the Niagara Falls, the Tinuy-an Falls. It is not as big as the original, but at 95 meters wide and 55 meters high, it is quite majestic enough for government work.
The name derives from the Visayan word “tuyo,” which means “aim,” and not the Tagalog word that means “dry.” Tinuy-an or tinuyo-an means an intentional act to achieve a certain goal. According to legend, there was a time when cruel tribes from Agusan enslaved the Magdiwata Mountain settlers, forcing them to do much of the heavy labor, which included building and manning small boats called barotos for their enslavers. One day, while rowing their masters on barotos, the slaves decided to put an end to the plight of their people by deliberately steering the barotos towards the thundering falls. This intentional act was the basis for the name Tinuy-an Falls. Another version maintains that the name comes from the belief a higher being planned the placement of the riverbed stones. At any rate, the Tinuy-an Falls is currently the most famous tourist attractions in the area.
The Tinuy-an Falls is set amidst nature in its rawest form. Its charm is in its unspoiled beauty, which is why development has been kept to a minimum. There are a small playground, some picnic tables, cottages, and stores, but not much more. You pay PhP50 to enter, and you have the run of the place. You can cross the wooden bridge to get as close as possible to the falls, and take a dip in the cool, clear waters. If you get there between 9 and 11 am when the angle of the sun is just right, you will witness rainbows forming at the base of the falls.
Later in the day, you can take refuge from the heat of the sun by walking along the scenic trails, where you will find orchids, dipterocarp trees, and ferns. It is also a perfect place to do some bird watching. If you plan to check out the two other falls further up the trail, you should have a guide with you. Take lots of pictures!
- Entrance Fee – Php 50
- Children below 7 years old is free
- Parking Fee – Php 20/unit (4 wheels)
- Parking Fee – Php 10/unit (2 wheels)
- Cottage Small – Php 300
- Cottage Big – Php 500
- Table with Chair(4 chair) – Php 100
- Aircon Room – 600/night 2pax
- Function Hall – Php 1000
- Life Jacket – Php 30 per hour
- Chair- Php 10
- Umbrella shed- Php 150
- Gaket/Raft- Php 100
- Boat- Php 50
- Room Rental – Php 150 per Person
How to Get There:
Your best jump off point is Barangay Mangagoy in Bislig City, where you can hire a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) to get you to Tinuy-An Falls, about an hour away (PhP 200 per person). To get to Mangagoy, you can choose take a bus or van from Surigao City to Butuan City (3 hours; PhP196 per person) and a bus from there to Mangagoy (five hours, PhP243 per person, non-aircon bus; PhP190, van). You can also choose to travel direct to Mangagoy from Davao City by Ecoland Terminal bus (about 6 hours; PhP265 per person, non-aircon).
It may seem a lot of trouble and expense to get there. The habal-habal ride in particular can be uncomfortable and seem downright dangerous. However, the experience and the spectacular view will be worth the trip for serious nature lovers.