Bongolanon Falls – Philippines

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Bongolanon Falls, Magpet, Cotabato – Philippines. This lush, secluded beauty is well maintained by a small local Bagobo village tribe. The 20 pesos entry fee and hut fees (depending on how long you stay) are used to maintain and add more facilities to make this picnic point more attractive and worth going to. It is certainly is worth the trip.

This is Bongolanon Falls – Magpet, North Cotabato, Philippines. You do have to go through Kidapawan City to get to this wonderful waterfall. It is on the foot
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of Mt. Apo—but more towards North Cotabato side— opposite Davao City.

This lush, secluded beauty is well maintained by a small local Bagobo village tribe. The 20 pesos entry fee and hut fees (depending on how long you stay) are used to maintain and add more facilities to make this picnic point more attractive and worth going to. It is certainly is worth the trip.

In the town of Magpet, there are many hidden natural beauties – with many cascading waterfalls. Bongolanon Falls is the most popular and it is further in-land of Barangay Bongolanon. On the upper end you will find Tawsuvan Eco-resort – where Bongolanon waterfall is.

It was a long time ago, with my first trip to Bongolanon Falls. Dad took us there via a hired single motorcycle—we didn’t have a car you see. How he knew about it I don’t know. But none the less it does exists.

On my return visit to Kidapawan City. I made sure, that I visited this place and this time around take some photos of it.

A lot of people do not know this place. My hired single motor bike who does runs from around this route, did not know about it. Perhaps because, he only goes from Kidapawan City to Magpet. Well this place goes well beyond Magpet. But it is worth going to. When he found out about it, he was awed by it’s beauty and planned to take his family to Bongolanon Falls — instead of Lake Agco—which a very well known resort in this region. Apparently he’s seen enough of Lake Ago and was looking for another natural beauty.

How To Get There

To get to Lake Bongolanon, Magpet – Cotabato – Philippines. You’ll need to pass through Kidapawan City. The locals can help you get there. But might have to ask few times as not everybody knows how to get there. I had to ask around just to get a some leads for directions to where I was going!

But not to worry, now that I know (sort of), I can guide you in parts. You need to get to a place called “mange crossing” (mango crossing). There are few ways to do this;

  • Ask where Pennon’s restaurant is, because the road you are after, is directly opposite that restaurant.
  • Ask how to get to Grand Ficus Plaza from the main highway at Lanao and stop at the entry of that road.
  • Ask where the buses enters to the Kidapawan Bus terminal from Cotabato.
  • Ask where Manga (pronounced with hard G – as in mang-ga) Crossing is.

Most people would know where manga crossing is and Penongs restaurant—that would be your best choice. There should be sign there that says Magpet and that’s the road you are after.

From there keep driving until you reach the town of Magpet, once you get there, it is best to ask around because it is a town and there’s a possibility that you will get lost. Here’s your next landmark though. A petrol station. From there drive further in-land. This is where the dirt road begins. The further in-land you go, the rougher the road is and the more you would want a four wheel drive.

After a long, long drive on this dirt road – mabye 30mins or so? You will hit a Crossroad. To your left will be the town of Bongolanon, to your right – another say 3-5 kilometres is the Tawsuvan Eco-resort (Bongolanon Falls). You can’t miss this cross road because there are only two options, left or right. Take the road to the right.

In a way, you really can’t get lost, because there’s only one road. But best to ask along the way.

Transportation

4WD is recommended. If you are traveling with your own private car, you really need to have a 4 wheel drive. It is a rugged road and if you have a normal sedan (normal car that is), you may just end up breaking down. When I say it’s rugged, I mean it’s rugged. Your car might be able to get through, but I would not risk it. Especially the last 300 metres or so before you reach your destination. Best leave your car at the bottom of that hill and leg the rest of the way.

Motorcycle. You can hire a single bike (with rider) from “manga crossing”. The minimum fee will be 90 pesos but your destination is way further than what these riders will take you, so be prepared to negotiate.

Also note, on rainy days, the dirt road can be really, slippery— dirt-rocky/stone type road

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Jojie Certeza

Jojie Certeza is a Sydney based photographer. His passion for photography started in 2007 after being introduced by a friend who is also passionate about photography. He also founded; www.asimplecreation.com— a food photography service. He can be hired for food photography assignments

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