Video Published on Mar 1, 2015 (Youtube)
January 22-24, 2015
We planned our January Philippines trip around a visit to Asik Asik Falls, which we had seen amazing photos of on Instagram!
The closest airport to the falls is in Cotabato City. Both Philippines Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air have daily morning flights to Cotabato, which take just an hour from Manila. We opted to stay in Midsayap, which is closer to Asik Asik and just one hour or 45 km from Cotabato City. We paid our taxi driver 1,500 pesos for the one-way trip. Before we left Cotabato City, he took us to see the spectacular Grand Mosque, which was a gift from the Sultan of Brunei.
In Midsayap, we stayed at White Hut Inn & Resort. The rooms are basic, but there’s hot water and White Hut has an excellent pool complete with two water slides, and admissions is free for Inn guests. The food is also very good! Although White Hut is set up for WiFi, it wasn’t working during our stay.
The next day (Jan. 23), we got up early to begin our trek to Asik Asik. Public buses – very affordable (!) – leave from the Midsayap bus station to Alamada, where you’ll have to switch to habal habal or motorbikes, around 9:00 or 10:00 am. Instead of waiting until later in the morning, we paid a motorbike taxi 300 pesos to take us both (i.e. both of us and the driver on one bike) to Alamada. It took around 45 minutes.
Alamada is where the motorbike drivers with experience driving to and from Asik Asik are located. It’s important to use an experienced driver because the roads get very rocky, and there aren’t many signs along the way. Given the length of the journey that lay ahead as well as the road conditions, we rode on separate motorbikes and paid 700 pesos each for the round trip. If you are Filipino or very good at bargaining, you should be able to negotiate the fare down. A helpful blogger (https://rodifiedopinion.wordpress.com) noted that one-way fare should cost about 300 pesos per person.
The ride from Alamada to Dado where you pay your Tourist Registration Fee takes around one hour and is moderately rocky and bumpy interspersed with patches of paved road. The registration fee is just 30 pesos per person.
The last stretch from Upper Dado to the jump-off point, or start of the walk, to Asik Asik took approximately 45 minutes. This part of the journey was the rockiest.
Drivers can park their motorbikes at the jump-off point where there is a covered area that also contains a small snack stand with drinks (water, soda, Gatorade, etc.), instant cup noodles, and biscuits and chips. The walk from the jump-off point to the actual falls took about 40 minutes.
Drum roll please…Asik Asik was STUNNING! The rather long journey was totally worth it! The waters are icy cold, but we couldn’t go all that way and not wade in to climb onto the rocks. Note: Women should remember to wear board shorts and a shirt or something similar to stay covered up. Glo didn’t have any spare clothes, so the guard was gracious in allowing her to climb onto the rocks in her bikini bottoms and sports bra for a quick photo. But he was very strict in telling her to change as soon as she got out of the water. This is completely understandable given that the province is more conservative socially.
FYI: We only learned after arriving in Cotabato City that security in the province is quite high. Foreigners interested in travel to Asik Asik should take every precaution – including checking on any travel advisories from your embassy – before finalizing travel arrangements.
As always, thank you for watching!! And happy travels!! 😀
Chapala by Ale
East of Milpas by Ale