Asik-Asik Falls: A rush of wonder in a sprinkle of time

Soaking in the view before taking a dip. | PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF MARKY RAMONE GO

Even before the two dogs moonlighting as our unofficial hiking guides plodding the muddy trail, paused, and looked back, I already figured out what they wanted to tell. Surely if they could talk, I’d hear them tell me, “Here we up, look up.” Taking cue from their excited body language, I directed my eyes upwards. A massive wall covering the length of my vision revealed an unimpeded view of Asik-Asik Falls.

Our two canine companions wiggled their tails, echoing my own enthusiasm and overjoy at finally being able to visit this spectacular waterfalls.

A CANINE guide leads the way.

A Hiligaynon word, Asik-Asik translates to “sprinkle-sprinkle” in English, and the falls towers 60 feet spreading more than 140 meters wide. Known to a few locals before it was discovered as a hiking destination in 2010, Asik-Asik Falls wowed the world when it became the subject of a winning entry for a photography competition in 2012.

Since then, travelers have set out to this sleepy town of Alamada in the province of North Cotabato for a rugged two-hour habal-habal ride and another hour of hiking just to reach this exceptional nature spectacle.

Irresistible urge

Fortunately nowadays, getting to the jump-off point to Asik-Asik Falls no longer necessitates an agonizing motorbike ride, thanks to the paving of the roads going there. The waterfalls can now be reached after a steep 30 to 45 minute descent over an established trail.

Hurrying ahead of the rest of our group, I picked up my pace right as I hear the streaming water reverberate louder in the mountain. Making my way across verdant meadows and into a forest, I soon realized I was drawing near the waterfalls.

My two canine companions suddenly quickened their strides as they sense our close proximity to our destination. True to form, the jaw-dropping image of Asik-Asik Falls that I used to ogle at on glossy magazine pages and travel blogs uncovered itself to me.

Despite wearing a hiking pants and only a boxer shorts underneath, the temptation to gaze closely and enjoy the soothing cool waters of Asik-Asik became irresistible, that I hurriedly stripped down to my short shorts and dove waist deep for a pleasant dip.

Hearing nothing but the sound of the sprinkling water oozing from the cracks on the wall, I couldn’t help but marvel at the uniqueness of Asik-Asik, as there’s no body of water flowing from a stream.

Instead, water emerges through the holes on a curtain of rocks, like how water from a balloon pricked with needles would flow out while gripped tightly.

Asik-Asik, which is surrounded by the waving hills of the barangay of Upper Dado, is Mother Nature’s version of a valuable treasure, veiled in this case by a thick curtain of lush vegetation and steep cliffs.
One by one, members of our small group started arriving. I was already in the water when a couple of drones flown by social media content creators who were with us starts flying overhead. I waved my hand each time it would hover over me.

Inching my way to the wall and waist-deep in the plunge pool, I started feeling the current getting stronger. Ditching the idea of at least touching the wall of the waterfalls, I opted to sit on a rock and enjoyed dunking half of my body for a rejuvenating dip instead.

Lost in the exquisite harmony of nature, an orchestra of cascading waters, chirps of the birds and faint sounds of “ohhs and wows” from our group, I remained in the embrace of the gushing water while deeply concentrating my stare on the majestic Asik-Asik Falls.

Even as I am in the middle of a Zen state of existence, the thought of the upward hike came to mind, I immediately dismissed it and with good reason. Blessed to have finally seen the misty beauty of Asik-Asik Falls, it makes sense to free my mind of all the worries in the world. For several precious minutes, I cleared my thoughts to soak in the moment and let a fantastic remembrance with Mother Nature be engraved in my memory vault.

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