Maria Cristina Falls

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The Maria Cristina Falls is the second highest falls in the Philippines. It is found on the island of Mindanao and is the landmark of Iligan City. Known as the "Mother of Industry" and "Fountainhead of Progress", this waterfall is the primary source of electric power for the city's industries and the whole Mindanao region, harnessed by the Agus VI Hydroelectric Plant. It plunges 320 feet down into the torrential Agus River.

Description

File:Macrisitnafalls.jpg
Second highest falls in the Philippines

Maria Cristina Falls is 320 feet high, spews 130 cubic meters of water per second and is the primary source of industrial power in the city. Iligan is also known as the "City of Majestic Waterfalls" because of the presence of approximately 23 waterfalls in the city. It utilizes 90% of its water for the hydropower plant. The National Power Corporation (NPC) has established its Maria Christina Power Plant at the outer base of the falls.

Its twin cascades attract both local and foreign tourists. It is sometimes called "twin falls" since the flow is separated by a rock at the brink of the waterfall. It is also tagged as a "now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t" falls, because of the man-made controls operated by the National Power Corporation which is essential for producing electricity.

According to legend, the rocks that surround the pool were said to be the fearsome magical war boat of Prince Bantogen, hero of the Maranao-Maguindanao epic "Darangen".

How to get there

Maria Cristina Falls is only 8 kilometers from the city, and can be reached by taking a jeepney ride from the pier to the Agus Bridge. From there, visitors can walk the rest of the way in about half an hour. They can view the falls from the 3rd floor of the building in the viewing deck of the tourist area.

Public access to the falls is only allowed on Sundays. The river is partially blocked by hydroelectric station during the week and the falls becomes a single plunge, but on Sunday morning the plant closes for one hour, allowing the river to run free and return to its natural split-double waterfall.

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References

Citation

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