The Amazing Asik-Asik Falls in Alamada, Cotabato

Asik-asik Falls is approximately 20-meter (60ft) high and 140-meter wide, but the source of water remains a mystery since the water simply burst from cracks; there has no river that ran on the hill. It facing East and situated beside a stream, which is a tributary of the Libungan River.

The falls has a unique harmony of lush green plant and fresh water cascading on a cliff of black rough black rocks. Above it is a thick vegetation.

The name of the falls is derived from an Illongo word “asik-asik” which mean sprinkling and it defines the unique feature of the waterfalls.

For centuries, Asik-asik Falls at Sitio Dulao, Upper Dado, Alamada, Cotabato remained hidden from public view; there was no waterfall visible at all in the area according to the villagers because of the thick vegetation covering the side of the cliff.

The villagers believe that in 2008, typhoon Frank had brought so much devastation when it hit the country and uprooted the large trees including the large balete that grew on the side of the cliff.
The discovery of Asik-Asik Falls was ushered in by a multitude of events, starting with a forest fire that razed much of the vegetation of the area, including those that grew on the side of the cliff. Then there was a landslide that carved a large portion of the hill, which uprooted the large trees.

The falls was discovered by the villagers in 2011 and it became the talk of the town in early of 2012 and the story about this unique eco site rapidly spread in the locality and the information has also reached and captured the attention of the municipal and provincial government; since then, many local visitors started to flock in the area. 

The photos of Asik-asik Falls was posted on social media in April 2012 and it was formally introduced to the public and featured on newspaper and TV in May 2012. It was featured on the front page of the Philippines Daily Inquirer, Volume 27, Sunday, May 13, 2012.

In the early years after its discovery, the access path to the falls was very difficult and very muddy during rainy season, but the local, provincial and national government had indicated the concreting project of the tourism road and constructed the facilities on site. 

The cold water rushing down the cliff is a relaxing massage from nature when it hits the body of the visitors who are taking a bath below. Some locals and visitors also believe that the potable spring water of Asik-Asik Falls has healing properties for different health problems.

According to the folk stories, the place is enchanted because it was a sanctuary of the Engkantos. There was a time before the discovery of the falls that several numbers of carabaos had fallen off the cliff, where the Asik-Asik Falls is now located, and were never found again. The folks believe that the carabaos were taken and vanished by the Engkantos, the supernatural creatures that are believed to be the guardians of the falls and were living in the huge balete tree which was growing in the area. When the strong typhoon came and a lightning hit the belete tree, the Engkantos are believed to scatter and transferred to other places and left the falls unprotected and concealed from the intruders. The folks added that when they first saw the Asik-Asik Falls, the flowers of the plants in the area were still blooming beautifully but nowadays, only few blooms are seen because the Engkantos who are believed to be taking care of them are now seldom visit the place.

As respect to the “guardians” of the falls who may be visiting the area once in a while or just living near the falls, loud sounds like shouting and audio from loud speakers are prohibited at Asik-Asik Falls. Swimming trunks, two-piece and one-piece are also prohibited.

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