Situbo Falls. Tampilisan is a quiet little town in the province of Zamboanga del Norte. I had passed this town more than a hundred times before and nothing caught my attention other than their municipal hall seated on top of a hill. With a commercial center that only spans a few blocks, this little town hides a magnificent gem tucked a few kilometers away in Barangay Situbo.
A habal-habal ride from the town proper coupled and a short trek will take you to the grandiose Situbo Falls. It was drizzling when we went to the falls and the slopes were a bit slippery. Our group made a slow and steady walk while marveling at boulders, smaller tiers of waterfalls and the greenery along the trail. I got more excited when I heard the soothing sounds of the waterfall that resonates like small thunders from the sky. It did not take long before we can see the waterfalls from a distance. It was huge. I was caught in awe. Speechless. I stood for a moment just to marvel at its beauty. Water was gushing like a loose fire hose on the left side of the falls while on the left side was a shower-like trickle.
There were already people who came ahead of us and seeing them like small ants basking in the waters got me more excited. The basin is wide and just deep enough to swim in its cold waters from the mountains of Zamboanga del Norte.
Where to eat:
The British Kitchen is the most popular dining and drinking place in Tampilisan. It offers reasonably priced food for lunch and dinner. A live band also plays once in a while. What surprises me are their humungous burgers priced at 60.00-90.00 pesos. Their lomi is also a must try for tired backpackers who need a hearty afternoon meal after a long and tedious trek. One thing the restaurant needs to improve on is their service. But for me, it’s okay because it will take you some 30 kilometers before you find a decent restaurant.
How to get there:
With its proximity to Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay where Tagbilat Falls can be found, our group was able to chase two waterfalls in a day. We spent the entire morning in Tagbilat Falls and had lunch in Tampilisan before heading to Situbo Falls.
Getting there from Tagbilat Falls is easy. If you would follow our itinerary, we asked the same habal-habal drivers that took us to Tagbilat Falls to drive us to Tampilisan town proper via a short cut road in Barangay Culasian, Titay. Our drivers dropped us at Caltex gasoline station in Tampilisan.
If you are going directly to the waterfalls, a 40-peso bus ride from Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay is all that you need to get to the Municipality of Tampilisan. Habal-habal drivers parked near Park ‘n Go bakeshop will take you to the waterfalls for 70 pesos per person.
For travelers aiming to complete the 81-list, this is a great way to tick Zamboanga del Norte off your map!
Thanks Joan Jeska Abalde, Bro Noe Largo, Edmund Pasaforte, Tara Jo Abalde and Jhan Keith Javar.