North Cotabato’s tourist-favorite ‘curtain waterfalls’ reopened to public
KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato, Philippines—The municipal government of Alamada, North Cotabato, has re-opened the Asik-Asik Falls, known as the curtain waterfalls, two months after barring people from it due to a cholera outbreak in May that hit three of its surrounding villages.
Ruben Cadava, Alamada town administrator, said on Thursday that the re-opening of the tourist destination followed the declaration of the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Mindanao that the cholera outbreak, which killed eight people and sickened 600 others, had been contained.
Prior to its closure, at least 500 tourists visited Asik-Asik Falls daily. The number reached 1,000 on weekends.
Cadava said the reopening of the falls to tourists would also pave the way for the return of livelihood opportunities for local businessmen.
He said the municipal government has been getting queries from tourists and tour operators on when the falls would be reopened as a tourist destination.
Cadava said the town government has been rushing the construction of stairways leading to the falls and other facilities.
Asik-Asik Falls was discovered in 2010 by a village councilor following a series of forest fires and floods that hit the forest atop it.
The curtain-like waterfalls have since become a favorite destination for tourists.
Water comes out of a cliff at the edge of a 200-meter high flattened hill, producing noise that locals describe as “musical.”
The origin of the falls’ water remains a mystery, however, but officials suspect it comes from an underground river.
“Asik” is a Hiligaynon word that means sprinkle.
“The water is so clean that we tried drinking it and we didn’t get sick,” local tourists Ivy Soganub and Enrico Fernandez said when they visited the site in 2013.