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North Cotabato town allows tourists back to falls

/ 12:03 AM August 01, 2014

WHERE water falling out of crevices on this cliff comes from remains a mystery, but the site has become known as Asik-Asik Falls and the town of Alamada, North Cotabato province, is cashing in on a tourism boom from the natural wonder. JEOFFREY MAITEM/INQUIRER MINDANAO

KIDAPAWAN CITY—The municipal government of Alamada, North Cotabato province, has reopened  Asik-Asik Falls, known as the curtain waterfalls, two months after preventing access to 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 reopening of the tourist destination followed the declaration of the Department of Health  in Central Mindanao that the cholera outbreak, which killed eight people and took ill some 600 others, had been contained.

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Prior to its closure, at least 500 tourists visit Asik-Asik Falls daily. The number reaches 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.

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He said the town government had been getting queries from tourists and tour operators on when the falls would be reopened as a tourist destination.

Cadava said the town government was 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, but officials suspect it comes from an underground river.

“Asik” is a Hiligaynon word that means sprinkle.

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“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. Williamor A. Magbanua, Inquirer Mindanao

 

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