LANAO DEL NORTE | Pampam Falls ~ Iligan City's Skull-Shaped Waterfall

Saturday, October 19, 2013

At Iligan City's Skull-Shaped Pampam Falls

A kid ran, hurling himself into air. Arms and legs outstretched, he floated and seemed to stop twenty feet in midair before torpedoing down, headfirst into the clear blue-green waters of Iligan City’s Pampam Falls. Diving perfectly, he glides beneath the crystalline waters of the falls and hurriedly went back up to the jumping edge once more—ready for another jump.

The Hike to Iligan City's Pampam Falls

Pampam Falls at Sitio Kalubihon in Iligan City’s Barangay Dalipuga is not as readily accessible as say, the Mimbalot Falls we visited a few days ago. The hike took as long as that of the trail to Dodiongan Falls, which is about 20 to 30 minutes long, but harder.

The dirt path to Pampam slopes down and moves up in relatively steep angles. It would’ve been easier if I’m not hauling a ton of camera gear with me, but that’s a price one pays for photography’s sake.

Crystal Waters at Iligan City's Pampam Falls

After much huffing and puffing, we at last reached Pampam Waterfall. Green crystal clear water greeted us as we peered down from a cliff that plunges to the falls’ catch basin. The group was rewarded with packed lunch and yummy Jollibee burgers as we put on our swimming apparel.


Cliff Jumping at Iligan City's Pampam Falls

Kids were constantly diving just a few feet from where we were eating, making me really really envious. After finally trying Camotes Island cliff jumping some months back, I couldn’t wait to try it on the waterfalls of Iligan City too. I ate and took the requisite photos as fast as I possibly could.

Swimming at Iligan City's Pampam Falls

Pampam Falls’ catch basin is one of the clearest I’ve seen of all the waterfalls we visited in Iligan City. It was only a matter of minutes before I saw my buddies already swimming and wading down below its waters. The only problem was, it is only five feet at its deepest, not deep enough for my cliff-jumping needs.

Rock Climbers at Iligan City's Pampam Falls

Still, I saw kids climbing the rock face of Pampam Falls, which eerily looked like a badly deformed skull with its two hollow sockets as eyes and a protruding jaw below to complete the illusion. I estimated their jump-off point at about twenty feet; pretty high for a shallow landing area.

Diving in Tandem at Iligan City's Pampam Falls

But these kids have already perfected the craft of diving down Pampam Falls. They jump headfirst with arms outstretched. Once they hit the waters, they immediately arch their body perpendicular to the pebbly bottom of the basin and gracefully glide below the surface. Scorecard up, perfect 10!


Back Rub at Iligan City's Pampam Falls

I know that I wouldn’t be able to do that kind of dive, so cliff-jumping from the highest perch of Pampam Falls is already out of the question. Good thing, there’s a lower jumping area, which is about 6 to 8 feet in height. It’s an anthill compared to where the kids were jumping from but it’s better than nothing.

Hanging Out at Iligan City's Pampam Falls

The slightly cold waters of Pampam Falls was quite enjoyable, we spent a bit of time just bobbing and chatting along its clear surface with me making a big splash every now and then from my sissy jumping area.


Iligan City's Pampam Falls

They said that the waters that we were treading in actually come from a series of waterfalls from up the mountain, one of them is Kalubihon Falls. And that’s where we’re going next. Uh-huh. I guess that means more uphill hikes. Sigh.


Iligan City Location MapPampam Falls
Address: Sitio Kalubihon, Brgy. Dalipuga, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
Entrance Fee: None
Trek Time: 20 to 30 minutes
GPS Coordinates Map: 8.309137, 124.278200


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