Mangitngit Falls and Her Unsullied Charm

Hidden behind the outskirt of the city and profoundly cascading its waters down from the lush and green mountain is Mangitngit Falls in Lower Natimao-an, Carmen, Cebu. Its two-tiered flow gently goes all the way to a lively reservoir up to the gentler river reaching Brgy. Cantumog.

Mangitngit Falls – I was momentarily hooking up by its beauty while listening to its only uproar and the stillness of its surrounding. I thanked the circumstance which led me to explore this Northern Cebu wonder. Then, I heard voices calling me out, “It is time to go swimming…”

It was one unexpected day when the faculty agreed to unwind. Since we were all in sync for an outdoor activity, we decided to have it somewhere in Carmen. Honestly, I never really explored the Northern part of Cebu as much as I explored the South. So, when one of my colleagues dropped “Mangitngit Falls" as our destination, I was all in a cloud nine.  

"Catching this tiny and intricate beauty"

The road wasn’t easy. We needed to pass some high inclinations, followed by some scary downward slopes while our vehicle was bumping and beating some rocky, uncemented roads. However, the delight of the journey was a total fun. We passed by M. Lhuillier’s Poultry, banana and corn plantation and some astounding views. It was superbly amazing!

"SHS and Elem. Acad Department"

The holidays really did me a great favor. It temporarily satiated my wanton search for adventure while it fed my inner soul. The magic of Mangitngit Falls all did an instant transformation in me – from an Academic Coordinator to being a traveler.

"Mangitngit Falls as our backdrop"

At 2:00 in the afternoon, we arrived at the Middle Earth Resort where one can catch a glimpse of Mangitngit Falls. Recalling J.R.R Tolkien’s LOTR, I couldn’t help myself but wonder about the concealed beauty the place yet to reveal. Though at first glance, the resort looked so ordinary,  the atmosphere made it extraordinary - fresh air, happy people and relaxing landscape. I think those things were more important than the current ambiance. The joyful camaraderie we shared was all that mattered. Besides, I already had a glance of Mangitngit Falls, still unscathed from human’s inconsiderate exploitation.

"We are all like kids playing in this spring pool..."

Then I took the plunge of the cold spring pool. Wow! I couldn’t ask for more. It washed off all weariness away while cooling off my body from the rugged trip. Middle Earth Resort is a developing attraction of Carmen, Cebu.
"Kiddie Pool"

"Another angle..."

Basically, it is nearest to Mangitngit Falls. The caretaker mentioned about the waterfalls fate caused by its development. Then it saddened me. The downside of development is the inevitable destruction and exploitation of wildlife. The resort is adeptly planning to expand by creating a staircase down to the waterfalls. And then what? Tourists will flock and maybe, the influx will start to deteriorate Mangitngit Falls’ beauty; unless of course, the management imposes strict rules.

"Ever wonder why is it called Mangitngit Falls?"

Though it gave me a frown, I just hope the opposite. Even with development, there is still nature’s preservation. 

Thoughts and insights plus, your guide on how to get there:
1. I heard somebody commented about putting up a resort near the water reservoir. Then these expressive eyes looked at the scenery while the person was blabbing the idea. On point: Resort means cutting down of old trees just to clear out the ground, meaning, even the tiniest insects and resident floras and faunas could be disrupted while making an imbalanced ecosystem - Nature Principle #3: Everything is Connected to Everything Else.

2. How to Get There: From the city, take a mini-bus or bus bound to Carmen. The trip takes an hour or two depending on the road traffic. Bus fare is around 40 to 50 pesos.

3. Ask the bus driver to drop you off to Super Metro in Carmen. From there, negotiate for a habal-habal ride. Locals/residents pay 30 pesos from the market to Brgy. Lower Natimao-an. So, I think it is just right to haggle between 50-70 pesos. The road is totally a one-heck-of-a-ride - bumps, twists, and some gruesome uphill and downhill. (Some roads are cemented while going to Brgy. Lower Natimao-an are mostly rough.)

4. Enjoy the ride and the scenery, a vast plantation of banana is visible, the mountain is totally inspiring, and the green field is a stress-buster. The ride, itself, is an adventure.
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About Marie Angelique Villamor

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