The old towering mahogany trees perfectly lining on both sides of tranquil unpaved footpath was the perfect welcoming scene as we enter the verdant world of Impasung-ong’s Center for Ecological Development And Recreation popularly known as CEDAR. This is the second leg of my Bukidnon Travel Series.
Fresh from the beat and heat of Kaamulan Festival in Malaybalay, together with another travel buddy Dr. Ophelia Casel, our Bukidnon-based friend Christopher Diaz brought us to nearby town of Impasug-ong to experience yet another Bukidnon’s point of interest they called CEDAR, an eco-tourism site packed with astonishing natural wonders and surprising manmade sights.
CEDAR or Center for Ecological Development And Recreation is managed and developed by the Local Government of Impasug-ong, one of the 20 municipalities of the Province of Bukidnon in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The eco-park covers a total land area of approximately 1,703 hectares featuring manmade and natural forests, cold springs, grasslands, rolling hills and natural waterfalls.
About 20 minutes ride from Malaybalay City, the capital town of Bukidnon, CEDAR can be reached conveniently from the highway of Barangay Impalutao, still in Impasug-ong. At the opening of the eco-park, the soaring trees that beautifully erected on both side of serene trail signaled the feeling of being one with the forest. That alone was a picture perfect view for us. Nostalgic, if only we had bicycles at that time, we could go cycling the whole day at that scene.
Our points of destination at CEDAR were the three waterfalls that can be found there – Natigbasan Falls, Gantungan Falls and Dila Falls. These three waterfalls are surrounded by lush green vegetation. Big old trees and thick shrubberies abound the place making us feel being one with nature. Natigbasan Falls and Gantungan Falls are relatively close to each other while Dila Falls is pretty much secluded.
From the starting point in CEDAR, getting to Dila Falls would take about 30 to 45 minutes trek passing both Natigbasan and Gantungan Falls. Trekking down and up there is not that hard. Although some trails are slippery, to see these three falls is very much accessible, best suited for trekking neophytes. There is also a bamboo bridge over a gushing cold spring on our way to the falls.
The stunning view of both Natigbasan and Gantungan Falls can be seen from our trails. Sadly, getting to its very base is unfeasible. According to Christopher, it is difficult to go nearer. It requires a lot of cliff trekking and river trekking to actually get there. Thus, we contented ourselves by seeing its beauty from afar. Dila Falls on the other hand is easily reached. There is an established trail that guided us right to the base. Upon reaching, the full sight of Dila Falls immediately greeted us. Abundant waters, gushing sounds, thick foliage – everything complemented each other. It is not as majestic and exotic as other waterfalls I have been in the country but it has its own beauty that captured me. As I always say, truly, nature has its own way of captivating the hearts of the many. Without any doubt, these three waterfalls are the highlights of CEDAR adventure.
Experiencing CEDAR and its attributes is one of the best things I had during my short stay at Bukidnon. Whether you are up for trekking, waterfalls chasing, or simply enjoying a beautiful countryside scene, CEDAR is just an ideal place. Most all, for me, a great place to commune with Mother Earth!