CHASING MATIGOL FALLS OF ARAKAN VALLEY

Hidden within the lushes of verdant foliage and golden grassland of Arakan Valley in the Cotabato Province lies a stunning waterfalls called MATIGOL.

MATIGOL FALLS also called BANI FALLS is just among the many astonishing waterfalls there is in Arakan. As this part of the town borders the nearby Marilog District of Davao City, this is one of the most visited natural attractions in the whole Arakan Valley.

Matigol Falls is a multi tiered waterfalls with an astounding height of about 500 meters from its first tier down to its final basin. It has five major cascading tiers and each has a basin that serves as its natural pool.

Going there is accessible. From Davao City, we took a CDO-bound Rural Transit Bus and dropped off at Campo Uno situated along the highway of Davao-Bukidnon Road more popularly known as Buda. Bus fare from Davao City to Campo Uno is Php 100.00. At Campo Uno, we hired a habal-habal and headed to Barrio Matigol. The habal-habal fare from Campo Uno to Barrio Matigol is around Php 40.00.

Barrio Matigol is the starting point of our trek. From there, we hike for 20 minutes going to Sitio Inamong, the jump off site going to Matigol Falls. Sitio Inamong is the home of the peace loving community of Manobo Tribe, the Indigenous People of Arakan Valley. Tribe’s members are welcoming. One of them served as our guide going to Matigol Falls.

From Sitio Inamong, our day trek going to Matigol Falls commenced. We passed by the thick bushy grassland of the mountain range of this part of Arakan down to the stream that serves as the first tier of Matigol Falls. The stream serves as the base of the waterfalls. There is a natural pool there so enticing for a cold dip. Being at the first tier, the waters that gently flowed and fell off deep down the other tiers can be clearly seen. It was a very spectacular site to behold.

Done with the first tier, off we headed back to the same trail going to the other side of the valley. The trek uphill was exhausting. On the other side of valley, we passed by steep and cliffy trails. Bushy grasses are up to our waist. Our final destination this time was the last hill that overlooks the whole view of 5 tiered Matigol Falls. This hill can actually be seen from the first tier. To get there, we endured the challenge of trekking others hills and slopes leading to our final stop. It was already exhausting as the trek took almost two hours from the first tier to the final stop.

When we finally reached the final hill that overlooks the whole beauty of Matigol Falls, all our exhaustion just faded away. There was a soothing feel of that view that immediately calm our tired senses. The view of the 5-tiered Matigol Falls that was laid before our eyes was a like perfect work of art. It was like a perfect painting – perfect backdrop of a beautiful mountain landscape. Everything was just right. And there was I, at one side of the hill, staring at this beauty so overwhelmed with its very fascinating view.

Matigol Falls is indeed one of the most important natural attractions in the whole Arakan Valley. Going there truly entails a lot of efforts and strength but undeniably every bit of it is worth it. The hills, the grassland, the valleys, the plateaus – everything that surrounds Matigol Falls make it worthy to be explored and visited. Tiresome as it may seem, if given a chance, I shall come there and for once, enjoy the beauty not just of Matigol Falls but everything encircling it.

TO MY TREKKING BUDDIES: Caroline EspejonEdwin LasquiteLeo Timogan and Ariel Macatiog, it was fun trekking with you!