By Senator Francis 'Tol Tolentino

OUR Mindanao island is truly beaming with beauty and blessings from nature. If you are a tourist looking for the fun and adventure that waterfalls offer, then the beautiful, pristine, and peaceful province of Lanao del Norte is exactly the place for you.

Lanao del Norte is home to the well-known Maria Cristina Falls. Nestled at Iligan City, the Maria Cristina Falls is an international landmark written in many textbooks for history, geography and social studies. The water body is a twin falls from which Mindanao draws hydroelectric power of approximately 200 megawatts generated by a waterflow of about 130 cubic meters per second. With a height of 98 meters or 321 feet, the Maria Cristina Falls has powered the Agus VI hydroelectric power plant since 1953.

The twin falls are a tourist magnet for Iligan and the province of Lanao del Norte as the adrenalin rush is comparable to the speed and strength of their waters rushing. Many tourists come to Maria Cristina Falls not only to be mesmerized with this majesty but likewise to experience the thrill of white-water rafting and similar exhilarating water activities. Adventure seekers also enjoy exploring the cave within the falls.

Equally pristine as the Maria Cristina Falls, Lanao del Norte also takes pride in the Tinago Falls, Mimbalit Falls, Cathedral Falls, Dodiongan, Kalubihon and Hindang Falls. Ever wonder why Lanao del Norte seems to have been blessed with so many water falls? This is because the province is mountainous, and rainfall is abundant throughout the year. Aside from this, the province has preserved forests which sustain the life of springs, rivers, creeks, ponds, and waterfalls, among others. Aside from the waterfalls mentioned, visitors to Lanao del Norte also seek the refreshing Timoga Cold Spring, basking in icy-cool, crystal-clear waters.

While Lanao del Norte’s capital is the Municipality of Tubod, the province’s most populous and urbanized center is the City of Iligan. Last May 4, together with Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrad Estrella, we visited the province of Lanao del Norte to award Certificates of Land Ownership (CLOA) to the farmers of the province as well as other farmers coming from Misamis Occidental. I commend the support and cooperation of Governor Imelda Dimaporo in the endeavour to uplift the lives of our farmers by giving them the opportunity to rightfully own the land they cultivate.

Our experience of Lanao del Norte was made even more memorable with our ferry ride along Panguil Bay. With only a few months more before the completion of the Panguil Bay Bridge, locals look forward to speedier transport of goods, services and information with the opening of this 3.77 kilometer DPWH-South Korean infrastructure venture which will connect Tubod of Lanao del Norte and Tangub City of Misamis Occidental. Opening the Panguil Bay Bridge will surely give greater vibrance to the growing economy of Northern Mindanao.

Endowed with natural beauty and radiance, the Province of Lanao del Norte surely has a lot more to be explored. I hope that its natural blessings will be complemented with good governance, visionary leadership and people’s support. (Sponsored content)