Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City

Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City is the second highest falls in the Philippines. It is a waterfall of the Agus River on the Island of Mindanao and is a landmark of Iligan City. Because of the presence of more than 20 waterfalls, Iligan City is known as the City of Majestic Waterfalls.

Maria Cristina Falls is situated 9.3 kilometers away southwest of the Iligan City proper in the boundaries of Barangay Maria Cristina, Ditucalan and Buru-un. It’s a 320 feet high waterfall and the main source of power in the city’s industries which is brought under control by the Agus VI Hydroelectric plant operated by National Power Corporation. It’s not just supplying Iligan City’s power but it goes beyond other provinces generating 70% of Mindanao’s electricity. This means that during these days of El Niño, Mindanao is greatly affected with rotating brownout.

Maria Christina Falls Flowing Water

Maria Cristina Falls Flowing Water

Mark at Maria Christina Falls 3 yrs ago

Mark at Maria Cristina Falls 3 yrs ago

There are several names associated with Maria Cristina Falls. Some would call it “Twin Falls” because the flow is separated by a rock at the threshold of the waterfall. Other people tagged it as “now-you-see-now-you-don’t falls”. Wondering why? That’s because National Power Corporation operates the man-made controls of the waterfall which is important for producing electricity. 90% of the water from the falls is being utilized for hydropower plant but in spite of that its cascades are still alluring and splendid, attracting both the local and foreign tourists.

Maria Cristina Falls is open for public viewing during Sundays and other special occasions as these are the days the plant closes for one hour, allowing the river to run free and return to its natural split-double waterfall. Lisa and I together with our friends went to see the falls. We went up to NPC’s viewing deck at the 3rd floor of the building. All of us were amazed of the falls despite the fact that it has decrease the flow of the waterfall because of El Niño. It continues to mesmerize us as it reach to the pool plunging some of its water to the people in the viewing deck. Swimming in Maria Cristina Falls is strictly prohibited because of the uncontrollable strong current of the water.

At the NPC viewing deck, you could also find a small glass room full of pictures of Maria Cristina Falls and the hydroelectric plant as it evolved through the years. It also has an interesting story on how Maria Cristina Falls got its name. It all started because of the two sisters named Maria and Cristina who lived near the falls. Below is the whole story:

The Legend of Maria Cristina Falls

Once a upon a time, Lake Lanao in hands of Omaca-An, A giant monster, eating human beings and animals and even fishes in the water. There were thus a few people around the lake because of the monster that ate everything he saw. Many years passed when Rajah Indarapatra came with his beloved brother Rajah Solaiman. Rajah Solaiman was the first to come and he fought the giant but was killed. Rajah Indarapatra followed, looking for his brother Solaiman. Indarapatra encountered the giant Omaca-an and killed the giant man eater. On land, he looked for the ring of his brother by asking the small and b ig animals he met. On water, however, he went swwimming everyday and gathered both big and small stones beneath the water. He stayed for several years along the shores of the lake, but still he did not find the ring. He constructed an irrigation system that went very far and covered a big distance which later became a river (now the Agus River). The river had a portion which dropped down a deep ravine now the Maria Cristina Falls.

Many years passed, and there lived in Maria Cristina Falls two loving sisters, namely : Maria the younger and Cristina the elder. These two beautful ladies loved each other very much. Maria gace everything she had to Cristina, her beloved sister. Many People knew they were the ones living near the falls. They also loved their neighbor as they loved themselves. Datus and Sultans came to ask for their hands in marraige but the sister refused. There was a man, however, son of a prominent Sultan living somewhere beside the Lake Lanao. For many years he was unhappy because he could not find a suitable partner. He romaed around the lake until he saw the two maidens of the falls. He fell in love with the two sisters but the two sisters did not know whom he really loved. Many days passed and Maria dicovered that she loved him very much, which made her very sad and she went to the top of the falls and jumped. When Cristina found out the Maria was dead, she likewise went to the top of the falls and threw herself down the deep ravine. When the handsome young man discovered the situation and found the bodies, he burried them carefully under the falls. After the death of the two sisters, he never married until also died. He also named the falls, Maria Cristina after the two sister he loved.

National Power Corporation has just recently developed the National Power Nature Park. They now offer zipline adventure and rock climbing. There are also tables and chairs for those who want to have some picnic while viewing the falls. There’s also a souvenir area where you can find printed t-shirts and other items of Maria Cristina Falls. Other proposed amenities are still in progress.

Getting to Maria Cristina Falls is easy. You can take a Buru-un line jeepney for P12.00 from the Iligan City port area to Agus Bridge and from there you can walk the rest of the way for about half an hour. It’s a good opportunity for brisk walking. Or you can take a cab which will cost you P100.00 to P150.00.

On the way to viewing deck

On the way to viewing deck

Mark and Lisa at Maria Christina

Mark and Lisa at Maria Cristina

Information Area - Maria Christina Falls

Information Area – Maria Cristina Falls

The flowing water

The flowing water

Maria Christina Falls

Maria Cristina Falls

Mark and Lisa at Maria Cristina Falls

Mark and Lisa at Maria Cristina Falls

This page is last updated on Apr 15, 2016 @ 9:47 pm
About the author
Mark Anthony Maranga Mark Anthony Maranga is a Web Designer based in Cebu, Philippines. He sells Balloons and Party Supplies in Mandaue City, Cebu and explores the Philippines tourist attractions. During his free time he take pictures and write blogs. Check his website design portfolio and know more about him.

  1. Kaye says:

    Hi Mark, what’s a good tour group in Iligan for a visit at Maria Cristina Falls?

  2. Albert Legaspi says:

    HI Mark,

    I’m Albert Legaspi publisher of Village Pipol FREE Magazine here in Manila, would like to request if we can publish your article of Maria Cristina Falls.

    Please reply at




  3. zara prada says:

    hello mark!

    i and my friend want to go this week and take some pictures of Maria Cristina Falls. is it open everyday? please reply ..thank you

  4. Mitch says:

    hi, do you know if there’s a bus going to surallah from iligan? thanks.

  5. Alyssa Mae Dequeros says:

    I’ve never been there ever since,. But i really want to go,.. As what i have seen in the pictures above, there were many beautiful views there in Maria Cristina.. Well, thanks for sharing your experinece at Maria Cristina and for those informations.

  6. aldren caralde says:

    We would like to have our field trip in agus 6 and 7 probably ds feb 10,2012 in my physics 24 class..Where i can address our letter of permission to get there..and the requirements necessary for the students. thanks

    • Hi Aldren,

      I don’t have their contact details. I think there’s no need to write a letter of permission to get inside Maria Cristina Falls. You can go there directly and just leave an ID at the guard house.

  7. Arly says:

    Hello,just wanna ask if okay po bang mag-celebrate ng b-day dito at makakaligo po ba kami dito?ive heard na hindi pwede, Please advice.Thanks!

  8. Jessa says:

    Where is the author of the legend of maria cristina falls…ined it!!

  9. precious says:

    hello just would like to know if which road did you take from the highway? do we take the road that passes by AGUS 7 Hydroelectric powerplant? or the bridge above it that leads to AGUS 6?

  10. The entrance fee at Maria Cristina Falls is free. The best time to go there is during weekend.Is there any entrance fee in Maria Christina Falls??Cause my parents and i are planning to go there..

    Thank you…
    Anghelita Bumata

  11. bem&weng says:

    Thank you for your post. This is really helpful as well as the comments. We just arrived in CDO today and are looking for other activities to do. I think we’ll go to Iligan with the family this Sunday. 🙂

  12. Diosah Joan C. Tolosa says:

    Is there any entrance fee in Maria Christina Falls??Cause my parents and i are planning to go there..

  13. kresil stubbie says:

    zipline and nature park is now open for public. the nature park is like a mini zoo.. they have ostrich, monkeys, crocodiles, butterfly garden and many t mention. for people who wants extreme adventure, they must try the 4 stop zipline!!!

  14. xxxriainxxx says:

    Maria Cristina is NOT the 2nd highest waterfalls in the Philippines.

    1. Aliwagwag Falls (World’s 208th)
    1,110 ft / 100 ft / Davao Oriental, Philippines
    2. Limunsudan Falls
    870 ft / 400 ft / Lanao del Norte, Philippines
    3. Busay Falls 800 ft / N/A / Albay, Philippines
    4. Binaytuan Falls, 656 ft, Laguna, Philippines
    5. Stimson Falls, 500 ft, Philippines
    6. Tamaraw Falls, 423 ft, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines

    By comparison Maria Cristina is about 320-321.5 ft high.

    Please correct your entry.


    • amer says:

      Limunsudan Falls (Mindamura Falls), the Second highest waterfalls in the Philippine, contrary to the claims of the neighboring town, is situated along Bayog river at Sitio Limunsudan, Barangay Bayog, Municipality of Tagoloan, Province of Lanao del Sur, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Philippine.

    • amer says:

      Maria Cristina Falls is the outlet of the water passes along Agus river from Lake Lanao of Marawi City, Province of Lanao del Sur, ARMM, Philippine. This lake (Lake lanao), 702 meters above sea level, supplies electric power almost the country generated by the seven (7) hydro-electric plant by the National Power Corporation.

  15. xandra says:


    i would like to know if maria cristina falls will be open to public this holy week??
    holy thursday or Friday..we have plan to go on holy week.

    hope you can help us.

    • Xandra,

      I’m sorry I don’t have any idea if Maria Cristina Falls will be open during those days. Let’s just wait and hope someone from Iligan answer this question. Or you may want to check Google for answers and get back here if you get one.

  16. Jeniza Silva says:

    yeah its really nice!!

  17. Jeniza Silva says:

    yeah!! Maria Cristina,it’s really nice!! very thankful to our instructor bec.we had this educational tour… i want to visit their again together with my family

  18. Malen says:

    hi Chito!

    Is it also open on Thursdays?


  19. Chito Enrile Geronimo says:

    Hi Mark,

    Some friend and I care going to CDO this Friday and we plan to go to Iligan to visit Maria Cristina among others. Hope it is accessible on a Friday or Saturday. Btw notice your Don Bosco t-shirt. Are you a Bosconian. The group traveling there with me are all Bosconians of different batches (Mandaluyong).

    Chito G

  20. media says:


    I would like to know if it is okay to see the falls during week days. we have plan to go to Iligan between thurs – sat.

    • Mark Maranga says:

      Hello Media,

      I suggest you go to Maria Cristina on Saturday (or Sunday; for full blast). I’m not sure if they already open it during Mondays-Fridays because of the new activities to be experienced there, such as Zipline, Rock Climbing and many others under development. If you go there on weekdays and it’s not open, you can alternatively go to Timoga Spring Resorts nearby to enjoy the cool waters.


      Mark M.

  21. Peter says:

    Mark, I have seen Maria Christina videos and photos online but will love to explore the place once I visit Mindanao this coming May. Thanks!