Established by native sea dwellers in the pre-Spanish colonial years, Iligan lies on the northern shores of Mindanao overlooking the Bohol Sea. It’s known affectionately as the “City of Majestic Waterfalls” due to the numerous cascades in the area, while it also boasts a lively urban centre filled with leafy parks, cultural landmarks and restaurants.
Things to do in Iligan
Watching over Iligan is Buhanginan Hill, home to the Iligan City Hall and the Anahaw Open Amphitheater where sporting events and theatre performances are held. One of Iligan’s most famous heritage landmarks, the Macapagal-Macaraeg Ancestral House, is a short drive west and exhibits family memorabilia from former President Diosdado Macapagal and his daughter President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Be sure to visit the 98-metre-high Maria Cristina Falls, which powers the Agus VI Hydroelectric Plant along the Agus River. Also impressive is Tinago Falls, a highly photogenic cascade that’s accessed along a 300-step staircase. Nestled in a deep ravine, it features a basin-like pool filled with refreshingly cool water and a cave hidden behind where you can listen to the fall’s gushing waters.
Once the sun goes down, head to the waterfront Paseo de Santiago park where locals come to enjoy the sea breezes. Live bands regularly play in the evenings and there are plenty of places where you can grab something to eat while soaking up the festive atmosphere.
Getting around Iligan
Iligan is around two hours’ drive from Cagayan de Oro and just over an hour from Laguindingan Airport, which has regular flights to destinations across the Philippines. Passenger ferries connect from Iligan to Manila, Cebu and Ozamiz while buses travel to towns and cities throughout Mindanao. Jeepneys are the main means of getting around Iligan and taxis are readily available.