If adventure and trekking is your game, then Manlumot Falls located in Sitio Palalan, Tablon, Cagayan de Oro City is one worthy backpacking destination.
More often called Palalan Falls, the site is more or less 7 kilometers from the National Highway and is within the ancestral domain of Datu Makapanton as protected under RA 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997. Those who would enter need to secure permission form Datu Makapanton whose house is just at the entrance of the trail to the falls. A billboard is posted at the periphery of the domain.
Getting there isn’t really much of a problem. You can start at the junction of Nestle Road along the National Highway. From there, you can hire local motorcycles or ‘habal-habal’ and proceed to Palalan which is a populated community southeast of Nestle factory. If you have a ride, you can go directly to Palalan. Just before Palalan proper, there’s a junction where you can start your trek. Take the southbound road or trail. As shown in the map below, an hour of trekking will lead you to Datu Makapanton’s house where you secure permission (see photo above).
From the Datu’s house, it’s just a short 10-minute trek to the waterfall site which is a tributary of Umalag River. Here’s a closer look of the map near the waterfall site.
Check out lifestyle blogger Renz Decina’s photos as he uncovers the natural wonder deep into the uplands of Barangay Tablon. This one below shows the first waterfall, a wide open cascade with large boulders.
Further upstream – a hard risky climb over slippery rocks will lead to the second waterfall hidden between the narrow opening as shown below.
Watch Renz’s video below. The water was somewhat brownish due to continuous rains in Bukidnon.