Eating your fear, fight with your doubts and instilling your prowess may lead you to a destination you have never thought you could have ever discovered.
There’s always something lies in the forest that will certainly leave you speechless as you blend to its comeliness and innate beauty. Truly, when I visit Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat with a help from Esperanza Tourism office, I was able to find out that behind my artistic thoughts there’s always something a thought can never paint. My naked eyes opened with awe, striking me so deeply while hearing myself saying wow and my inner self remain muted with just an amazement marking my thoughts.
Leaving my doubts while slowly taking my fears down to an open hole of an extensive storage of a garbage thoughts with a determination to uncover my wanderlust soul was what brought me to this Gem of Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat.
Panigan Underground River and waterfalls, is a secluded destination that has been existed for a long time already, but haven’t been explored much of the travelers and other adventure seekers. Only to know that it has been a Gem that keep a secret of many hidden treasures and has been distinguished as an unexplored jewel with a magical spell to offer.
In order for me to see the enchanting beauty of Panigan Underground River and waterfalls, I have to endure the 3 hour jouncy ride with the cold breeze kissing my surface and feast my eyes with a well grown trees and a beautiful lush scenery green forest. Conquering a jouncy ride going there is a challenge that I have to bear, rocky and sludgy roads are part of the adventure that I have to deal with plus the numerous scary wooden bridge that I have to cut through before reaching Panigan Underground River and Waterfalls.
From the bare road where our motorcycle has to stop, we walked about 20 minutes going to the untouched beauty of the Panigan Underground River. As we get closer, the gurgling sound of the Panigan Waterfalls is very inviting, the first tier was seemed to be very welcoming, it has a wide brink where waters are freely flowing on a catch basin.
Michael told me that I have just seen the tail and not yet the mouth, so my brain immediately formulating a lot of questions, but failed to express them cause I don’t want to break the excitement I have. River trekking was what marked my expectations, but it turned out to be more captivating and jaw-dropping when I started to cross on several well grown trees while hearing the chirping of birds and the pacifying sound of the river as it passes through the rocks and big stems of the trees. I saw a lot of stunning stream of waters while it forms another river as they disunited for once and met on another main stream. The whole time I was passing through the stream of waters, I couldn’t hear any words except for wow and amazing. The water is real cold and crystal clear, it boasts to be an exquisite place to drench yourself with an icy water and an awesome scenery to enjoy while communing with mother nature.
Going to the mouth of the cave has given me adequate time to have deeper reverence for nature. Everything seems to be precisely perfect, the 3 hour jouncy rides I endure has been paid off. And so the waterfall caught my attention, it’s like committing sins without any atonement if you disregard its stunning innate beauty.
Panigan Underground River and Waterfalls looks like a smaller version of Tinuy-an falls in Surigao Del Sur, it has a wide brink and strong smash of water, but it doesn’t own a catching basin where you can dip into its cold water. What makes Panigan Underground River and Waterfalls appearing to be so astonishing is the cave itself. The stream of water is from the cave where you can only see the mouthpiece that looks like spitting and vomiting cold water continuously.
The locals in the area told me that the cave hasn’t been explored until now. It is said to be a magical treasure of mother nature since the running of water from the cave is remain mystical and haven’t been figured out. According to Michael John of Esperanza Tourism Office, they have asked the people at the back of the mountain as it still to be a portion of the cave, but found out that they can’t find any stream of water in their area. I was left speechless, trying to traverse over the other side of my curiosity while questions are looming overhead, I couldn’t help, but remain bewildered by what this Gem made me feel.
At that place were amazing stalactites near the mouth of the cave, freely hanging down with their captivating forms. I couldn’t help but look at where the water came from, if only I was brave enough I would love to pass inside and explore the cave. The water freely came out and flows downward to form beautiful cascade and continuously running down while forming dumbfounding river. There were large trees on both sides providing shade that makes the Panigan Underground River and Waterfalls more astounding.
As we worked our way back and trek downstream, I still caught myself with confusion that even up to this time I couldn’t help, but think where the water really came from since I only witnessed the superficial existence.
And so I call upon God and praised His magical creation, I can’t stop thanking Him for what He has done is always way beyond we humans can understand.
There is so much to discover in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat and wish that I have leisure time during my sojourn to enjoy more of Esperanza. I will surely go back and certainly be sharing more travel stories next time.
NOTE: Kindly check some of the related travel articles about Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat and its tourist destinations below.
I am so grateful to have met the Head of Esperanza Tourism Office, Mr. Renato Sambrano for facilitating my 2 day visit in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat. I as well would love to thank Michael John Genilla for bringing me to all the stunning destinations of Esperanza. To our motorcycle driver who brought me safe to my destinations and brought me back so safe in Esperanza town proper, thank you so much. To my local guide, thank you so much for letting me experience the hidden Gem of your place and for giving a chance to share another travel story.
HOW TO GET THERE
From General Santos City:
Major Airlines are flying to General Santos City almost every day. From General Santos City International Airport, ride a van going to SM for only PHP150 fare. As you reach SM, ride a tricycle going to Bulaong Terminal and fare is PHP10. From General Santos City’s Bulaong Terminal, ride a nonstop bus (Yellow Bus Line), bound to Marbel (Koronadal City). The travel time is around 1 hour and PHP75 fare. At Koronadal City Yellow Bus Terminal, there is a direct trip going to Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat. The travel time is around 1 hour and PHP 70-80 fare. Ask the Bus conductor to drop you off at Esperanza, Municipal Hall and look for Sir Renato Sambrano at the Tourism Office to help you facilitate your trips. He’ll be giving you a list of tourist destinations that you wish to explore that match the number of days you wish to explore their place. You can contact Sir Renato through these numbers. Landline No. (064) 202- 6375 or Mobile Number: +63 916-324-5520
From COTABATO CITY
Cotabato City is closer in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat, comparing the distance from General Santos City. From Cotabato City Airport ride a cab going to Husky Terminal. From there, look for a husky bus bound to Tacurong City and ask the Bus conductor to drop you off at Esperanza, Municipal Hall and look for Sir Renato Sambrano at the Tourism Office to help you facilitate your trips. He’ll be giving you a list of tourist destinations that you wish to explore that match the number of days you wish to explore their place. You can contact Sir Renato through these numbers. Landline No. (064) 202- 6375 or Mobile Number: +63 916-324-5520
- There is an ATM machine in Esperanza, Town Proper if you wish to withdraw some funds.
- Major mobile networks have signal in the town proper, but not in the mountainous area where Panigan Underground River and waterfalls is located.
- Leave as early as you can, you’ll be passing around 3 checkpoints as you go into the mountain range of Esperanza since you have to pass through the private properties along the way.
- Secure your gate pass from the Tourism Office of Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat.
- Please buy food and drinking water from the town proper for your lunch and snacks.
- Bear in mind that you have to reach the 3rd checkpoint on your way back to the town proper before 4PM or you’ll have to remain overnight in Panigan.
- Always be kind with local people there and you can constantly ask them for anything if you wish to know them.
- You’ll be crossing different wooden bridge on the way, make sure to get down if you feel like you’re not comfortable enough while riding a motorcycle when you cross the wooden bridge.
- Wear your comfortable travel outfit, so you’ll feel comfortable along the way.
- The roads going to Panigan is really sludgy when it rains and rocky as well.
- Always be responsible with your garbages and never leave any garbage anywhere.
- Please, just enjoy what nature has to offer and always take good care of them.
ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF MONEY TO PREPARE AND POSSIBLE EXPENSES.
FOOD (Lunch and Snacks) – PHP300
TRANSPO (Motorcycle good for 3 Persons) – PHP1500
TRAVEL GUIDE – PHP200
TOTAL – PHP 2000
NOTE: PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.
NOTE: This blog post is part of my 10 day solo backpacking in SOCCSKSARGEN. You can as well check some of my travel journey and stories during my 10 days backpacking with the links below.