Located in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
On the outskirts of Iligan City, in an almost still-virgin forest, lies Sikyop, or the “hidden paradise” in Higaonon dialect. In this rough landscape runs a river, a mere tributary of the great Mandulog River, that has cut through, and even under, the mountain, making it a natural curiosity for outdoor enthusiasts. Only recently has the city designated the area as an adventure tourism site, with activities such as a river trek with caving, rapelling and ziplining, all of which may be done by individuals or groups for pleasure and/or team building.
The river trek adventure attracts not just climbers and trekkers, but also beginners and tourists simply fascinated with nature. There are easy walking parts along the ridge and along the river, as well as tricky endurance drops and climbs that challenge even the seasoned mountain guides, according to them. Fortunately, the guides live on the land and traverse the terrain almost on a daily basis and can find their way, as well as the best way for their guests, by just “reading” the foliage.
How to Take a Tour There:
By Private Means – Contact: La Montaña Tours and Vans (a local tour operations agency) via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Name of Tour: Iligan River Adventure
By Public Means (DIY) – From the Iligan City Bus and Jeepney Terminal, hire a habal-habal to take you to Sitio Lawlawon, Barangay Rogongon. One can choose to enjoy the man-made attractions developed and managed by the Sikyop Agricultural Cooperative or head straight for the River Trek Adventure accompanied by several bush guides.
Tour Guide’s Note: It’s more fun in the Philippines, even in the New Normal! All my photos were taken before the pandemic, so if you want updated ones, come and travel with me next time!