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Country > Philippines > Lanao del Norte > Iligan City
Date > 2023 > August
Activity > Traveling


Iligan City: Passing Through Aug 12/19, 2023

Iligan City: Passing Through

Location Google Map: Iligan City, Philippines

Going to Davao, Aug 12, 2023

A Passage to Davao
Going to Davao from Siquijor, I had to pass through Iligan. On the map, it looked logical to take a bus to Davao City - that was the shortest route (306 km). Oddly though, even though Iligan and Davao are urbanized cities, there is no direct bus route. From Iligan, you have to go north east to Cagayan de Oro and then take a bus for Davao (376 km) - an added 70 km. I speculate that the Iligan to Davao route passes through the conflict zone - better safe than sorry.

Deja Vu
Aside from being there twice in the past to visit Ma. Christina Falls (2013) and Tinago Falls (2009), I haven't really explored the city. Maybe staying a day would be good. But on Agoda, the cheapest lodging was PHP 1000 - that was a deal breaker.

I didn't really know how long I'd be gone so logistical prepping was more difficult. There was a possibility that I'd be stoked and continue my travels indefinitely. Upon my return, I would be moving to a small house - so my mind was racing a lot.

Iligan City: Passing Through
arriving at the Port of Iligan

Walk About
I arrived Iligan at 11 am after a 6-hour boat ride from Lazi, Siquijor. I was traveling light since I now have a home-base where I could leave stuff I didn't need for the trip. I was able to roam around town with my backpack. The town center was a short ride away, but close to the pier where I disembarked, there was a small market area for eats, fruits and merchandise. I helped myself to a delicious marang (PHP 25/fruit) and a malong (PHP 250). Since I was not in a rush, I even ventured out to Robinsons Mall, just a short jeep ride away. The presence of a big mall (Robinsons, Ayala or SM) is a sign of economic progress for a town-turned-city. Otherewise, the small-tiered malls would dominate - Gaisano, City Mall, etc.

Bus to CDO
Satiated, I took a jeep from Robinsons directly to the bus terminal for CDO. The bus ride was PHP 200, 2 hours.

Returning from Davao, Aug 19, 2023

Wrong Info, Too Early
After staying in Davao for a week, I took the same route back - passing through Iligan again to take the roro (ferry that allows cars and trucks) to Lazi, Siquijor. Thinking that the boat departure would be at 11 am, I arrived 6 am, only to realize that departure was 4 pm - the information given to me was wrong! This meant I had to kill 10 hours.

Boat Tickets
First order of things was to wait for the ticket office to open up at 8:30 am - that was a 2.5-hour wait in the sun. People started lining up.

Iligan City: Passing Through
People waited for hours in the sun for the ticket office to open up. Only when it opened up that a make-shift shade was made for them

Carinderia Refuge
Across the street was a carinderia (cheap eating place for locals). Just to get me a seat in the shade with refreshments, I ordered something. So, there I was at the carinderia, feeling comfortable, looking at the peole lining up in the sun. I guess they were afraid they'd lose their place in the line if they did what I did. There really was no rush to line up since tickets were never fully sold (I enquired).

Iligan City: Passing Through
so there I was inside the shaded and comfortable carinderia watching the others line up for tickets for hours in the heat of the sun

Furthermore, I became friends with the owners. They let me leave my backpack as I roamed around town to kill time. When I came to pick up my pack, they even gave me the coveted Biazong and Tambon-tabon - 2 essential ingredients in making kinilaw (raw fish served in vinegar)

Iligan City: Passing Through
Biazong and Tambon-tabon - 2 essential ingredients in making kinilaw (raw fish served in vinegar)

Flor and Al Mansion: A Scam
Close to the pier was a hotel/motel advertizing PHP 150 for 6 hours. It was ideal for me to check in, catch up on sleep and wake up in time for boarding. But the hotel was duplicitous - it said the PHP 150 room was not available and that I should get the PHP 200 room for 6 hours. I argued that their banner said PHP 200 was for 12 hours! The staff just brushed me off. It wasn't the money anymore. It was a bait-and-switch scam. I just walked away.

Iligan City: Passing Through
Flor and Al Mansion would do a bait-and-switch scam

I took a jeep to a durian place along the road en route to Robinsons. At PHP 110/kilo, it was ok, but the durian was old and sun-drenched. It was watery with hardly any flavor. That was the only durian let-down I had on this trip. Still, I had a good talk with the Muslim durian vendor.

Iligan City: Passing Through
a rather disappointing durian indulgence in Iligan City

Robinsons for the movie, The Moon
I still had a lot of time to kill, so I proceeded to Robinsons for a movie - The Moon. It's a Korean movie about an astronaut who needed to go back to earth. Compared to Hollywood space movies, the Korean film was almost amateurish, but it had some poignant moments.

Iligan City: Passing Through
walking about inside Robinsons and watching a movie

Cheding's Peanuts
I still had to buy pasalubongs (presents from a trip) from my trip. Luckily, there was Cheding's Peanuts. Although peanuts are abundant anywhere in the Philippines, Cheding's Peanuts are famous for being more flavorful. It was ideal for a pasalubong - popular, not bulky, not too heavy and affordable at PHP 70/bag.

Iligan City: Passing Through
Cheding's Peanuts came in handy as pasalubongs

Finally, it was time to board the boat. All economy beds were pre-sold so it was just a 'sitting' accomodation for me. However, then the boat departs, all empty beds are fair game. It took another 6 hours to get to Lazi, Siquijor. I arrived at 11 pm and just walked it to my place.

Iligan City: Passing Through
after a 10-hour layover, I could finally board the boat

Ending Thoughts
I wish there was a cheaper and honest lodging alternative. I didn't mind staying a day in Iligan.

Post Climb (my metaphor for lessons learned)
  1. Annie - While at Hostel 7 Cebu, I met Annie from Iligan. I wish I got her contact info just to say Hi.
  2. Iligan City: Passing Through
    meeting Annie at Hostel 7 Cebu
  3. Self-reliance - I already took a picture of the roro schedule leaving Iligan for Lazi, but inadvertently erased it on my phone. I looked for the info on the internet, but there was none - internet management by most Philippine companies are inefficient and dismal. Not knowing what days the boat leaves for Lazi, I asked friends in Lazi to get me the info. One gave me a screen shot of the boat without the schedule, and another gave me the wrong information. It was really simple - they just had to go to the port, take a picture of the schedule and send it to me. But even that simple task was challenging. I should have already uploaded the schedule on this blog even before leaving Lazi.

There really wasn't anything memorable with this passing-through, but it was a good reprieve to cut a slack on the 17-hour journey.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider

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(Aug 13/20, 2023) En route to Davao from Siquijor, I had to pass through Cagayan de Oro. I love this place and I stayed here for over 3 months back in 2013. It would be good to be back and reminisce the good times...more »»

More on Iligan City:

Waterfalls of Iligan

Not all of Iligan's waterfalls are accessible to the public. Some are ancestral domains and outsiders are not welcome. Some are located into the interior of the forest where you risk pythons and brushy trails along the way. The 2 most popular are linked below.

  1. Maria Christina Falls - the country's tallest waterfall
  2. Mimbalot Falls
  3. Limunsudan Falls - at 870 feet, it's the country's 2nd highest waterfall
  4. Dodiongan Falls
  5. Tinagao Falls - the most beautiful I have seen so far in the Philippines
  6. Hindang Falls
  7. Kalubihon Falls
  8. Langilanon Falls
  9. Dalipuga Falls
Iligan City Map
Iligan >> Lazi, Siquijor by bus
  1. Iligan Port - Kho Shipping Lines will take you to Lazi Port, Siquijor. 6 hours, PHP 800

  2. Iligan to Lazi

  3. Lazi Port - you will arrive around 11 pm
Iligan >> CDO >> Davao City by bus
  1. Iligan Port - upon arrival, take Tambo/Hirona jeep just outside the port gate, to the Tambo Integrated Bus Terminal, 20 mins, PHP 15
  2. Tambo Integrated Bus Terminal - take the bus to CDO West Terminal (Bulua), 2 hours, PHP 200. In CDO there are 2 bus terminals.
  3. CDO West Terminal (Bulua) - take another jeep to East Terminal (Agora Terminal), 20 mins, PHP 20
  4. CDO East Terminal (Agora) - take bus going to Davao City, 8 hours, PHP 875. This terminal is open 24 hours and there is always a bus going to Davao - no need to pre-purchase tickets
  5. Davao Bus Terminal - you'll arrive at the Davao Bus Terminal, close to SM City. From there you can take a cab ride to your hotel. There are many jeeps that will also take you to the Poblacion town center, 15 mins, PHP 12


Iligan City ILIGAN
  • Iligan City: Passing Through Aug 12/19, 2023
  • Visiting Maria Cristina Falls, Iligan Apr 24, 2013
  • Tinago Falls of Iligan City Mar 16, 2009

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