Merloquet Falls is one of Mindanao’s most visited waterfalls and is a pride of Zamboanga City, located at Sibulao, approximately 14-15 kms away from the main road of Barangay Vitali. It takes about an hour and a half from main city and an hour from Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay Province to reach Barangay Vitali (so that’s quite a long trip). Upon reaching the place, you also need to take 372 steps to be exact before going down the falls from the parking area or main entrance and that’s a lot. So for those who have Rheumatoid Arthritis or any heart conditions, I would say “Consult your Doctor” first before the attempts because this kind of adventure is not for the weak and wobbly knees and hearts . I also had the hard time walking downstairs because my knees especially felt pretty weak and really wobbly, so much that you can see my knees shaking and it was so obvious with every step. Going up is the hardest part so make sure you rest for 10 minutes in every 100 steps you take. The updated entrance fee is 5 pesos and parking fee is 10 pesos for single motor and 20 pesos for 4 wheel. No more cottages down there so you can just find some comfortable place for eating. Bring some food and water for lunch although there is 1 store available there but they only sell chichiriya and soft drinks.
Merloquet is a two- tiered waterfall and a smaller version of Tinuy-an Falls in Surigao City, it looks like a white curtain hanging down attached to a lush forest wall, but when you look at it closer, the waterfalls was even marvelous and very majestic than it looked. That day it was a regular weekday in Zamboanga City and holiday in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay (Araw ng Ipil) so i thought, this is the best opportunity and chance to escape from busy life and reconnect with the real world. The falls path has some uneven steps and it was a little bit difficult to reach the first tier as these were likely slippery because the rocks were covered in moss. Merloquet Falls actually has two tiers. People usually stay on the lower level which is more sterling but you can actually climb up to higher level by way on its side holding on to the tree roots to get a good look of the lower one. So far Merloquet Falls in Zamboanga City is one of the more majestic waterfalls I’ve visited i (Asik Asik Falls in North Cotabato so far is the best in my opinion) especially because it is clean.
How to get there:
* Hire a private van for faster and comfortable trip.
* Ride a rural bus or Hi- Ace van to Vital
* Fare ~ P100 but still depends on whether bus or van, air con or non aircon.
* Travel time 1 to 1.5 hour from Zamboanga City; 1 hour from Ipil, 3 hours from Pagadian, 5 hours from Dipolog, 6-7 hours from Cagayan de Oro City
* Martial Law Time and that means your safer (Believe me!)
* When you reach the Main Checkpoint in Vitali, (for van and bus user) get down and proceed to their main bridge and hire a habal-habal and will take you 15-20 minutes to reach the place.
* The downstair walk to the falls will take you approximately 15-20 minutes more but nothing to worry as the way down there is well paved.
* Entrance Fees: P5.00 per head.
* Parking Fees: P10/per motorcycle and P20/for cars and other vehicles.
* Best time to go there: All seasons except on summer, weekdays, holidays.
* 1 day is enough and you have sufficient time to enjoy the waterfalls and even for nice and relax photography.
* Bring extra clothes of course.
* Comfortable and proper foot wear for hiking. I wore NATIVE (brand) foot wear.’
* Even on rainy days, the road to waterfalls is super ok and non slippery because it is already well paved.
* You may want to bring all your gadgets for photography but make sure you have a dry bag that comes along.
* There is 1 sari sari store at the main entrance so day-trippers like me won’t starve at all.
* I saw few sacks hanging on trees for garbage, but please CLEAN AS YOU GO!
* HASTA LA VISTA ZAMBOANGA AND MERLOQUET FALLS!