Manirub Falls: Esperanza’s Refreshing Falls Before Reaching The Knife Edge Peak Of Ugis


In reality, seeing this waterfall was a great surprised as I wasn’t aware to drop by in Manirub Falls during our trek to the unassuming innate beauty of Ugis Peak in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat. A day before our trek to Ugis Peak was actually a busy day because of the Halo-Halo Festival. I saw Michael again, who’s working in LGU Esperanza and was under the Esperanza Tourism Office. I got a chance to speak to him before the Halo-Halo Festival ended, and we agreed that we will be exploring the hidden gem of Ugis, which is located in the upper portion of Brgy. Marguez. He told me that we will have a river trekking in Ugis before going to the knife edge peak of Ugis on the succeeding day; and unfortunately, it didn’t happen. I was then very excited that afternoon, and I grab a chance to have a better sleep and a safe rest in Esperanza’s homey accommodation at the Esperanza Travellers Inn.

The break of the day comes and I still feel like my body wants to just stay in the room and rest the whole day. But I couldn’t just run away from my desire of flirting with nature’s wonders again. It is actually my second time in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat and I’ve explored some of their hidden gems during my visit last September 2016. I was able to find out their enticing Hot and Cold Springs, the stunning Panigan Underground River and Waterfalls, and the unassuming beauty of the Marawir Peak. This time would be another set of adventures that will certainly make my visit in Esperanza amazing.

On that morning, Michael’s mind changed and instead of doing river trekking, he told me that we will just climb the knife edge of Ugis Peak. He further explained that, because of the lack of equipment for river trekking adventure, he determined to cancel the river trekking. Truly, we commenced our trek in the Teduray community in Ugis, and while on our way to the Peak, he suddenly told me that we will be seeing first the Manirub Falls before going to Peak, which have really surprised me. Michael always never fails to surprise me whenever I travel to their town. I was grinning from ear to ear throughout our journey to Manirub Falls.

The Manirub Falls was really part of Manirub River and probably the last tier. A river trekking from the Teduray community in Sitio Ugis will render you almost 10 stunning waterfalls along the way and the last level is the Manirub Falls. Michael has seen these stunning waterfalls and if we actually had enough equipment and a good preparation, perhaps we would explore them that time. Hopefully soon on my next sojourn.

More than an hour of trekking from the Jump off area, Michael is slowly pointing his finger somewhere far; he told me that the stunning waterfalls are hidden in that forest, and if only we had a decent time and equipment, we might have seen and enjoyed it. Truly, I heard the river from the higher elevation and it must maintain a sturdy river flowing since I was able to hear it from afar. Hearing the stream of water also means that we are now close to the unassuming beauty of Manirub Falls. The trek to the Manirub Falls was really challenging, and most part of the trail is actually assault and had made me to breathe laboriously. It was about 2 hours of backbreaking trek, we arrived at the abandoned humble house and we take some time to rest. And so, a few minutes of rest, we decided to proceed to the Manirub waterfalls.

Photo Credit: Michael John Genilla

Shortly enough, after a short river trek and passing through the huge rocks, we arrived at the unassuming beauty of Manirub Falls. We were greeted with serenity and real beauty. I’ve been to many waterfalls already and seeing Manirub Falls has given me another chance to experience a deep reverence for nature. The Manirub Falls was actually not that majestic like some other waterfalls that I’ve been to, but I was speechless while gazing to its natural beauty. It has medium sized brink and water flows separately like as if been sliced into two, but the other one delivers more water compared to the other side. The Manirub Falls actually look like peacefully standing at the elevation of 10 meters or 30-35 feet. But this still needs to be assisted by Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat LGU.

Michael told me that Manirub waterfall was the newly discovered gem of Esperanza, there were few trekkers who have been to Ugis Peak before, but they didn’t get a chance to drop by in Manirub Falls.

Photo Credit: Michael John Genilla

I couldn’t simply leave the Manirub Falls without taking off my shirt and flirt with its refreshing water. Hence, I immediately get near the Manirub Falls and enjoy its natural beauty. It was actually a perfect side trip before going to the knife edge peak of Ugis. Truly, the tiring trek to Ugis Peak have mollified me because of the refreshing Manirub waterfall. Michael then told me that a few kilometres above the Manirub falls has the hidden stunning lake and they are still planning to explore it very soon. That means, I would still go back in Esperanza, since I still need to explore more of their hidden treasures.

Photo Credit: Michael John Genilla

We also had our lunch near the Manirub Falls. Michael brought a few pieces of Pastil, which is a famous wrapped meal in their town. It is made of cooked rice, crowned with sauteed shredded meat of chicken, beef, or fish and beautifully wrapped with a heated banana leaf. Truly, nothing compares having a meal while gazing to the natural beauty of the Manirub Falls. We continue on our trek to the knife edge of Ugis Peak after our luscious lunch.

Pastil is the famous wrapped meal in Esperanza, Sultan kudarat

 

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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 Php 150 fare. As you reach SM, ride a tricycle going to Bulaong Terminal and  fare is Php 10.00. From General Santos City’s Bulaong Terminal, ride a nonstop bus (Yellow Bus Line), bound for Marbel (Koronadal City). The travel time is around 1 hour and Php 75.00 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 the 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 you wish to explore depending on how long that you’ll be staying in Esperanza. 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 for Tacurong City and ask the Bus conductor to drop you off at the 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 you wish to explore depending on how long that you’ll be staying in Esperanza. You can contact Sir Renato through these numbers. Landline No. (064) 202- 6375 or Mobile Number: +63 916-324-5520

MANIRUB FALLS TRAVEL TIPS

  • 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 Manirub Falls and Ugis Peak is located.
  • Manirub Falls is a side trip when you get to climb to the knife edge peak of Ugis and like around 2-3 hours of trek from the drop off area in Sitio Ugis.
  • Please buy food and drinking water from the town proper for your lunch and snacks.
  • Always be kind with local people there and you can constantly ask them for anything if you wish to know them.
  • Wear your comfortable trekking outfit, so you’ll feel comfortable along the way.
  • Always be responsible with your garbage and never leave any garbage anywhere.
  • Please, just enjoy what nature has to offer and always take good care of them. Always remember to practice LEAVE NO TRACE Principle (LNT).

SAMPLE ITINERARY (Manirub Falls and Ugis Peak)

  • 07:00 AM Depart for Sitio Ugis
  • 07:30 AM ETA Sitio Ugis
  • 08:00 AM Depart for Manirub Falls (Trekking start)
  • 10:30 AM ETA Manirub Falls (Lunch and Enjoy the Falls)
  • 11:30 AM Depart for Ugis Peak (Trekking start)
  • 12:30 PM ETA Ugis Peak (Enjoy the knife edge peak of Ugis)
  • 01:30 PM Descend and take the shortcut trail
  • 04:00 PM ETA Drop off area (Sitio Ugis)
  • 05:00 PM ETA Esperanza, Sultan kudarat Proper

ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF MONEY TO PREPARE AND POSSIBLE EXPENSES.

  • FOOD (Lunch and Snacks) – Php 200.00
  • TRANSPO (Motorcycle good for 2 People back & forth) – Php 300.00
  • TRAVEL GUIDE FEE (Good for 5 people)– Php 500

         TOTAL – PHP 1,000.00

NOTE: PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.

SPECIAL THANKS

I am so grateful to have met the Head of Esperanza Tourism Office for the second time, Mr. Renato Sambrano and  for inviting me during the 2nd  Halo-Halo Festival in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat. I as well would love to thank Michael John Genilla for bringing me to another unknown waterfalls and the knife edge peak of Ugis. To our local guides, thank you so much for letting me experience the hidden Gem of your place and for giving me chance to share another travel story.

 

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33 comments

  1. The scenery and nature around the falls looks incredible. I am a huge nature lover so this place would be perfect for me. I love how you went into lots of details and gave lots of tips. Thanks a lot for sharing! I am inspired to visit.

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  2. Manirub Falls looks amazing, even though it is not a large fall. The one hour trekking from the road, makes it non-accessible to regular tourists. Hence it looks pristine.

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  3. This waterfall looks stunning! And I agree with you – one of the best things about traveling abroad is tasting local food in a beautiful environment! That banana leaf covered rice & meat thing sounds great as well 🙂

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  4. Wow this path leading up to the falls is insanely beautiful! It doesn’t look commercial but looks very pristine and untouched
    Thanks for sharing this

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  5. Oh wow, your posts get better and better each time. Especially your pictures, I am quite impressed to say the least. Your writing is very good as well. As someone who appreciates venturing off the beaten path I love your posts. They are very clear, informative, and inspirational. Waterfalls are also a guilty pleasure of mine, so the Manirub Falls are definitely somewhere I hope to visit one day.

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  6. Before anything else, wait, a Halo Halo festival? What happens there? Sorry, halo-halo is one of my favorite desserts haha…
    I hate climbing assaults, but it looks like your effort is worth it. Manirub Falls look gorgeous! And I love that it had plants on the side, adding to its appeal. That pastil looks appetizing, would love to try that, but it looks bitin though, parang ang konti? Haha…

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  7. I have been reading so many posts about Philippines lately and the more I read the more is my eagerness to visit this beautiful place. I get so amazed that it has so many hidden gems and the natural beauty is just worth the visit. 10 waterfalls in one trek, I mean who would want to miss such a thing. I am putting this right on top of my bucket list

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  8. I adore waterfalls and if is a trek, then I would be super excited. The pictures are awesome. Glad to know that there are many beautiful places in the Philippines. Would love to visit this country one day, Manirub will be there definitely on my itinerary.

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  9. This looks like a challenging hike for me, because in Scandinavia, we don’t have such hot weather. And when we get to mountains in Norway – it is quite chilly high up. I think if I ever go this place, I need to spend a couple of weeks adapting to climate.

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  10. I love the raw ruggedness of this trek. It’s like a full commune with nature, something that I miss from way back in college. Manirub Falls may not be what one would consider as majestic, but I’m sure the stillness of the surroundings gives the place its distinct, muted charm.

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  11. awesome place you shared with us, specially like the images you taken and posted here on this post. Thanks for sharing, i would go once in life.

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  12. Those are some really cool waterfalls! I love the green landscapes, too. It looks like it was definitely an adventure to get there

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  13. I don’t know how you keep finding all of these incredible waterfalls! It’s like each one is more beautiful than the last! It’s also a great help that you include such good directions for actually finding them, since sometimes Google Maps can leave a lot to be desired! One of these days when I’m less tied to my laptop I’m going to need to spend a few months just following your waterfall chasing path!

    Like

  14. I’m a complete newbie when it comes to hiking so unsure I could do this. However, those falls are wonderful, and I can imagine how refreshing the water was to swim in. Having a meal surrounded by nature is always a good thing!

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  15. What an incredible hike to the Manirub Falls! It must have been so refreshing to stand underneath the falls. Pastil was a great treat after all the hard work!

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  16. The pictures of waterfalls are stunning, so are the pictures of your way to the Manirub Falls. It is great to explore the unknown on the way to the knowns. You have already been Hot and Cold Springs, Panigan Underground River and Waterfalls, and Marawir Peak on the way to the Esperanza – that is so many hidden gems, and now this waterfalls. Thanks for making it easy for other travelers with such useful details.

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  17. The most challenging hikes are often the most rewarding, and to see beautiful waterfalls like that with no-one else around is surely worth the effort! Especially with a tasty packed lunch to enjoy as well!

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  18. I am thrilled to know not just about the Manirub falls but the way to reach there. The path is so green and attractive. And the trek looks a little adventurous as well. Overall, it would be a complete action filled package to take a journey to this gorgeous falls for sure.

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  19. hi , i can relate to the waterfall trek experience and by seeing the visuals i can truly understand how it is totally in sync with nature and not touched by tourism and is only known to the local people and few interested individuals

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  20. Awesome blog. Great photos and your passion for the place shines through. And I also wanted to say how much I appreciate your respect for your guides and the region. Now you make me want to return to the Philippines, one of our favorite countries in the world. And that rice thing is making me hungry!

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  21. Beautiful pictures as ever Little Lai. You have shown it very real. It felt like walking with you. Could you also capture video next time? I have done something similar in India to a waterfall in the monsoons called Dudhsagar
    Maybe to explore the forest more you could use a drone to map and study the area. Tried it?
    Regards
    Kartik

    Like

  22. Manirub falls has such lush greenery.The pictures remind me of this place called Kerala in India.It is indeed a disappointment to miss out on something so much fun when you do not have sufficient equipment to enjoy it.But i am glad you atleast got to enjoy the cold waters from the waterfall

    Liked by 1 person

  23. An unexpected falls? That’s the beauty of your blog… Such secret spots of Philippines!!!
    Whoa! This is actually planned and there’s another secret falls deeper in the forest? Whoa!! That’s just splendid.
    I’m sure over the next few years, you’ll go there again with the right equipment and time and see that too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. First of all, I must say you have taken beautiful photos of waterfalls and surrounding nature landscapes. Manirub waterfall which is a hidden gem of Philippines looks worth visiting place. Also it is great that you found hold and cold springs both during your second visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Its a wonderful trip to Philippine. You just explore the natural beauty of this beautiful place and capture some outstanding views. We gather a great lesson from this trip and your guideline and tips. Which is help us for the best traveling experience in Manirub Fall, in Philippine. I am enjoying to read your article, especially, when you explore the hidden gem, It was so exciting. I have not visited Philippine, but now I also want to explore the Manirub fall, and obviously taste the Pastil, which is the famous meal in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. This looks like such a gorgeous place to be. the amount of greenery surrounding it is simply majestic. Glad that there are places still maintaining their natural charm.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Wow! Manirub Falls are a real piece of paradise, Ariel. Trekking this place and encountering so much natural beauty must be unforgettable. I loved your pictures! When’s the best time of the year to explore this area?

    Liked by 1 person

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