Hidak Falls: Tboli's Triple Treat

You get an itch to go chasing waterfalls but you haven’t planned at all. No problem. Just scratch the itch and go take the chase.

I grabbed my motorcycle one morning to take the route that popped out of my mind a few hours earlier  - Hidak Falls in the foothills of Tboli town in South Cotabato. I was accompanied by Kidd Reginal, a fellow weekend rider.
My Kawasaki Kimmy motorcycle roared as we trail the road from Tboli town proper to Barangay Kematu, a mining village with hills dotted with deep mining tunnels threading gold veins in the mountains. These tunnels aren’t visible from the roads that lead to the falls but communities abound as a sign of the activity that supports livelihoods of many. 

Hidak Falls has been on my radar for some time but mobile phone photos and unclear infos are all I could find online. Friends from the town would of course say it’s beautiful. Since beauty is at all times subjective, I figured I should see it myself.

The waterfalls hug the boulders until it reaches the ground. Hidak in Tboli language refers to slippery rocks. 

Tboli town is 40 minutes away from my hometown, Marbel. Around twenty minutes after I diverted from the asphalt highways the road gets narrower and communities fade as I cross farmlands with tall bushes. Finally, the road ends where sloping hills meet the first drop of the multiple falls in the vicinity. 

The second of the three waterfalls in the area.

“So this is Hidak Falls.” The waterfalls hug the boulders until it reaches the ground. Hidak in Tboli language refers to slippery rocks. For the falls, the slippery rocks serve as the tiny filters that break the water into rain-like drops gushing to the ground.

But what I imagined as Hidak Falls before was a tall drop as uploaded phone photos show. Charming little Tboli kids I met cracked this imagination of mine saying three waterfalls are in the area. So we trekked to the tallest of them all, a 40-meter drop straight to its catch pool, after spending some time watching them play at the second falls. 

The  tallest of the three falls!
“Hikong Falls, sir”, the little kids told us as we arrive to the tallest of the three drops after another 5 minutes trek. The third drop looks better than the photos posted and I think the stories I’ve heard did not give justice to its beauty. It’s more beautiful up close!

Hikong literally means waterfalls to the Tbolis. It’s redundancy to call it Hikong Falls, but who cares? The true stewards reserve the right to call their place names they want.

Hopefully that won’t be the last time I will see the falls in its most natural state. Hopefully that won’t be the last time I get to play with the Tboli youngsters in their natural playground. The area will be developed soon as part of the multi-million pesos collaborative works of the regional tourism office and the local government unit of Tboli. While I believe the people behind the works are doing great in tourism for Tboli and the region, it is my wish that the locals, the indigenous Tboli peoples, and the environment will become the primary considerations in the project.

The Tboli kids of Hidak falls cheerfully posed for me.
Knoon means good or beautiful in Tboli!
We bade farewell to the kids as they flashed their unfading smiles while waving back at us. I was glad to have taken the unplanned adventure. The day trek concluded with my motorcycle muddy, pants dirty and feet itching from the meadow trail grass. At the end of the day I got more than the itch I longed to scratch. []


  1. Commute lang po ba kayo dito or dala nyo ung motor na nasa picture to the Hidak Falls?

    Salamat po.

    1. Nag Motor this time sir. The transpo options are what you can take if you prefer to commute which i also tried.

    2. Ahh, pero yung motor nyo po saan nyo lang iniwan at safe ba mag iwan ng motor dun?

      I am taking some options kc if I will bring motor or not.

      Salamat sa response Sir.

      Btw, nice photos. Thumbs up!

  2. how many hours po from town proper to the location of hidak falls?


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