Amazing Weekend Adventures in Barira, Maguindanao

The Province of Maguindanao really has huge potential in terms of tourism. The province has a lot of natural attractions and tourism sites just waiting to be explored, rediscovered and developed.
Amazing Weekend Adventures in Barira, Maguindanao

Last weekend, we're able to visit Barira town located some two hours ride away from Cotabato City. With its mountains, rivers and waterfalls, the town could be a wonderful option to scratch that maddening itch for adventures.

Our Barira experience started with a glimpse of the clear and inviting waters of Ambal River in Brgy. Lipawan. Our guides from the Municipal Tourism Office of LGU-Barira then brought us to Brgy. Nabalawag for the Takub Bat Cave and River where we had a refreshing dip in its icy-cold and blue green waters.

Takub Bat Cave features beautiful natural rock formations and large river pools where we enjoyed swimming and jumping on cliffs.

We then proceeded to Camp Iranun where we stayed overnight. This military camp was once known as Camp Abubakar, the largest Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) camp, its largest settlement as well as the seat of its Shariah-based government. The camp fell to the hands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in July 2000.

Today, Camp Iranun (named after the Iranun people, a Moro ethnic group native to the area) is the headquarters for the Conqueror troopers, the 37th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

With native coffee, biko and "balik-balikan" (a local delicacy in Barira town almost similar to bibingka) served before us we felt the hospitality of the officers and soldiers of the 37th IB at Camp Iranun. We were  welcomed by their commanding officer Lt. Col. Florencio Politud Jr. who also oriented us about the camp, its history, and the present security situations in Barira and its neighboring towns.

The commander, who hails from Negros, assured the safety of tourists and visitors to Barira. One just have to coordinate with LGU-Barira prior to their visit.

After the orientation, we then went to the house of Hashim Salamat, the founding chairman of MILF. On board military trucks and escorted by some troopers from the 37th IB, we reached the place after about 10 minutes.

It was a quick tour but very meaningful as we got to see what's inside the former residence of one of the most well-known Moro leaders in the country. Soldiers from the 37th IB became instant tour guides for us and they did very well. We were amazed by the concrete structures of the house, its location, how it was built and used. (more about this in a separate post)

Our day at Camp Iranun was capped off by videoke-singing  after a sumptuous boodle fight dinner with the troopers.

And on the next day we traveled to another promising attraction in Barira, Maguindanao - the Bubuludtua Falls also in Brgy. Nabalawag.

From Camp Iranun, it took about 30 minutes ride on board a private van before we reached the jump-off area to Bubuludtua Falls. From the jump-off area we then trekked for almost 1 hour and 30 minutes, crossing rivers and hiking few mountains before we reached the majestic Bubuludtua Falls.

Municipal Mayor Abdulradzak Dagalangit Tomawis with his tourism staff, and other LGU employees joined  us in this trip to Bubuludtua Falls with Bai Ayesha Mangudadatu Dilangalen, the Regional Secretary of the Department of Tourism-ARMM, some photographers and vloggers from Cotabato City.

The sight of Bubuludtua Falls standing proud at a height of approximately 200 feet surrounded by lush vegetation, huge rocks and large river pools with clear and cold waters below it was a reward for every trekker. (More about Bubuludtua Falls in a separate post)

Interested in going to Barira, Maguindanao to spend a weekend?

Coordinate with the Municipal Tourism Office of Barira first, or contact Mr. Abdul-aziz Dagalangit, the Municipal Tourism Officer for inquiries and arrangements.

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My Mindanao by Nanardx: Amazing Weekend Adventures in Barira, Maguindanao
Amazing Weekend Adventures in Barira, Maguindanao
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