Panoon Falls in Impasugong, Bukidnon is not really famous compared to Atugan Canyon and Atugan Bridge. Panoon creek and and irrigation dam from Brgy. La Fortuna are the tributaries of Panoon Falls. It powers a 2 megawatts mini-hydro plant tapped by Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative. From Malaybalay, one can see the signage of Atugan Falls at the intersection of the old and new highways in Capitan Bayong.
In an instant official trip to Impasugong, I was intrigued of the falls’ signage and decided to pass by the old highway. I was in an office polo shirt, jeans and topsider shoes. Not a trekero outfit. You cannot blame me. I had to see a local official for a partnership project.
The rocks beside the highway are so eyecatching.
The view of hills and canyons is so pleasant to the eyes of every passerby.
The rarely trodden highway is so tranquil. There are only few distant houses within.
And I was really wondering about the falls… How tall or wide would it be? or where is it located, at least?...
A white cross atop the hill caught my lens. It is said to be a burial site of a renowned priest. I unmounted from the car to have a clear shot.
And lo, there showed a white line on the left wall. That was indeed what I was looking for.
We drove closer to the falls and passed by the famous earthen jar “banga” where locals and travelers get refreshed and quenched.
This jar has great significance to the municipality as evidenced by its official seal.
Trivia: The jar is said to be a replica of the original one which was stolen because of its gold component.
I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t see the drop of the falls. I just saw a river and a bridge but couldn’t trace where the water comes from.
It was about 12 noon. The office personnel would soon have lunchbreak (though there’s a NO NOONBREAK policy in government offices).
Why rush? I decided to spend my 1 hour looking for the drop or cascade.
I went down the river bank and peeped through a small opening and there I saw the source of the howling waters.
Since no one can see the cascades at the base of the falls, I looked for a trail leading upward so I can see the falls from above.
I disregarded the “NO TRESPASSING” sign. My driver buddy then followed. We ascended an 85-degree slope. My jeans suppressed my freedom to move. My topsiders slipped every time I stepped up.
We stuck ourselves at a 90-degree wall gripping the "balete" roots.
I was drenched in sweat but the view of the tiered waters compensated all the efforts. I was so amazed of the wonderful waters gushing through the hidden forested slope.
I savored every minute of the short moment with the falls.
Going down seemed doubly difficult. We were going down backward.
My topsiders slipped the more but ended up survivors.
The cool water from the jar refilled my body.
Heading to the municipal hall, my lens couldn’t resist the view of the hills and the river.
Though I haven’t seen the waterfalls in its entirety, having seen a bit of it makes a worthful sidetrip.
HOW TO GET THERE:
From CDO Agora Terminal, take a southbound (Davao, Valencia, Wao, Tacurong, Gensan, Kibawe) bus and drop at Impasugong (*P100.00). Negotiate a habal-habal direct to Atugan Falls (5km).
From Malaybalay, take a regular bus bound for CDO. Drop at Capitan Bayong, Impasugong (*P25.00). Negotiate a haba-habal direct to Atugan Falls.*Fare rates as of 2013.