Mindanao's Higaonon tribesmen are appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to help them protect and preserve the hidden giant waterfalls in the boundaries of Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte saying it is a sacred place for them.

The Limunsudan Falls, a two-tiered waterfalls in the Bayug River which flows down from Bukidnon to Lanao del Norte, is reportedly being eyed as a potential hydropower generation resource.

The Limunsudan Falls which is largely unknown to people outside of the tri-boundaries is considered the largest in the country with a waterdrop of about 200 meters.

Tribal leader Julius Dimdim, who guided the Mindanao Development Authority team which explored the waterfalls last Tuesday, said reports that big companies are eyeing the Limunsudan Falls for hydropower generation, scares the Higaonon tribe.

The Higaonons, a tribe in Northern Mindanao, have lived in the area for hundreds of years and the area around the majestic waterfalls is a sacred place for them.

In fact, before we started taking photos of the falls last Tuesday, the Higaonon religious leader performed a ritual which they said was their way of seeking permission of the spirits.

Dimdim, who said he was born in the area, said an American explorer who ignored the tribal belief died soon after visiting the area.

He said destroying the waterfalls would displease the Spirits and it could bring untold miseries of the tribe.

Whether this tribal belief is true or not, as Chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), I support the position of the Higaonons.

We should preserve and protect this wonder of nature so that the next generation of Filipinos will appreciate the blessings that God has given this country.

There are more sustainable ways of generating power needed for development other than destroying this wonder of Nature.

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