The Niludhan Falls and Lola Magdal

by Remedios Dorio


NILUDHAN is a Visayan word that means or describing a space which one was been kneeling. Sometimes it’s difficult to translate a word in just also one word when the meaning goes beyond than that.

Way back the seventies, I was so curious when I heard about a beautiful waterfall that has a name Niludhan so I asked why it was named like that and my curiosity was answered by a little history of Niludhan Falls, if the story was true or not, I don’t know.

The story was about two lovers on their early age; they were teenagers. Their story was liked Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. Two feuding family but they, the children fall in love to each other. Desperate to their impossible relationship the woman decided to commit suicide and she did it by jumping in the twenty-five meters high waterfall that at that time still had no name. Her boyfriend knowing about it, kneeled and cried for almost three days by the waterfall until he also jumped too, to end his life. The story happened in the late fifties when that part of now Bayawan City was still a forest; many Lawaan trees covered this mountainous part of Bayawan and many monkeys, deer’s and wild pigs were still abundant. A sad story that upon hearing it I had my tears.

What happened was the topic of the locals for a quite of time. When one asked about the falls where the two lovers ended their lives, the word Niludhan comes along with it, and so Niludhan Falls got its name.

This story about Niludhan Falls was true or not, I will say again I don’t know, but if someone had any other version of the story, I am willing to hear about it.

Niludhan Falls was situated a little farther of Barangay Dawis. I remember at that time there’s a Buffalo ranch and crossing the ranch one must be careful because buffalos run after people and hit them with their horns or just bumped.

NOW about our Lola Magdal. Lola means grandmother.

Lola Magdal was my mother’s aunt on the mother side. The complete name of Lola Magdal was Magdalena Pareñas. She lived with our family. She was never married.

Lola Magdal was a happy and social person. Once for a while my brothers who liked to drink the local made rum mixed with cola, Lola Magdal liked it too. But before she could have her glass my brothers first asked that Lola Magdal should dance and sing of which she complied; and when it happened, they all jubilate aloud.

She was industrious and does a lot of household chores for the delight of our mother, but Lola Magdal was also very temperamental.

One time, nobody knew what was the reason but Lola Magdal was very angry. The whole day she did nothing but just murmuring aloud. We all just let her except our father.

“Magdal, could you not keep your mouth shut?” my father said to her.

“I talk if I like and no one can stop me!” Lola Magdal answered my father.

“You are very noisy, it’s annoying,” my father was really annoyed.

“Respect me. I am your aunt!” Lola Magdal shouted to my father. My mother told my father not to mind Lola Magdal so he did not react.

“People around here do not respect me anymore. I think I’ll go to the Niludhan Falls,” Lola Magdal said.

“What will you do there in Niludhan Falls?” my father asked.

“I will commit suicide. I will jump in the falls,” Lola Magdal said and my father laughed.

“If you want to commit suicide why you have to go the falls? You can use a knife to slice your throat,” my father continued to tease Lola Magdal.

“I don’t want to use a knife,” Lola Magdal answered.


“It is painful,” Lola Magdal became angrier.

“Okay, when will you go to the falls?”


“Okay, no one could stop you if you really want to jump into the falls, but you have to be careful in going there,” my father said.

“Careful about what?” Lola Magdal as she asked sharply looked at my father.

“You did not know it? In going to the falls, you have to pass a ranch, and there are many buffalos there,” my father answered Lola Magdal.

“Buffalos?” we all knew that Lola Magdal was afraid of buffalos. She thought that my father was only joking, so she asked my mother. “Is it true that in going to Niludhan Falls I must pass a ranch?”

“You forgot it already? One time when we go to Mabinay, we passed the ranch and you was the one who had seen first the buffalos?” my mother answered Lola Magdal.

“And I have to pass it if I’ll go to the falls?”

“Yes,” my mother answered. Lola Magdal did not answer, she was in a deep thinking.

“Imagine, when the buffalo strike you with its horn, it is more painful than the knife,” my father continued his teasing.

Lola Magdal said no more words, she went out the house and sat on the ground under the guava tree.

“Now she will not go anymore to the falls to jump,” my father said to my mother.

Indeed, Lola Magdal will not commit suicide anymore by jumping in the fall because she was afraid of the buffalos. ****end****