Adventures and Sports

Madongan Dam: Enjoy Ilocos Norte's Next Big Travel Destination for Only Php 10!

Ilocos Norte

Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Nov 04, 2016

Nowadays, it’s difficult to purchase anything for Php 10. You can probably get a few pieces of candy, pay for your jeepney or tricycle fare, or—if you’re lucky, and are willing to take the risk—a few sticks of fish or squid balls. However, it’s that almost-insignificant amount that can easily get you inside one of Ilocos Norte’s most beautiful travel destinations: Madongan Dam in San Marcelino, Dingras.

READ: Enjoy Luzon's Little Boracay This Summer for Just 5 Pesos! But Where?

All images courtesy of MAG TV

Originally shared by MAG TV, the Madongan Dam in Ilocos Norte started out as a regular dam that supplied water to nearby towns, but as water levels decreased, slowly became a tourist spot for visitors to swim and frolic in. The entrance fee is only Php 10, and should you wish to stay longer, you can rent a cottage, with prices starting at Php 500. Its charm lies in its strangeness: who would have thought that you’d ever be allowed to swim in a dam? More importantly, how could a dam—made by human hands—be this beautiful?

However, in spite of its charm, authorities claim that the dam is in dire need of rehabilitation, owing to several years of neglect, siltation, and deforestation. The dam was meant to supply water to nearby villages for their rice and corn production, but due to the lack of maintenance, water levels have steadily decreased over the years, and often reach critical levels during the dry season. Resident farmers in the town, on the other hand, saw this as a potential solution to their farming problems, and soon created cottages on silted riverbeds to cater to visitors who want to rest while enjoying the dam’s waters.

The bright side to all of this is that as more and more people visit the dam, seeing its charm, but admitting that it does need rehabilitation, authorities will begin to notice, and hopefully take action. You never know, it might even return to its former glory as a dam to supply water to Ilocos Norte, as well as having an area dedicated for visitors who just want to swim in relative safety. Learn more about the dam here.

Were you able to experience this inexpensive piece of paradise for yourself? Tell us about it over at!

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