Mountains and Volcanoes
Go Ahead, Do the Swag in Aliwagwag: Davao Oriental's Magnificent Falls
Ida Damo | Jun 15, 2015
For so many years and countless attempts to go to Aliwagwag Falls in Cateel, it was only last weekend that I finally got to see it with my own eyes and feel its mist on my face and arms. Thanks to the Maayong Buntag Mindanao Team (Kenneth, Hernel, Philip and Kuya Jerry) who allowed me to tag along for their segment shoot in Davao Oriental. Last weekend, I finally got to visit Aliwagwag falls in Cateel, Davao Oriental after years of countless attempts.
We left Davao at 2 am and passed by Cuevas road taking the faster route which is through Lingig, Surigao del Sur. Traffic was non-existent and the only lights glowing were from our vehicle and from the houses along the roadside. I just had to stop and take a photo of the trees blanketed by the fog.
It was kind of surreal to be in a twilight zone.
As we travelled on, there were glimpses of dawn breaking over the horizon. The best place to take a photo of the sunrise is at the DPWH Viewdeck in Lingig.
The cold morning slowly got warmed up by the sun. We had to leave the view deck, as the trip is far from over.
While on the road, Hernel was narrating how it was during and after typhoon “Pablo”, and Kuya Jerry reminisced at the old days when the only vehicles they see on the road were trucks from logging concessionaires.
We passed by the odd-shaped Turtle Island of Boston.
Don’t close your eyes when passing through the town, as you can easily miss it. It’s the smallest town in Davao Oriental.
Over concrete and unpaved roads, we reached Aliwagwag, Cateel.
By the roadside, we saw this magnificent cascade of water that left us in awe. Its tiers of white water sprays mist unto our faces as we gazed at it.
How could 1,110 feet of rampaging water, spread over 20 meters in width, create such an eye-catching sight? How can a series of 130 cascading waterfalls form one breathtaking beauty? Mother Nature must have decided on making a stairway to heaven that only they can use and for us mere mortals to admire.
Aliwagwag may have been damaged by “Pablo”, which created havoc in the province, but this gift from the Gods to the Mandaya people of Cateel is recovering gracefully.
Locals even say that it is more beautiful now that the big trees do not cast shade and shadow over the falls. Perhaps “Pablo” only uncovered the magnificence of Aliwagwag for the people to see that such beauty exists and that a thing of beauty is a joy forever.
The Aliwagwag Falls EcoPark includes a restaurant, and various walkways and hanging bridges for visiting the falls. In addition, there is a monkey walk and a zipline, two of the activities you can do while in Aliwagwag.
The developments in Aliwagwag Is well-planned, as it does not mar the beauty of the falls. Instead, the development enhanced the area, and has become more visitor-friendly.
Respect Aliwagwag because it has withstood the tests of time and nature. The water lives on and the river flows.
One has bragging rights after visiting Aliwagwag. Not everyone has witnessed its beauty in the flesh. So go ahead, do the swag in Aliwagwag.
Daghang Salamat, Maayong Buntag Mindanao Team (Hernel Tocmo, Kenneth Mangaya-ay, Philip Tumaroy, Jerry Baron), Provincial Governor’s Office Tourism Officer Miguel Trocio, Ms. Pie, Governor Cora Malanyaon, Sir Buboy and the Aliwagwag EcoParK staff.