I just got back from a road trip with my family. Thank God for the protection , the fun and the camaraderie shared among us during our 2 day East Coast and Compostela Valley tour.
For a day or two, I forgot our pressing concern – the Mindanao Railway Station passing inside Monteritz Classic Estates, where I live. It is awful. Not the railway project. But the thought that the Phase 1 of our subdivision will be rendered invaluable and our neighbors sleeping under the railway station , has brought us many sleepless nights.
The last two days have been a great escape from the worry and stress over it. I’m sure you will feel the same way too if you’re in my shoes. Sigh….
So we went to Cateel, Davao Oriental where Aliwagwag Falls is located through Mati , the Capital City of the Province.
From Davao City, Cateel is more or less, a 7 hour drive via the coastal road. This is such a beautiful drive. Tiring but very pretty. The scenic views of our coastal road is so worth the long travel.
We left home around 5 in the morning. And after so many stops, we arrived in Cateel about 4 in the afternoon. ha ha… Yep it took us 11 hours! Why? There are so many “post card perfect” places along the way. So of course, photo ops are a must. That’s what road trips are made of, making memories along the way. And we did… 🙂 I will share more about it in my next blog.
Our home for the night was Edar’s Place. It is a simple Bed and Breakfast place in Cateel. Their rooms are clean. The food is delicious. The owner and their staff are amazing. They are kind and so helpful. I couldn’t thank them enough for their assistance. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. More of this in my next blog as well.
After breakfast the next day, we left for Aliwagwag Falls. From Edar’s Place, the distance is 16 kilometers. Via the concrete Compostela-Cateel Highway. This route is very scenic too, with the Cateel River just beside it. I wish they had view decks on this road because the turquoise colored river looks amazing, specially with the lush forest as its backdrop.
Aliwagwag Falls is just beside the road. You can actually hear the powerful rushing sound of the water before even seeing it.
And when you do see it, you just stand in front of it. Soaking it all in. My sister said she was teary eyed the first time she saw it.
I stood there for a few minutes. Mesmerized and in awe of something that is so beautiful and magnificent. I have seen Niagara Falls in Canada. And Tinuy-an Falls in Surigao. But this is different. The staggering height and the stunning beauty of this cascading waterfalls left me speechless. I stood there in silence, just taking it all in.
To say that it is amazing, actually , is an understatement.
I remember feeling this way when I stood on a glacier at the Icefields Parkway. When I experienced a winter wonderland at Lake Louise in Banff National Park. When I stood in front of the Grand Tetons. And when I saw the Rocky Mountains in Canada for the first time. Yes, that same feeling. It is so humbling. And for God to have allowed me to see such a splendid beauty, made me realize how blessed I am.
Traveling has changed me and my perspective in life. And this is one of those experiences which makes me love our nature more. I honor the people that are behind the protection of Aliwagwag Falls. And I honor God the most, for giving us Mindanaoans , this gift.
I encourage all of you to visit and experience the place for yourselves. And when you do, please respect it. Leave nothing behind. Most importantly, please take your garbage with you when you’re done. It is but right to leave the place as pristine as the way you first saw it. We need to love and protect the place so our future generation can enjoy it as much as we did. Thank you.
We paid P100.00 per head. That includes the environmental fee of P50.00 . The Mandaya Chieftain who talked to us said that it will be used to develop the place. The government passed a law to protect 11,000 hectares of land surrounding Aliwagwag Falls. That is to ensure that no damages will come to it.
Future developments supposedly include a horse trail going to the highest portion of the waterfall, the “Bangaw” (Rainbow) Falls. And the Sleeping Lady Falls, which drops down 150 meters from the top.
The Bangaw Falls is called as such because a rainbow comes out supposedly when there is a slight drizzle of rain. While the Sleeping Lady Falls is named after the mountain that looks like one near the said waterfalls.
I thanked the chieftain for helping in the protection of Aliwagwag Falls. And asked him to please continue doing so.
Let me share with you some of our memories.
There are picnic tables and chairs for those who brought food and want to eat beside the falls.
There are stairs going down to the water. But first you need to walk through the hanging bridge and the monkey bridge.
There are portions on top that have shallow waters. It’s like having mini pools where you can wade your feet or dip in it to cool off.
We surely, had FUN!!!! 🙂 Please check the thumbnails to enlarge the photos below.
After an hour or so, we got cold and decided to leave.
Before I forget, if you’re wondering if they have nice bathrooms, shower facilities and changing areas – Yes, there is. So don’t worry. And they are clean too!
Here’s a photo of the bathroom where we changed.
Thank you Aliwagwag for a fun experience. Till we meet again….
Goodbye for now… But we will surely meet again.
Lea C. Walker