Heaven’s Stairway in the Aliwagwag Falls, Davao
Summer is not yet over: pack up your things and go out! Beat the heat this summer and have some fun! If you feel like being handcuffed with endless paperwork, being screwed to your chair, and being sucked in your office? Then don’t miss out on the summer, you deserve to have a break. We do have different choices of places but we surely have the same purpose: we just want to enjoy and relax, and definitely, we wander because we want to see and discover the wonders of the world that God has created. We can’t say how beautiful it is unless we’ve seen it, right? Check out Aliwagwag Falls in Davao.
I grew up in Davao City but I admit I’ve never explored the whole of Mindanao or even the nearby provinces. Maybe all of us heard about the province of Davao Oriental but not all of us have been to this place. This province was devastated by typhoon Pablo, it was a tragedy that many lives were lost, destroyed almost all of the infrastructures, houses, farms, and livelihood, especially the tourist spots of the province. Who would expect that the province of Davao Oriental will rise again? This province is now one of the major tourist destinations in Mindanao because this place is rich in fascinating waterfalls, pristine white sand beaches, virgin islands, diving spots. And since this province is located in the easternmost part of the Philippines, the Pusan Point is here wherein the first sunrise can be seen. The province of Davao Oriental indeed has a lot to offer!
A Day in Paradise
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It was May 05, 2015, around 2:00 AM, when we departed from Davao City and headed to Aliwagwag Falls situated at Cateel, Davao Oriental. We opted for the nearest way, it was via Compostela Valley road. Not well-paved and bumpy, the road was still under construction. Most of the areas along the way have no electricity but thank God we arrived safely at our destination. When we stepped down from the van, what we’ve seen was totally amazing! Great! Where am I? If I am sleeping please don’t wake me up because I’m in paradise! We were all mesmerized by the beautiful water cascades of Aliwagwag Falls; it seems like a stairway to heaven’s gate! Wow! We were welcomed by this picturesque view which is worth to be in a Philippine postcard. Such a wonderful place, no one can stop us from taking pictures from different angles, in different positions. We arrived around 6:10 in the morning and were too early than; business hour starts at 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM, so what we did was we took first our breakfast and have some cups of coffee. Right after we took our breakfast, we immediately started exploring the waterfalls. Every step we made was a breathtaking experience. I could feel the coldness as the wind blows and touches my skin, I could hear the sound of the birds as if they were singing and the sound of the leaves as if they were dancing. The serenity of the place released all my stresses, the coldness of the water tempted me to soak down. Oh! How God created this place? Truly a paradise!
The “Curtain” Falls
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Aliwagwag Falls, also known as “curtain falls” because water cascades seem like a curtain flowing endlessly, are the longest waterfalls in the Philippines. Even if it was devastated by typhoon Pablo the beauty remains! Nowadays it is one of the major tourist destinations of Davao Oriental. Local folks believed that despite its enchanting beauty, Aliwagwag falls is wrapped with mystery. They believed that unseen creatures are living in this place to guard and protect it away from harm, maybe we can’t see them but we can feel them. Well, let’s all respect what they believe because we are here not to harm nature but we are here to see how beautiful is our God’s creation. The alternative road going to Aliwagwag falls via Compostela Valley was surrounded by mountains. So quiet and peaceful and if I am not mistaken only 5 vehicles we’ve met along the way. Uphill, downhill, blind curves, the cliff at the side, just a bit of scenario we’ve encountered during the 3-hour road trip, it was somehow an exhilarating and adrenalin pumping ride but all were worth it! Aliwagwag falls was so beautiful. It was very enchanting! But to be more convenient you can reach this waterfall via national road (Davao-Mati-Baganga national highway) through the private car or by bus. Tourists who are coming in will surely love the province because just nearby Aliwagwag falls are some tourist spots that you can pass by along the way back to Davao City… Indeed, it’s more fun in the Philippines! Spots to Discover
Davao Oriental Spots: 1. San Victor Island – Baganga, Davao Oriental 2. Balite Hot Spring – Baganga, Davao Oriental 3. Pusan Point – Caraga, Davao Oriental 4. Carolina Lake – Baganga, Davao Oriental 5. Dahican Beach Resort – Mati City 6. Pojada island and Waniban island – Masao, Mati City 7. Sleeping Dinosaur island – Mati City Above is only a few examples of some tourist spots found in the province of Davao Oriental. The longer days you’ll stay means more activities to do with and more fun definitely! For those people who work full time and do travels at the same time but you’re having hardly approved leaves, the province of Davao Oriental is possible for a one day tour. I listed below our sample itinerary and budget to serve as your guide.
1 DAY TOUR: Travel Budget
I invited friends, friends of my friends, to go and join my Davao-Or Trip. We hired a van for only P7500 (1 DAY TRIP) fuel included, we were 14 pax then, so P500 each only, roundtrip. We brought our own food and paid individually for the entrances, the boat & the cottage rental.
- Aliwagwag falls – Adults P50/Kids P10
- Dahican resort – P10 each Boat to San Victor
- P50/pax roundtrip Cottage (San Victor) – P300/14pax = P21.50 each
OUR TOTAL BUDGET EACH: P631.50 each
Sample itinerary for 1 day tour: 03:00 AM – ETD from Davao city 06:10 AM – arrived at Aliwagwag falls 09:20 AM – ETD going to San Victor 10:10 AM – arrived at the jump-off point to San Victor island 02:40 PM – ETD to Dahican Beach, Mati 05:20 PM – arrived at Dahican beach 05:35 PM – ETD to Sleeping Dinosaur 05:50 PM – arrived at Sleeping Dinosaur viewpoint 06:00 PM – ETD to Davao city 09:40 PM – arrived at Davao city
About the Writer
I am Rowena Lara-Trocio. I work full time but do travel at the same time. I started my travels after I gave birth to my little man Perry. The pursuit of my passion is being fueled by him.
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