Aliwagwag Falls Descriptive Essay

ALIWAGWAG FALLS

 

Aliwagwag Falls is one of the most visited natural attractions in Davao Oriental. It is also considered as the country’s highest waterfalls. The falls, made up of more than 100 cascading waterfalls, is located just 30-40 minutes away from Cateel (pronounced as ka-ti-il). It is made up of rock formations varying in shapes and sizes. The current is strong; you will be treated with different drops at every level. Definitely a must-visit since it’s considered as one of the most beautiful falls in the Philippines, and we agree!

GETTING THERE

via Cagayan de Oro

  1. Book a flight to Laguindingan Airport. This is the main city airport of CDO located between the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have direct flights to Laguindingan from Manila and Cebu.
  2. From the airport, take a shuttle to CDO City Proper. We took the LAX Shuttle which stops at Centrio Ayala Mall and Agora Integrated Bus Terminal. Drop off at Agora Eastbound Integrated Bus Terminal. Travel time is 1 hr.
  3. From Agora Bus Terminal, ride a bus to Butuan City. Bachelor Express and Rural have hourly trips to Butuan. Drop off at Butuan City Integrated Bus terminal. Travel time is 5 hours.
  4. From Butuan, ride a Bachelor Express bus to Bislig. Ride a bus with signboard to Mangagoy. They use the signboard Mangagoy which is the commercial center of Bislig. Drop off at Mangagoy bus terminal.  Travel time 5 hours.
  5. From Mangagoy bus terminal, ride a tricycle to the bus terminal for Cateel or the Lyra/Mallen bus terminal near the public market.
  6. Ride a mini bus to Cateel. Go down at Cateel Ingrated bus terminal. Travel time is 3 hours. Buses to Cateel from Mangagoy is only once a day make sure you inquire about the bus schedule immediately after alighting at Mangagoy bus terminal.
  7. From Cateel hire a habal-habal to Aliwagwag falls. Travel time is 40 minutes.

We entered Mindanao via CDO as part of our 9-day Mindanao adventure to Davao Oriental, Surigao del Sur, Butuan, CDO, Iligan and Camiguin. CDO is probably the farthest entry point. Other possible entry points are via Davao City, Tandag City or Butuan City flights. From Davao you may ride Bachelor Express bus via Mati or a Mallen bus to Cateel. You may also fly in to Butuan or Tandag instead of CDO to cut-off the 5-hour bus ride from CDO-Butuan.

WHERE TO STAY

The town of Cateel in Davao Oriental is the nearest town to Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park. There are number of inns in town ranging from fan to air-conditioned rooms. We stayed at OAR Inn, around 10-minute walk away from the plaza. Their aircon room with two single beds and private comfort room costs P800/night. The town is quite small so looking for restaurants wouldn’t be much of a problem. They have eateries and ihaw-ihaw (grilled food) near the plaza.

ITINERARY

Aliwagwag Falls is one of our stops for our 9-day Mindanao adventure to explore Davao Oriental, Surigao del Sur, Butuan, CDO, Iligan and Camiguin. We entered Mindanao via CDO and went to the farthest stop first which is Aliwagwag falls in Cateel then explored all spots en route back to CDO. Traveling to Cateel via CDO is probably the longest route possible. You may fly in at Davao (nearest), Butuan and Tandag as well.

Remember to allot allowance time when traveling, as the bus schedule from Mangagoy to Cateel is not consistent. We arrived at Mangagoy at around 7:30am expecting a Mangagoy-Cateel bus ride at 9am. Apparently the schedules we’ve seen online are already outdated. The next trip to Cateel was still at 11:30am. Having some free time, we decided to explore Tinuy-an Falls (Read more: Tinuy-an Falls Surigao del Sur: Niagara Falls of the Philippines) first which is just a 40-minute habal-habal ride away from Mangagoy.

Upon arriving at Cateel Integrated Bus Terminal, we checked in at OAR Inn since we’re going to stay at the town for the night. We hired a habal-habal going to Aliwagwag Falls. Do not worry about finding a habal-habal driver to bring you to the falls, there are a lot in Cateel’s bus terminal. From Cateel we took the Compostela Valley road and travel time was only 40 minutes.

The foot of the waterfalls is just along the national highway. You may take photos of this beauty from the bridge. If you want to swim at its basins, enter the Eco Park (pay entrance fees). Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park is well maintained and designed. It doesn’t take away the beauty of the waterfalls. Walkways and the overall design is majorly made of wood which complements the waterfall’s charm.

They have a trail going up along the left side of the falls. You may see and take photos of the different drops from different view decks along the trail. Remember to swim only at designated swimming areas as the waterfalls current is really powerful. Other possible activities are crossing the 45-meter Monkey bridge over Aliwagwag Falls and 680- meter Zipline across Cateel river. They also have designated eating areas, a public toilet, shower areas, food concessionaires and restaurants.

Half a day is enough to enjoy Aliwagwag Falls. You may be forced to stay the night in Cateel since most bus schedules are only once a day. You may bring in food and snacks and eat at designated areas inside the park.

BUDGET
  • Transportation: Bus fom Mangagoy to Cateel P100, Tricycle to OAR Inn from bus station P10, Habal-habal to Aliwagwag Falls P600/habal-habal round-trip
  • Accommodation: P800 aircon room at OAR Inn, 2 single beds with private comfort room
  • Entrance Fees: P50/head adult, P10/head children ages 12 and below, Children below 3 feet is free
  • Other Activities: Table and Chair Rental P75, Zipline P200/head, Monkey Bridge P50/head, Zipline with Monkey Bridge P225/head
TIPS
  1. Check the weather before visiting Aliwagwag Falls. Avoid typhoon season.
  2. Signal at the park for all major networks is consistent.
  3. Swim at designated swimming areas since the current is really powerful. Sometimes they have stationed lifeguards. Children must be supervised at all times especially when swimming.
  4. Park is only open from 7:00am to 5:00pm.
POSSIBLE SIDE-TRIPS
We made a list of must visit waterfalls in the Philippines! 26 Waterfalls to Visit in the Philippines

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Having been raised in my charming little town of Cateel in the eastcoast Province of Davao Oriental, I grew luxuriating myself with the many spectacles of nature where my birthplace is so rich and abundant. Among these gifts of nature, all Cateeleños including myself take  so much pride with my hometown’s favorite spot, the majestic  ALIWAGWAG FALLS.

The Full View of Aliwagwag Falls from The Bridge

The Aliwagwag Falls is a series of more than 130 cascading waterfalls located in Barangay Aliwagwag, about 30 minutes drive from the town’s Poblacion. It’s a unique waterfalls dotting with different rock formations, shapes and various heights. Each tier differs from another. It ranges from 6 to 110 feet. There is one measured at 72 feet and another is at 67. Overall, Aliwagwag Falls is 1,110 feet of cascading energy and 20 meters in width. Viewing it from afar, Aliwagwag Falls looks like a stairway to heaven. Not known to many, Aliwagwag Falls is considered by hydraulic engineers as the highest waterfalls in the Philippines and regarded as one of the most beautiful falls in the Philippines.

This Blogger at one of the Waterfalls Tier of Aliwagwag Falls.

I grew up hearing beautiful stories about Aliwagwag Falls. Folklore has it that the Waterfalls is a gift by the gods to the Mandaya Tribe of Cateel. It is their source of living and fountain of their lives. When I was a kid, I never had the privilege to see the beauty of this Falls. Back in the old days, getting there was way way hard compared these days. No roads, no trails. Riding a boat passing the scenic Cateel River was the only way to get there. So, as kids, we contended ourselves just listening  to stories about how beautiful and alluring Aliwagwag Falls was – how enchanting it was. So, every kid in town during my age wished to set foot there one day.

The “Stairway to Heaven” called Aliwagwag Falls.

Many years had passed, a dream of connecting Cateel to the Compostela Valley was realized. The construction of Cateel-Compostela Road that connects Cateel to Davao City via ComVal in just 5 hours paved way to the accessibility to see Aliwagwag Falls up close and personal. This also gave birth to boost the local tourism in our town. It was only then that I got to experience the enchanting charms of Aliwagwag Falls and marvel at its stunning beauty in its full glory. Getting there for the first time, I concluded that all beautiful stories about its Majestic Beauty were true. A real splendor. Magnificent work of nature. Truly, a gift from Above! The creation of the new and partly cemented roads going to Barangay Aliwagwag conveniently makes the visit very easy. Getting to the first tier of Aliwagwag Falls is within very reach. Part of the national road, at the foot of the falls there is a concrete bridge so perfect to get the panoramic view of the cascading Aliwagwag. From there, Aliwagwag Falls appears like a stairway to heaven.Today, with just about 30 minutes drive from the Poblacion, one can already experience the charms of Aliwagwag Falls. The cascading waters are just awesome! Rock formations are astonishing. The whole place is surrounded by century old trees and verdant forest. Endangered tropical forest flowers are all over.Aliwagwag Falls is also the home of an infamous fish my we all considered our pride and favorite. We call it Sawugnun. It is bitterly tasty. Best served as paksiw. Old folks say this fish can only be found in the waters of Aliwagwag.In addition to its grandeur, Alwagwag Falls serves also as one of the main sources of the clean and green Cateel River. Our Cateel River is one of the recipient of the “Cleanest River Awards” in Region XI.The majestic beauty of the Aliwagwag Falls is indeed pride of every Cateeleños like me. Its grandeur is like no other. Incomparable. Believe me, I have been to the different waterfalls in the Philippines but Aliwagwag Falls for me is still unmatched.From a true Cateeleño, I am sharing the PRIDE of my hometown to you and to the World. Visit CATEEL and discover the magnificence of Aliwagwag Falls, the highest waterfalls in the country. So many to see, many to experience.

The Century Old Trees Abound Aliwagwag Falls

HOW TO GET THERE:

The best way to get to Cateel is by taking a Bus from Davao City via the Compostela Valley Road or Mati City Road. Buses are on daily schedule located at Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT). These buses are operated by Mallen Express, Lyra Express and Bachelor Express. The Aliwagwag Falls is located at Barangay Aliwagwag. The Falls is conveniently situated along the national highway.

IF YOU NEED A TOUR GUIDE, you can call or text The Travel Teller at +63 939 342 3939 (Smart) for arrangement. The Travel Teller hails from Cateel, Davao Oriental.

MORE OF ALIWAGWAG FALLS ARTICLES BY THE TRAVEL TELLER:

1. Aliwagwag Falls Four Months After Typhoon Pablo
2. 2015 is the Year for Aliwagwag Falls
3. Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park Zipline

The new face of ALIWAGWAG FALLS now known as the
ALIWAGWAG FALL ECO PARK – YEAR 2015

Never leave CATEEL without taking with you souvenir pieces that will remind you of your wonderful experience at Aliwagwag Falls. For your SOUVENIR and PASALUBONG, you can drop by CATEEL SOUVENIRS by Tours and Detours of The Travel Teller located at Rizal Street in Poblacion, the town center.

CATEEL SOUVENIRS by TOURS & DETOURS

IF YOU NEED A TOUR GUIDE, you can call or text The Travel Teller at +63 939 342 3939 (Smart) for arrangement. The Travel Teller hails from Cateel, Davao Oriental.

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