Having been raised in my charming little hometown of Cateel, 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 exotic ALIWAGWAG FALLS.
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 a unique waterfalls blessed 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 Mindanao.
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 the Falls. It wasn’t easy to get there before. 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 during my age wished to set foot there one day.
Years after, the construction of Cateel-Compostela Road that connects Cateel to Davao City in just 5 hours paved way to the accessibility to see Aliwagwag Falls up close and personal. It gave birth to the local tourism in our town. It was only then that I got to see and experience Aliwagwag Falls face to face 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 full view of the cascading Aliwagwag. From there, Aliwagwag Falls appears like a stairway to heaven.Today, with just about 20 minutes drive from the Poblacion proper of Cateel, one can already experience 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 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. It is one of the recipient of the “Cleanest River Awards” in Region XI.The exotic 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 diferent waterfalls in the Philippijnes but Aliwagwag Falls for me is still unmatched.From a true Cateeleño like me, I am sharing the PRIDE of my hometown. Visit CATEEL and discover the majesty of Aliwagwag Falls, the highest waterfalls in the country. So many to see, many to experience.
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, Floremel 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.