REDISCOVERING MAHAN-OB FALLS

Had it not been for Super Typhoon Pablo, I wouldn’t have gone chasing several waterfalls scattered in the mountainsides of Cateel, Davao Oriental. These cascades were once hidden in the verdant hills and thick forest of our hometown but now wretchedly thinned when Typhoon Pablo ravaged everything we have in our town. Today, some of the most beautiful Water Wonders of Cateel can now be seen peeping from shrubbery hills enticing those who see it to come and fancy its cool refreshing waters. The easiest one to reach from Poblacion is Mahan-ob Falls.

Mahan-ob Falls CateelMahan-ob Falls is situated in sitio Mahan-ob in Barangay Mainit. It is about 10 minutes drive from Poblacion. From sitio Mahan-ob, another 15 minute trek will be made to reach its main basin.

Mahan-ob Falls of Cateel

The multi-tiered Mahan-ob Falls

Long before Typhoon Pablo, Mahan-ob Falls was buried in a densely forested area of Mahan-ob. Old trees, thick shrubs and tall bushes abounded the place. Morosely, along with other areas in our town, it is badly hit by the raging typhoon leaving those old trees and bushes smashed, uprooted and damaged. Because of such, Mahan-ob Falls can now be seen from the main highway.

Mahan-ob Falls of Cateel

Mahan-ob Falls peeping from the Green Hills

Mahan-ob Falls possesses an alluring beauty unique from other Water Wonders we have at home. It is a multi-tiered waterfall varying in heights and widths. Fresh waters cascade abundantly on different boulders. One can choose which boulders of flowing waters he or she may bathe. Unlike other waterfalls we have in Cateel, Mahan-ob Falls has no natural pool to take a plunge or dive. The best way to enjoy it is to bathe under its strong cascading waters.

...what a welcome sight on tiring days!

...what a welcome sight on tiring days!

In the early days, Mahan-on Falls is one of the places we loved to hang out during weekends and summer breaks. Jovial picnics and day excursions with high school friends were mostly held here. Its proximity to the town’s proper is one of the reasons why we chose to frequent the place – convenient and easily-reached. Unlike the old days, Mahan-ob Falls is no longer popular among the locales today. Mainly because people would choose to go and visit Aliwagwag Falls, the country highest waterfalls that can be found in Cateel, than settling in minor waterfalls like Mahan-ob Falls. But for those who were once bewitched by the charming beauty of Mahan-ob Falls like me, walking through its trail to see her untainted comeliness is always an excitement like no other.

Chasing Mahan-ob Falls

The Travel Teller Chasing Mahan-ob Falls

In one of my visits to Cateel with my fellow workers at #HelpCateel Movement, we yielded in to the lure of the peeping Mahan-ob Falls to come and rediscover its cascading beauty again. Excited as I was, I can’t help but reminisce those old good days I spent walking on those muddy trails with my good old friends. I can hear their laughter and giggles reverberating in my mind as I trekked the mud-spattered path. Suddenly, I missed my classmates. I missed our old glorious funny days.  Good ole days at Mahan-ob, indeed!

Refreshingly cool!

Refreshingly cool!

I felt nostalgic as the eye-catching view of the Mahan-ob falls was laid before my eyes. Albeit beaten-up by Typhoon Pablo, the striking beauty of the Mahan-ob Falls is surprisingly the same. It retained its exquisiteness. Its untainted allure is still there – a welcome sight on tiring days.

With my #HelpCateel Family

With my #HelpCateel Family

Bonding Moments

Bonding Moments with #HC  at Mahan-ob Falls

Mahan-on Falls will be part of #HelpCateel's Voluntourism

Mahan-on Falls will be part of #HelpCateel’s Voluntourism

Mahan-ob Falls and #HelpCateel Prime Movers

Mahan-ob Falls and #HelpCateel Prime Movers

Looking at the waters cascading copiously from the boulders, I waited no second and bathed into its refreshing gushing waters. At that instant, it made me travel back to that day I first set foot there. It was magical. The youthful years came back. I wished my high school friends were there sharing the same thrill I felt. I stayed in the waters for couple of minutes refreshing my mind and savoring the fact that I was there for first time in many years. It was exceedingly pleasing.

MAHAN-ON FALLS: Revisited. Rediscovered!

MAHAN-OB FALLS: Revisited. Rediscovered!

I felt a great sense of happiness and fulfillment revisiting Mahan-ob Falls. After rediscovering it, it’s time to come back more often with more friends.

MACO’S MAINIT SULFURIC HOT SPRING: One Unique Destination To Visit

Aside from Lake Leonard, another must-see place in Maco, Compostela Valley is the one-of-a-kind Mainit Sulfuric Hot spring.

MACO MAINIT SULFURIC HOTSPRING (81)Home to Mt. Leonard Kniazeff, one of the 22 active volcanoes in the Philippines as identified by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the town of Maco teems with geological attractions that define what eco-adventure tourism is all about. One of these is the Mainit Sulfuric Hotspring.

MACO MAINIT SULFURIC HOTSPRING (13)

The Travel Teller amazed the Rare Beauty of Mainit Sulfuric Hotspring

An Amazing Sight to Behold!

An Amazing Sight to Behold!

Just when I thought hotspring waters are contained in manmade or natural pools, Mainit Sulfuric Hotspring is a steaming waterfall. This steaming ordinary resort is located at the hillside of Barangay Mainit. It is very accessible and walking distance from the highway. A huge signage bearing the name of the place is placed along the side.

MACO MAINIT SULFURIC HOTSPRING (42)

The Yellowish Rocks

Hot springs are among my favorite places to bathe or swim. There is healing power and rejuvenating effect every time I soak my body in it. But bathing under the hot cascading waters is something I have never tried in the past. This is what made me excited about this place.

MACO MAINIT SULFURIC HOTSPRING (43)

Locales Enjoying the Warm Healing Waters of the Hotspirng

MACO MAINIT SULFURIC HOTSPRING (97)

Steaming Hot

When we got to Mainit Sulfuric Hot spring, it was the steaming view of the cascading waters that first took my interest. It was a new sight to me seeing hot steaming waters freely flowing from different geological formations.

MACO MAINIT SULFURIC HOTSPRING (17)

A Hotspring and A Waterfall

Cottages For Rent at Php 30.00

Cottages For Rent at Php 30.00

In my desire to experience it first hand, I rushed to the hot waterfall base only to realize the waters were really hot. I had to soak my feet first in the gushing warm waters for couple of minutes for them to adjust with the temperature. When done, I ran to the cascading waters trying to test if I can brave its warmness. To my dismay, it is really hot. I told myself to wait until its dusk so it won’t be that boiling. And so I contented going around scrutinizing every inch of this place that was a new sight to my eyes.

MACO MAINIT SULFURIC HOTSPRING (72)

The Warm Cascading Waters

Hotspring and Waterfalls - In One.

Hotspring and Waterfalls – In One.

There are many interesting things I noticed about Mainit Sulfuric Hot spring. Geological formations where the hot waters cascade are all yellowish in color. This is mainly because of the sulfuric content of the water flowing on it. Also, some of these geological formations are of interesting shapes. We were blown away seeing one rock formation that resembled a man’s genital.

Interesting Geological Formations

Interesting Geological Formations

Another Geological Formation

Another Geological Formation

Mainit Sulfuric Hot spring is a favorite place for locals living nearby. In fact, some of them would just come to bathe and left. Others would stay longer to enjoy the healing waters of the hot spring. People come go. Aside from being a nicer place to relax, everything here is cheap. Entrance fee is surprisingly at Php 5.00 per person. Cottages are available for rent at very cheap price. There is also one store at the side selling only basic commodities. For overnight stay, rooms can be rented for Php 300.00 a night.

MACO MAINIT SULFURIC HOTSPRING (56)

Nature At Its Best

Maco’s Mainit Sulfuric Hot spring is one unique geologic attraction in Davao Region that eco-adventure lovers should never miss. The fact that it is a hot spring at the same time a waterfall is something one should see and experience. And when you get there, dare enough to take a bath and relish the medicinal sulfuric feel of the hot spring.

MACO MAINIT SULFURIC HOTSPRING (104)

The Steaming Scene

HOW TO GET THERE:
Hidden in the lush valleys of Barangay Mainit, Mainit Sulfuric Hot spring can be reached from the City of Tagum. Tagum is about 45-drive from the City of Davao, the gateway to all cities and towns in Davao Region. From Tagum City Overland Terminal, take a passenger jeep or bus that plies Tagum-Massara Route. Tell the bus driver to drop you off Mainit Sulfuric Hot spring. The place is popular among locals. If you are traveling from any part of the country or the world, there are flights that will bring you to Davao City and from there start your eco-adventure to this one of kind destination.

PANGYAN FALLS OF LUPON, DAVAO ORIENTAL

In the outlying mountainous side of the Municipality of Lupon in the province of Davao Oriental there lies a refreshing series of waterfalls known to locals as Pangyan Falls.

In my search for a new and never-been-published eco-adventure destination around my province of Davao Oriental, I was led to discover Lupon’s hidden gem. Buried in the thick forest of Barangay Don Mariano Marcos, one of the three barangays that is at the far end of the town, Pangyan Falls is a natural wonder and an eco-adventure spot worth to discover – an isolated place away from the usual crowded tourist destinations.

The First Tier of Pangyan Falls

Pangyan Falls boasts of three descending tiers of waterfalls. The First Falls, dotted with large boulders of rocks, is a welcoming sight to behold upon arrivals. It is covered with old trees and thick foliage on both sides giving more refreshing feel and unruffled shade. The height of the first tier is about 10 feet and fresh cascading water that flows from it is unabated. As I was tired from long a trip, I hurried to the waters and took some dip. It was refreshing – an instant therapy to a weary body.

Part of the First Falls

View from Top of the First Falls

From the first tier, I climbed to reach the second falls passing through the slippery boulders down. It wasn’t a hard climb. But for novice adventure seeker, you can just use a steel stairs that would lead you to the next waterfalls. Yes, there is a steel stairway leading up to the second tier. Years ago, Pangyan Falls was developed to be an eco-tourism destination in the area building flowing pools and steel stairways. But long before its completion, a devastating flashflood ruined and destroyed everything that was built there. The damage was tremendous the developer decided to cease the project. Nevertheless, the steel stairs and pools are still there and can be used until now.

The Captivating View of the Second Falls

About a minute or two of hiking from the top of the first tier, one can marvel at yet another beauty of Pangyan Falls – the Second Falls. Unlike the First Falls, it has a wider perimeter and the boulders of rocks abounding it are bigger. At first glance I thought it was manmade but I was told it was a beautiful work of Mother Nature. Like the first tier down, it is also surrounded abundantly by trees and wild bushes. Water cascades freely and generously. Its mists were kissing my cheeks. Like the one downstream, the gushing water is soothingly cold.

Welcome to the Third & Main Falls

The Nature at its Best – Pangyan Falls

Your Travel Teller is also a WATERFALLS CHASER

Just above the second tier is the Third Falls. The third main falls is likely 20 meters in height. It is bordered by huge rock walls on both sides and surrounded by diverse vegetation. The waters drop liberally to the ground but this cascading water is icy cold I could never dare to stay for an hour. Nevertheless, this is the best place to swim, bathe and enjoy the refreshing waters of Pangyan. Though the cascading sounds of the waterfalls can be deafening, the chirping of different birds can still be heard. I noticed wild ferns, wild flowers even wild orchids abundantly thrive on the rocks on both sides while natural stones of different colors can be found on the ground. Everything around blended with the natural beauty of the falls. It is a marvelous sight to behold – another perfect example of nature at its best.

This Blogger enjoying the Waters and Natural Scene surrounding Pangyan Falls

From the Main Falls, I went down back to the first tier to experience another treat that this place offers for adventure seekers like me. Amazingly, Pangyan Falls also features a Hot Spring Pool just beside where the cascading waters flow. I was amazed to find out that amidst the cold waters and cool atmosphere of the whole place; one can enjoy the warm waters of a Hot Spring that flows unbelievably in the vicinity of the a cold cascading waterfalls. That makes Pangyan Falls different from other eco-tourism destination. It gives two options enjoy – the cold cascading waters or the warm hot spring waters. In my case, I opted to enjoy both.

The Mainit Hot Spring

HOW TO GET TO PANGYAN FALLS:

Since Barangay Don Mariano Marcos is one of the three barangays that is at the far end of Lupon, the easiest way to get there is passing though the City of Mati than passing the town proper. From Davao City, one may take either public utility buses or L300 vans to reach the City of Mati. Once you get to Mati, head straight to Mati Centennial Transport Terminal Complex and ask for motorcycles or habal-habal that travels westward to Marayag or Don Mariano Marcos. These are barangays of Lupon that can be reached easily in Mati. All habal-habal drivers plying this route know where to drop you off. Pangyan Falls is very accessible from the highway.

MOTORCYCLE FARE: Php 60.00 – Php 100.00
ENTRANCE FEE: Php 10.00 (Unbelievably cheap)

PANAS INLAND RESORT: New Corella’s Foremost Eco-Tourism Site

There is no name more synonymous with New Corella than the famed Panas Inland Resort. Being the Water Basin of the Province of Davao Del Norte, New Corella teems with cool watercourses from filtered streams to unspoiled springs, pristine cascades to unblemished waterfalls making it an ideal venue for river trekking and water adventure. Panas Inland Resort pioneered such outdoor escape.

Panas Inland Resort is the foremost inland resort in the whole New Corella. It is an LGU-operated resort developed to become the primary eco-tourism site of the town. It nestles in the forest protected area of Barangay Carcor dotting of multi tiered cascades, layered streams and filtered spring waters perfect to define an ideal eco-tourism adventure.

Since its opening, Panas Inland Resort has created a good reputation in the eco-tourism industry not just in the province of Davao Del Norte but the whole of Davao Region. It has drawn thousands of nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts from neighboring towns and nearby cities to come to this part of New Corella and experience eco-tourism at its best. Because of its popularity, Panas has become synonymous to New Corella and considered one of the most important tourist spots of Davao Del Norte.

So while visiting New Corella, I never missed experiencing that eco-adventure thrill that Panas Inland Resort has to offer.

Getting to Panas Inland Resort is approximately 30 minutes from the town proper passing through bumpy rough roads and scenic countryside of New Corella. The long travel may seem tiresome but it instantly fades once the natural beauty of Panas is beheld. Like others, I was immediately enthralled seeing the whole place for the first time.

Panas Inland Resort boasts of its multi-tiered cascading waterfalls freely flowing from different cool streams. These various streams and multi-tiered cascades becomes perfect spot to just soak or simply take a plunge to its insanely refreshing cool waters.

Aside from the natural pools, Panas Inland Resort also encompasses two flowing water swimming pools built just within the base of the waterfalls. The flowing water source also come from the Panas Waterfalls, thus, guaranteed to be clean and safe.

Among the best things that Panas Inland Resort has to offer, river trekking upstream was the one that I particularly enjoyed a lot. The river trek started from the very base of Panas Inland Resort going up to the very source of the flowing stream. It was an hour of river trekking passing through layers of watercourses and streams.

It was not a new experience to me as I have river trekked in the past but river trekking at the cool waters of Panas was entirely different. The various natural pools and the different cascading waterfalls we passed by had enchanting spell that held me mesmerized and awestruck. The thick foliage and the aged trees that envelop the streams added more nature’s bliss to the trek. The further we go, the more it became exhilarating. A great water adventure, I exclaimed.

Nearing the water source of Panas, the spring water became clearer and cleaner. It is so crystal clear I could see what’s underneath. When we finally reached the water source, I became more thrilled. It was my first time seeing such huge opening where filtered spring waters abundantly flow downstream. I took my moment as I felt the coldness of the waters freely gushing on my tired feet. It was so relaxing.

I went closer to the very water source and from there took some waters on my hand and slowly drank from it. It tasted so good, so clean and so fresh! That was so refreshing. I got carried away. It was truly amazing to see and experience firsthand how nature takes its course.

The Water Source

As we trekked downstream, I felt so overwhelmed. What I did was not just communing with Mother Nature but I tasted her. More than that, I became her faithful admirer so amused and delighted by her wonders. I never know Panas Inland Resort can this be great and fun.

Having experienced firsthand the eco-adventure thrill of Panas, I now understand why this part of New Corella is indeed one of the must-visit eco-tourism spots in Davao Del Norte. More than a resort, it is undoubtedly a great place to commune with nature and taste her enchanting allure.

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HOW TO GET TO NEW CORELLA: From Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT), take a passenger bus going to the City of Tagum, the Capital Town of Davao Del Norte. Drop off at the Tagum City Overland Transport Integrated Terminal. Once there, look for the place where passenger jeepneys bound to New Corella are stationed. Davao City to New Corella is about two hours travel time.

BASE FARE:
Davao City to Tagum City = Php 108.00
Tagum City to New Corella = Php 40.00
Poblacion, New Corella to Panas Inland Resort = Php 30.00

FOR TOUR PACKAGES AND TOURISM ASSISTANCE, you may call:
MR. JOEL QUINANAHAN
Municipal Budget and Tourism Officer
Municipality of New Corella, Davao Del Norte
(0921) 265 6668

CHASING MATIGOL FALLS OF ARAKAN VALLEY

Hidden within the lushes of verdant foliage and golden grassland of Arakan Valley in the Cotabato Province lies a stunning waterfalls called MATIGOL.

MATIGOL FALLS also called BANI FALLS is just among the many astonishing waterfalls there is in Arakan. As this part of the town borders the nearby Marilog District of Davao City, this is one of the most visited natural attractions in the whole Arakan Valley.

Matigol Falls is a multi tiered waterfalls with an astounding height of about 500 meters from its first tier down to its final basin. It has five major cascading tiers and each has a basin that serves as its natural pool.

Going there is accessible. From Davao City, we took a CDO-bound Rural Transit Bus and dropped off at Campo Uno situated along the highway of Davao-Bukidnon Road more popularly known as Buda. Bus fare from Davao City to Campo Uno is Php 100.00. At Campo Uno, we hired a habal-habal and headed to Barrio Matigol. The habal-habal fare from Campo Uno to Barrio Matigol is around Php 40.00.

Barrio Matigol is the starting point of our trek. From there, we hike for 20 minutes going to Sitio Inamong, the jump off site going to Matigol Falls. Sitio Inamong is the home of the peace loving community of Manobo Tribe, the Indigenous People of Arakan Valley. Tribe’s members are welcoming. One of them served as our guide going to Matigol Falls.

From Sitio Inamong, our day trek going to Matigol Falls commenced. We passed by the thick bushy grassland of the mountain range of this part of Arakan down to the stream that serves as the first tier of Matigol Falls. The stream serves as the base of the waterfalls. There is a natural pool there so enticing for a cold dip. Being at the first tier, the waters that gently flowed and fell off deep down the other tiers can be clearly seen. It was a very spectacular site to behold.

Done with the first tier, off we headed back to the same trail going to the other side of the valley. The trek uphill was exhausting. On the other side of valley, we passed by steep and cliffy trails. Bushy grasses are up to our waist. Our final destination this time was the last hill that overlooks the whole view of 5 tiered Matigol Falls. This hill can actually be seen from the first tier. To get there, we endured the challenge of trekking others hills and slopes leading to our final stop. It was already exhausting as the trek took almost two hours from the first tier to the final stop.

When we finally reached the final hill that overlooks the whole beauty of Matigol Falls, all our exhaustion just faded away. There was a soothing feel of that view that immediately calm our tired senses. The view of the 5-tiered Matigol Falls that was laid before our eyes was a like perfect work of art. It was like a perfect painting – perfect backdrop of a beautiful mountain landscape. Everything was just right. And there was I, at one side of the hill, staring at this beauty so overwhelmed with its very fascinating view.

Matigol Falls is indeed one of the most important natural attractions in the whole Arakan Valley. Going there truly entails a lot of efforts and strength but undeniably every bit of it is worth it. The hills, the grassland, the valleys, the plateaus – everything that surrounds Matigol Falls make it worthy to be explored and visited. Tiresome as it may seem, if given a chance, I shall come there and for once, enjoy the beauty not just of Matigol Falls but everything encircling it.

TO MY TREKKING BUDDIES: Caroline EspejonEdwin LasquiteLeo Timogan and Ariel Macatiog, it was fun trekking with you!