ALIWAGWAG FALLS – The Pride of Cateel, Davao Oriental.

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


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.


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


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.



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.




  1. Ai nko taga Mati ko but i have never been into Cateel. Shame on me…hehe…

    Perfect lan, it makes me proud to be a son of Davao Or!

    • Thanks Bert. 🙂 we are very blessed to be homes of the many spectacular Gifts of Nature we can truly say – only in Davao Oriental!

  2. The cateel trip was one of the unique travels i had that i wanted to experience over and over. Highly recommended ang falls hopping. Super adventure. super ganda.

    • Thanks Leo for appreciating my hometown Cateel. That is actually the reason why until now I still long to go home. Like I said here, Cateel for me will always be a home sweet home. 🙂

  3. great post da and your photos are so captivating.. Looking forward for more posts… 🙂

  4. Very nice! Kaso bat walang swimming photos? Too dangerous to swim there?

  5. Sobrang buhay na buhay ang falls! at picture palang ang lamig2 ng tignan 😀

  6. thanks for sharing this with us. This will definitely be included in my must-see places the next time i set foot in Davao. Ang init ng panahon, kung malapit lang ang sarap magtampisaw diyan!

    • Thanks for appreciating the beauty of my hometown’s Pride. 🙂 Yes, a must see destinations talaga. Im going back this May to savor again the freshness and coolness of the waters of Aliwagwag.

  7. The falls chaser did it again. Great work Olan! 🙂

  8. Esther C. Marchand says

    I was there with my family May “09. Sad to say for those 3 days it rained heavily and overcast most of the time. They discourage us from exploring the falls due to the weather and slippery condition. I hope next time we will have the chance to enjoy this God given beauty.

  9. GREAT REVIEW! I pretty much agree with all you said in your article, especially at the end of your article. Thank you, this info is very useful as always. Keep up the good work! You’ve got +1 more reader of your web blog:) Isabella S.

  10. Great review! You actually overviewed some interesting news here. I came across it by using Google and I’ve got to admit that I already subscribed to the site, it’s very great 🙂

    • Wow! Your kind words inspire me to travel more and share the beauty of my Island Philippines to you and the rest of the world. Thank you. 🙂

  11. eurona " elna " apostol says

    very nice photo , my father is the first teacher to open that beautiful place , people living Maglahus knows who is Mr. Efren C. Apostol . i can tell some story how it was before … everybody needs to visit the place Aliwagwag Falls and feel , enjoy the gift of God to us .

    • Wow! I didn’t know that. Thank you for d information. 🙂 please share your wonderful stories. Indeed, our Aliwagwag Falls is truly a gift. 🙂

  12. Just thought i would comment and say neat design, did you code it yourself? Looks great.

  13. I found your blog on bing. I think it’s pretty good.

  14. BEAUTIFUL! i passed d area in 2004 n saw d waterfalls, but sad to say i had no camera that time. tnx for posting…
    theres a replica of d falls at d Plaza of Cateel

  15. is awsome, bookmarked!

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  16. Olan ,taga poblasyon kaba?; taga manila ako pero nakapunta na ako sa cateel at aliwagwag falls, and it is truly amazing. namiss ko na nga eh….last 2007 pa ako nagawi dyan. And you can even drink the clean cold water of the said falls.

  17. Hoping someday I could explore davao too. First target of course is Aliwagwag Falls. Very nice review… keep it up!

  18. please allow me to this site on my blog. Will you?

  19. Cecilia G. Espiritu says

    Very nice and beautiful place. True pala ang sabi ng aking kasama sa bahay that Cateel has a very nice falls called Aliwagwag. Sana nga mafeature ito kina Jessica Soho para maipakita sa buong mundo ,I hope someday makarating din kami diyan.

  20. … u made us all proud..olan thank u for sharing the beauty of our town…I dol takaw gyud…hehehehe
    hope someday I could do my part on letting the world knows about our pride “aliwagwag”….shame on me…3x q lng na puntahan ang aliwagwag..

  21. Heavenly nga. I wanna go there and I hope you can join me. Salamat sa pag-share!

  22. i was going over choose phils fb account when i came across your dinagat island article.i opened your site for me to read the whole stuff.i got hooked and now,im going over the others one by one! 🙂

    I’ve always been a proud promoter of philippine tourism,believing that our country has more to offer. i travel alot with my family and thank you for inspiring me to travel more.:) people like you are needed for the Filipinos to know that we have a blessed country! keep writing!

    • Wow. Thank you. You inspired me to write more and travel more. I agree with you. Our country is blessed with so many beautiful things to admire. All we need to do is EXPLORE it and be generous enough to show and share it to the WORLD… We definitely share the same passion of showcasing the best of our ISLAND PHILIPPINES. 🙂

  23. btw,Aliwagwag falls is already on our must-see list. We travel alot to Mati City but we never got the chance to see your wonderful waterfalls.. Soon,soon…:)

  24. Maayong hapon, Olan. Thank you for posting your article with photos – ka nindot. I actually saw some photos before but didn’t have the chance to visit there the last time I came to the Philippines. Please be aware, though, that tourism may damage nature’s beauty if the number of tourists is not controlled. I’m not against tourism, per se. It’s just that, we need to be mindful of its damaging effect. You may promote eco-tourism, where the community is involved in stewardship, making sure the damage is minimised, if not avoided, and provide some livelihood.

    By the way, those centuries old trees you mentioned, are they native and are there saplings or seeds available in the area? I’m a keen conservationist and interested to take some (with payment of course), if available, to my home province (Negros Oriental).

    • Hello Joe,

      thanks for the inputs. 🙂 yeah, i agree with you that BALANCE is important in eco-tourism and i really hope this will be taken care of. Bout the saplings, dont have any idea at all. Will ask when i chance to go home though. 🙂

  25. Wow! Thank you for sharing. This place looks well worth the trip. Would really like to see this wonder for myself.
    Are there any places to stay overnight in Cateel?

    Also, is it better to go there from Davao or Cotabato?
    Hope to get a reply!

    • Hi There. 🙂 yes, there plenty of Inns and Lodging Houses you can find in Cateel. 🙂 Highly recommended is OAR INN and EDAR’S PLACE. The best was to get to Cateel is through DAVAO CITY. from Davao City, you can take a MALLLEN bus line located at Ecoland Terminal. Davao to Cateel take around 5 to 6 hours passing Compostela Valley Road, going there, you can actually pass by ALIWAGWAG FALLS. 🙂

      I hope this helps. 🙂

  26. hi there sir…
    may mga group ba na ng organized ng travel tour doon sa aliwagwag? yung pong complete package na po.. at mgkano namn..tnx

  27. splendid!!!

  28. breathtaking as always 🙂

  29. hi Olan! tnx for the great info & i can feel ur passion for ur town 🙂 i cant wait to meet Cateel!ill be there nxt wk. im on solo backpacking mindanao adventure..cant wait to see this awesum falls!

  30. Hi,

    We are planning to go there and we don’t have any contact, where to stay? Would really appreciate if you can refer me a friend or somebody to contact & assist me. My wife & I will be travelling with our son.


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