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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)