CAMPAWAN CURTAIN FALLS: Davao Region’s Widest Waterfall

Among the five provinces found in the Davao Region, the Province of Davao Oriental is considered as the Water Wonder.

baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-33White sand beaches are dotting the shorelines of the Province. A number of beautiful islands can also be found here. It also boasts of its unspoiled lakes, pristine riverine system and even hot springs. And when it comes to waterfalls, Davao Oriental is the place to be.

The highest waterfalls in the Philippines and considered as one of the most beautiful is found in Davao Oriental, the Aliwagwag Falls of Cateel. Now adding to the list of the most beautiful falls in the entire Davao Region is the CURTAIN FALLS located in Barangay Campawan in the town of Baganga.

baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-28CAMPAWAN CURTAIN FALLS has come to fame when the doors of tourism in the eastcoast of Davao Oriental opened last year. For many years, this water wonder was kept preserved and only the local residents living nearby got to enjoy its natural beauty. But with its tourism potential, the roads going to Campawan were cleared and widened giving the way for other locals in nearby towns to come and see the town’s hidden water gem.

baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-16When a number of photos of Campawan Curtain Falls broke out in social media, many have mistaken it as Tinuy-an Falls found in Surigao Del Sur because of its similarity to the later. Like Tinuy-an Falls, Campawan Curtain Falls boasts of its wide water curtain extending to a width said to be the widest in the whole Davao Region.

baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-1 baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-2 baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-7Being situated in the heavily forested hinterland of Baganga, getting to the Curtain Falls entails a long travel from either the town proper or from the town of Cateel. The road is not yet concrete and others may find it uncomfortable. But the green and forested sides that can be seen along the way assured fun and adventure. From the parking area, you need to cross a river and walk for about 5-10 minutes to get to the area of the falls. And the moment you get there, the unparalleled view of the waterfall will keep you in awe as you marvel at its magnificent beauty.

baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-8 baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-9 baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-12 baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-13 baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-14The absence of modern developments around the waterfalls plus its remoteness from the highway promised that Campawan Curtain Falls is still a natural beauty to behold. Unlike Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park, there are no concrete developments made in the area yet. Although there are stores and cottages, one can tell that the place is still unspoiled retaining its natural splendor.

baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-20 baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-25There is no entrance fee. You only pay for parking fees in the area where owned privately. The cottages can be rented as low as 150 pesos. If you’re going there and you intend not to rent a cottage, that’s not a problem. There are shaded places where you can leave your things and enjoy the scenic view right in front of you.

baganga-campawan-curtain-falls-27Taking a natural shower under the falls and swimming in its shallow basin is among the best way to enjoy the waters of Campawan Curtain Falls. Getting closer to the cascading water is very easy and accessible. Everyone who goes there take time to come closer to the falls and enjoy its cascading waters. If you’re into selfies, go to one side and take that selfie shot for yourself.

Campawan Curtain Falls is now considered as one of Davao Oriental’s must-visit destinations. So, when you visit the eastcoast of the Province, include it in your list of places to see. In fact, most of those who visit Aliwagwag Falls, they also make way to visit the Curtain Falls. Doing so, you get to see and experience not only the highest waterfalls in the Philippines but also the widest falls in the whole Davao Region.


The best way to get to Campawan Curtain Falls is through the towns of Baganga or Cateel. Both towns can be reached by taking a bus or van from Davao City via the Compostela Valley Road or Mati City Road. Buses and vans are on daily schedule located at Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT). When you get to Baganga or Cateel, you can take a habal-habal and tell the drivers to take you to Campawan Curtain Falls. You can hire the habal-habal for Php 500.00 for one day.

MOUNT HAMIGUITAN: The Most Treasured Jewel of Davao Oriental

In the Philippines, out of the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, only one can be found in Mindanao. That is the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary found in Davao Oriental, the only mountain range heritage site in the country. It is for this reason that the province deems it as its “Most Treasured Natural Jewel”.
Mount-Hamiguitan-In-Davao-OrientalInscribed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2014,the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of a unique pygmy forest of century old trees in ultramafic soil considered by many as one of the very few all over the world and hosts a rich biodiversity of endangered, endemic and rare species of flora and fauna. Among the residents of this wildlife sanctuary is the country’s national bird, the endangered Philippine Eagle.

Mount Hamiguitan Davao Oriental (3)Mount Hamiguitan lies in the middle of a narrow peninsula with the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Davao Gulf to the west. Situated at the southern end of the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor, Mount Hamiguitan covers 31,879 hectares of beach, lowland, montane, and mossy forest types. It occupies the land area within the political boundaries of San Isidro, Governor Generoso and the province’s capital, the City of Mati.

Mount Hamiguitan Davao Oriental (2)
The Mount Hamiguitan Range (Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan)

On July 30, 2004, Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as Protected Area by virtue of Philippine Republic Act No. 9303 “declaring Mt. Hamiguitan Range and its vicinity as protected area under the category of wildlife sanctuary and its peripheral areas as buffer zone”.

Mount Hamiguitan Davao Oriental (6)
The Mount Hamiguitan Range (Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan)

In 2007, Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon led a highly ambitious initiative to have the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary inscribed in the highly prestigious World Heritage List. She believes that the inscription of the wildlife sanctuary to the World Heritage List is an excellent opportunity to draw the attention of visitors and remind local residents of the “Outstanding Universal Value” of the mountain range.

HAMIGUITAN 4Seven years after, during the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in June 2014 in the City of Doha, Qatar, the crown jewel of Davao Oriental was finally enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first inscribed mountain range in the Philippines and the first World Heritage Site in Mindanao.


Being part of the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List, it is expected that Mt. Hamiguitan will not only attract more tourists but also scientists and researchers coming from both national and international communities. Hence, public awareness of Mt. Hamiguitan and its outstanding values to the world will be heightened to raise global awareness.

Mount Hamiguitan Davao Oriental (5)
The Mossy Forest (Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan)

Long before it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is a favorite among mountain climbers and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s not only because of its amazing landscaped Pygmy Forest but also with other natural wonders that abound the mountain range. Two of other favorite features of Mt. Hamiguitan are the Tinagong Dagat (Hidden Sea) and Twin Waterfalls.

Mount Hamiguitan Davao Oriental (1)
Tinagong Dagat (Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan)

As a World Heritage Site, the Provincial Government is required by the UNESCO to develop an interpretation site to purposely promote and educate the locals as well as tourists about its outstanding universal value. With support coming from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) of the Department of Tourism, the Provincial Government then spearheaded the development of a tourism facility complex at the buffer zone area of the heritage mountain. This world class facility is known as Mount Hamiguitan World Heriatge Park and is situated in the town of San Isidro.

HAMIGUITAN 11 MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (23)The Eco-Park covers 12.84 hectares and features a Natural Science Museum with an interpretation center for tourist who wants to have an experience of the area, especially the pygmy forest. It has also a Research Center and cabins for researchers. For outdoor enthusiasts, the complex also boasts of exciting mountain trails, a hanging bridge, adventures tree top, butterfly trails, bird watching deck, gardens and camping grounds. It has also souvenir shops and a restaurant.

MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (3) MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (4) MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (5) MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (6) MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (7) MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (11) MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (12) MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (13) MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (14) MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (18) MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (19) From the highway up to the site, the Department of Public Works and Highways provided the access concrete road. On the other hand, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources set up a Hamiguitan Biodiversity Research Center within the site.

MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (10)The construction of the entire complex including all the buildings, museum interiors, park amenities outdoor interpretation as well as its landscaping took 13 months to complete. The construction started on November 2014 until December 2015.

MOUNT HAMIGUITAN (8)Five months after its completion, finally the Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park is open to the people and the rest of the world. The historic unveiling was spearheaded by the mother of the Province, Governor Corazon Malanyaon with President Benigno Aquino III as the special guest of honor.

HAMIGUITAN 3Truly, the UNESCO inscription together with the development of the Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park provide a great prestige and honor not only to the leaders and the people of Province of Davao Oriental but the country as a whole. It showcases and celebrates the fortitude of its people in protecting and conserving their natural treasures.

Our very energetic mother of the Province, Governor Corazon Malanyaon

As someone who hails from Davao Oriental, I feel so honored to share this greatest achievement with my Province. There is so much pride in my heart knowing that my home province is now known as home to world-class destinations like our most treasured jewel, the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary. My shout-out of gratitude to our dearest outgoing Governor Corazon Malanyaon. Your legacy and dedication will never be forgotten.

New Homes, New Hopes, New Beginnings in Davao Oriental

It is more than three years now since Typhoon Pablo wreaked unimaginable havoc in the three towns of Davao Oriental – the municipalities of Boston, Baganga, including my hometown of Cateel. Albeit the scars of the monstrous disaster is still visible, victims of Typhoon Pablo today along with their families are gradually moving forward from their dreadful experience dealing with the aftermath of most disastrous typhoon ever to hit that year. My relatives included.


The wounds caused by Typhoon Pablo are slowly healing. People are getting back to their lives. Those who lost their homes get new ones. Those farms that are severely destroyed by the monstrous winds are replanted again. Alternative sources of living are introduced. Those who are jobless are taught with new livelihood trainings. Many, especially those who benefited so much from the different aid and assistance given to all victims, somehow considered Typhoon Pablo as a blessing in disguise. I’ve seen so many changes from what was used to be ground zero to well-rehabilitated towns now.

DCIM101GOPROThree years after the massive catastrophe, blessings still pour in in these three towns of Davao Oriental. Very recently, the MVP Tulong Kapatid, the corporate social responsibility consortium of the companies led by businessmen Manuel V. Pangilinan, formally turned over 266 housing units to the families who were left homeless in Baganga. Coming from a heartbreaking disaster, I witnessed how all these beneficiaries beamed with so much joy and deep gratitude as they accepted their new typhoon-resilient homes they can now finally call their very own. Others even wept for joy saying they have better homes now compared to the ones destroyed by Typhoon Pablo.

MVP HOMES DAVAO ORIENTAL12The village is now known as MVP Tulong Kapatid Homes and it is located in Barangay Lambajon. It is situated in a five-hectare resettlement site provided and developed by the Provincial Government. I am so impressed to see that the design of the housing units exceeded the usual specifications for social housing. What’s more, these houses are designed to withstand up to 250 kph winds.


Aside from typhoon resilient houses, the village also features a community clinic, paved subdivision roads, as well as electrical and water services. Now, homeowners consider their new community as the new foundation of their hopes and dreams.

MVP HOMES DAVAO ORIENTAL3MVP HOMES DAVAO ORIENTAL6As someone who came from the same typhoon-stricken area, it is truly inspiring to see how this solid partnership between the MVP Tulong Kapatid and the Provincial Government led by Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon turned this sad catastrophe into a great opportunity to help alleviate the lives of those victims who once lost hope after the tragedy and build them not only durable homes but resilient community. I can now imagine these new homeowners who come from different typhoon-stricken parts of Baganga now living together in one community sharing new hopes, new dreams, and new beginnings.

MVP HOMES DAVAO ORIENTAL15MVP HOMES DAVAO ORIENTAL18In her speech during the turn-over ceremonies, I saw how deeply grateful Governor Cora was as she conveyed her message of gratitude to all the stakeholders especially to Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan for building a project that gave hope to the whole community. She shared the same joy and happiness with the new homeowners. For the beneficiaries, she urged them to make their new community a model of the building-back-better principle and a great foundation for moving forward.

Representatives and top officials of the MVP Group headed by Vice Chairman of the PLDT-Smart Foundation Napoleon Nazareno (4th from left) together with Davao Oriental Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon (6th from left) and First District Representative Cong. Nelson Dayanghirang (2nd from left)
Representatives and top officials of the MVP Group headed by Vice Chairman of the PLDT-Smart Foundation Napoleon Nazareno (4th from left) together with Davao Oriental Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon (6th from left) and First District Representative Cong. Nelson Dayanghirang (2nd from left)

In the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo, Governor Malanyaon spearheaded the “Building Back Better” program that will serve as guiding principle for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the three hard-hit towns in the Province. Partnership with private institutions like the MVP Group of Companies is part of this program.

MVP HOMES DAVAO ORIENTAL11A guiding principle, “Building Back Better”, with its positive impact and result, was later acknowledged by the United Nations as ‘best in disaster response’.


This is Baganga Sunrise Boulevard built about two years after Typhoon Pablo.
This is Baganga Sunrise Boulevard built about two years after Typhoon Pablo. The coastal park features the old mangrove trees ravaged by storm but now slowly recovering.
The highest waterfalls in the Philippines was was spared during Typhoon Pablo. But two years after, rehabilitation and development of Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park was made. Today, it is one of the most visited destinations in the whole Davao Region.
The highest waterfalls in the Philippines was not spared during Typhoon Pablo. But two years after, rehabilitation and development of Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park was made. Today, it is one of the most visited destinations in the whole Davao Region. This is located in Cateel, Davao Oriental.
Cateel River Park was constructed after reminder of Typhoon Pablo wrath. Here' one can find the Pablo Memorial Monument created by Davao Artist Kublai Milan.
Cateel River Park was constructed as reminder of Typhoon Pablo’s wrath. Here’ one can find the Pablo Memorial Monument created by Davao Artist Kublai Milan.
Another post-Pablo development in the Boston Pacific View Park in the the town center of Boston. The park offers the perfect view of the Pacific Ocean and Cabugao Island.
Another post-Pablo development project is the Boston Pacific View Park in the the town center of Boston. The park offers the perfect view of the Pacific Ocean and Cabugao Island.
The is Aragon Dam located in Barangay Aragon in Cateel Davao Oriental. Constructed after Typhoon Pablo and now the biggest irrigation dam in the whole Mindanao.
The is Aragon Dam located in Barangay Aragon in Cateel Davao Oriental. Constructed after Typhoon Pablo and now the biggest irrigation dam in the whole Mindanao.

More than three years have passed now and our three towns along with our people are getting up moving forward from the wrath of Typhoon Pablo. There are so many things to be thankful. And that includes all those who help rehabilitate and reconstruct these three towns – the government, NGOs and private groups. They build not only houses, but they cemented the hopes and dreams of the people who are once tested by the rage of nature.

PROJECT GIVE BACK YEAR 4: The Travel Teller’s Year End Special

CHRISTMAS IS IN THE AIR! And ’tis a season of giving again. Now on it’s 4th year, join The Travel Teller and his friends for the annual “The Travel Teller Gives Back” with its theme “Magpasaya ng mga Kabataang Mandaya Ngayong Pasko!”.
TTT Gives Back 2015 1This year’s recipients are pupils of Patong Elementary School,  Spur Dos Elementary School and May-Laya Primary School, three of the farthest schools in Cateel where 90% of the population are Mandayas. These schools are among the hard-hit places when Typhoon Pablo ravage the town in December 4, 2012. These kids were among the survivors of the monstrous disaster.
TTT Gives Back 2015 1BE OUR PARTNER and become a way to make our little IP brothers and sisters merrier this Christmas. Contact us and we will be delighted to have you as our sponsors. We invite you too to join us in my hometown of Cateel for this gift giving affair scheduled on December 18-20, 2015.
For your pledges, you may call or text 0939-342-3939. Salamatay gayud kamayo.


On the occasion of the 48th Founding Anniversary of Davao Oriental, the Honorable Governor Corazon Nunez-Malanyaon spearheaded the awarding of citation to a number of individuals and groups in different fields who have shown commitment and support to the progress and development of the Province. Among the awardees is yours truly and this blog, The Travel Teller.

Blog Awards and Recognition (3)
The Travel Teller received citation from the Honorable Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Nunez-Malanyaon.

The citation reads as follows:

“Citation to Olan F. Emboscado in grateful recognition and deep appreciation for his wholehearted commitment and invaluable countless support in the tourism promotions of the Province of Davao Oriental by constantly promoting the many tourism destinations of the province in his award winning blog “The Travel Teller” leading to the high impact of tourist arrivals in the province and for bringing honor to the province by winning international and national travel blog awards.”

11402971_961952927159459_6423765111498079901_nWhen I started blogging years back, my only purpose was to create an online diary where I can chronicle every adventure and misadventure I have as I wander around the country and our neighbors in Asia. As it progresses, it earned a good number of following, gained hits and shares, got featured on different media and received a number of awards and citations. And from a simple travel blog, it morphed to something that advocates tourism promotion, environment and change. And being a true son of Davao Oriental, it is pride to patronize, showcase and promote my very own home province of Davao Oriental including the many spectacular attractions hidden in the 11 towns of our Province.

Blog Awards and Recognition (1)
Awards and Citations received by The Travel Teller since 2011.

Thus, a lot of highlighted posts on this blog featured the different destinations in our Province enticing readers to come and discover these unknown yet stunning sights to behold. In the process I found out that this blog, The Travel Teller, becomes the bible of those who are lured to come and marvel at what used to be the secreted beauty of Davao Oriental. From a simple personal blog now it becomes the virtual guide to “Experience Davao Oriental”.

ALIWAGWAG FALLS, the emerging premier tourist destination in Mindanao located in Cateel, Davao Oriental. My article about ALIWAGWAG FALLS is the most visited blogpost on The Travel Teller.

Knowing that my works matter is enough reason for me to be cheerful. Knowing that this becomes influential is enough for me to be satisfied. As I always say, receiving recognition is always a bonus. For the past 4 years, I have been consistently reaping awards and recognitions but earning such credit and respect coming from my own home Province and our highest leader, the Honorable Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon is certainly an honor. I am so overwhelmed with so much joy knowing that my little ways of helping tourism promotion in our Province is highly appreciated.

Blog Awards and Recognition (5) Blog Awards and Recognition (7) Blog Awards and Recognition (11)To the Honorable Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon and her dynamic team who work hard for the progress of the Province, thank you so much for this recognition. I am deeply honored to receive this special citation from you. I am more inspired, more motivated to continue my advocacy, promote not only the natural and man-made beauty of the Province but also the goodness of our people.

From the bottom of my heart, SALAMATAY GAYUD!