Getting your fill of waterfalls

What’s a much better way to beat the summer heat than to go falls hopping and soaking your bodies in the cascading waters of the region’s waterfalls?For adventurers and nature lovers, give in to the lure ofCompostela Valley, a province blessed with nature’s mixture of magnificient natural attractions.

The province boasts of several multi-tiered water falls. The highest of these are Marangig and Tagbibinta Falls, which serves as the entry and exit points respectively of Mt. Candalaga.Falls hopping lets you experience the chance to walk, climb up or go down steep slopes, wade, jump from rock to rock, and finally swim in the pool at the very edge of the water’s drop-off. A whole day’s river trekking and falls hopping last month on our way to the peak of Mt. Candalaga allowed me to experience reactions varying from pure exhilaration to sheer terror but it was worth the trip.

Marangig Falls

A few minutes’ trek from Barangay New Albay, seven kilometers from Maragusan centerpoint brought us to Marangig Falls, composed of a series of thirteen (13) smaller falls. Delighted with the spectacular view, we lingered for a while but our guide egged us on as we still have the whole day to spend for river trekking before reaching our camp site.A few meters upstream, we encountered another waterfalls. It is another straight falls with much vegetation growing in the falls itself and jutting out of the cascading water.

After reaching the fourth falls upstream from Marangig, I lost count as I paid more attention to the rocks and boulders I had to maneuver before reaching another falls.Luckily, I was among the few of us who was able to avoid deeper portions of the river. Others were not so lucky and fell in deep waters with their backpacks while others intentionally took a bath.

Tagbibinta Falls

A feast awaited our eyes and consoled our tired and aching muscles as we reached Tagbibinta Falls the following day after conquering the peak of Mt. Candalaga.Tagbibinta falls, a series of seven falls is located just five kilometers from the center of Maragusan in Barangay Coronobe. The first falls measures approximately 700 ft. high and provides an ideal trekking and climbing site.There is a camp ground in Tagbibinta with open cottages for rent ranging from P20, P50 and P100.

Aliwagwag Falls

Go beyond Compostela Valley and treat yourself to a summer you will always remember by visiting the famous Aliwagwag falls in Cateel, Davao Oriental.Located amidst thick forests just some 25 kilometers away from Cateel proper, Aliwagwag Falls towers from a total of 1110 feet, cascading over 186 stairways of varying heights, the tallest single drop of which is 100 feet. Bathing in Aliwagwag’s clear and cool waters is an experience one will find hard to forget.

Safety tips:

*Carry practical all-weather clothing and remember that your mobile phone may be out of range.

*Wear sturdy footwear with a good tread.

*Always carry water, food, matches and a torch, map and compass.

*Walking tracks involves uneven and slippery surfaces, water crossings and rock-hopping so be extra careful.

* Respect the environment and stay on marked paths. Take note of signs and landmarks.

* Don’t wander off alone but stay with your group. Its so easy to get lost in the forest.

Believe me, its worth the trip to Maragusan or Cateel just to see and take a bath at the water falls, particularly in the summer season when the weather is at its hottest in the city. The trip will do wonders to your soul.

Getting there

Cateel, which is some 360 kilometers from Davao City is accessible by bus at the Ecoland Transport terminal. L300 vans are also available from Davao City.MaragusanMaragusan is about three and a half hours bus ride from Davao City. Bus fare is P140. Motorcycles abound in Maragusan to transport visitors to the jump off area in Marangig or Tagbibinta falls.

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