Aliwagwag Falls, said to be the highest falls of the Philippines, stuns along the green highway of Brgy. Aliwagwag in the silent town of Cateel, Davao Oriental. One hundred thirty cascades comprise the grand waterfalls totaling to 1,100 feet high. Aliwagwag Falls, labeled as stairway to the sky, graces the forested landscape so easily accessible to any kind of transportation.
I purposely visited Davao Oriental to see Aliwagwag Falls. I was fortunate enough to have a friend, Orle from Mati, who treated me a road trip. So I knew there are lots in store for me.
When I was entering Mati very early morning, awesome sunrise soothed my sleepless eyes. My tiresome night trip had started to be compensated. Upon arrival at 6:00 am, Orle drove me to my destination. Along the way, the beautiful scenery of the province continued wowing me.
We passed by the town of Caraga and visited an old church. Caraga is also the easternmost part of the Philippines, where sunrise first strikes.
Passing along coastal lines of the province, I couldn't resist the alluring views of the sea. We dropped by Banganga and took a distant look (with drool) at San Victor Islet.
After 3 hours drive, clouds blocked the sun while we were approaching the town of Cateel.
It started to rain. Anticipating a flood, we decided to leave our VIOS and hired a roofed habalhabal to barangay Aliwagwag. Drizzle welcomed us to Aliwagwag Falls. Its easy accessibility so amazed me. I was even expecting a long trek but it never required me. It generously sheds it glory along national highway.
The pouring rain didn't stop me to bask in Aliwagwag's charm. Unmindful of flash flood, I never hesitated to get near it. I touched it and enjoyed its cool soothing waters.
Rain was getting stronger. Time was not enough but we had to leave the falls. My heart wanted to stay when I bid farewell to Aliwagwag Falls.
After feeding our stomachs at Poblacion, Cateel, we hurried back home to Mati.
While leaving Cateel, the world got brighter again. The sun shone and shed its rays upon the beautiful land. Why didn't it show up while I was in the falls?
On our way back, we passed by the the coasts of Manay and beheld its scenery. What amazed me seem just so ordinary to the people who see them everyday.
It was quite a long trip, the sun started to calm down. We dropped by Taragona and climbed a short hill I illusioned for Batanes. Atop the grassy hill, wonderful scenery of the lowlands blew me away.
Before sundown, we headed to Dahican Beach and caught sunset along the way.
That night, I briefly witnessed the relaxing life of people enjoying the wonderful, public beach.
Early morning, we drove back to the entrance of Mati City and once again viewed the famous Mati sunrise and Sleeping Dinosaur.
When the sun was up, it was time to go back to Dahican Beach and see its fullness in broad daylight. The beach never failed to amaze me. It is a vast long stretch of whitesand and it's free for all!
Surfers make this beach a playground due to its powerful waves. Families and backpackers spend their time relaxing in this wonderful ground.
I departed Mati before lunch. I dropped by the welcome arch of Davao Oriental at Manay before heading back to Davao City.
Sincere thanks to Papart Orle Cabaobao for accommodation, tourguiding, photography and free ride.
HOW TO GET THERE:
From Davao City, buses ply to Cateel via Mati City and via Compostela Valley Road.