Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ten Highest Waterfalls in the Philippines

The Philippines is blessed with numerous waterfalls scattered in the different parts of the archipelago, and each Falls has its own beauty and characteristics that makes it unique and a spectacle to wonder. Seven of the highest waterfalls are found in Mindanao: five of which are in Lanao del norte, and two are found in Davao. 

Let us take a look at the 10 highest waterfalls in the Philippines:

1. Aliwagwag Falls - 1,100 Feet
Davao Oriental

Aliwagwag Falls is the highest waterfall in the country with an over-all height of 1,110 feet (388 meters) and is regarded as one of the most awesomely beautiful falls in the Philippines. It is situated in the middle of a forest in Cateel, Davao Oriental. This towering waterfall has a cascade of 13 rapids which amazingly look like a huge stairway with 84 steps of varying heights.

2. Limunsudan Falls - 870 Feet
Lanao del Norte

The second highest waterfall in the country is the Limusudan Falls. This two-tiered falls has a combined height of 870 feet. Its lower cascade alone measures 400 feet, higher than the entire height of Maria Cristina Falls. It is located in Barangay Rogongon, Iligan City.

3. Busay Falls - 797 Feet

Busay Falls is one of the major tourist attractions in Bohol. It has a height of 243 meters with an average width of 6 meters. The waterfall consists of seven stages and lies on the Loboc River where foreign tourists and locals enjoy winding in the river on board small bancas of floating restaurants.

4. Abaga Falls - 640 Feet
Lanao del Norte

Abaga Falls is located 15 kilometers southwest of Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte and can only be reached through hiking. It has a height of 640 feet.

5. Tudaya Falls - 492 Feet
Davao del Sur

Tudaya Falls is located in Sta Cruz, Davao Del Sur near the Mount Apo, the Philippines highest mountain peak. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. With the height of 492 feet (150 meters) it is the tallest waterfalls in Mt. Apo National Park. The site is about three hours drive from Davao City.

6. Tamaraw Falls - 423 Feet
Oriental Mindoro

The 423-foot Tamaraw Falls is located near a road in Barangay Villaflor, near the city of San Teodoro in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. It is a series of smaller waterfalls that converges to the main waterfalls cascading down to the water basin below. This natural wonder provides one of the most spectacular sights to behold.

7. Pagsanjan Falls - 393 Feet

Pagsanjan Falls or the Magdapio Falls is a premier tourist destination located in Laguna, and is regarded as one of the most beautiful and famous waterfalls in the Philippines. This Horsetail type waterfalls is 393 feet (120 meters) in height. To reach the Falls, visitors need to negotiate a series of long and winding water rapids of varying degrees on-board a small raft navigated by the local "bankeros."

8. Maria Cristina Falls - 320 Feet
Lanao del Norte

Because of the numerous waterfalls in Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte, the Maria Cristina Falls was nicknamed as the "City of Majestic Waterfalls." It is also known as the "Mother of Industry" since it supplies 80% of the total energy need of the Mindanao region. It lies on the the Agus River and is sometimes called the "Twin Falls" since the flow is separated by a rock at the brink of the waterfall. This natural wonder has a total height of 320 feet. 

9. Katibawasan Falls - 250 Feet
Camiguin Island

Katibawasan Falls is a majestic 250-foot waterfalls in the Island of Camiguin, a pear-shaped volcanic island lying in the Bohol Sea, some 54 kilometers southeast of the famous Chocolate Hills in Bohol and some 90 kilometers north of Cagayan de Oro. The Falls cascades to a rock pool surrounded by ground orchids, wild ferns, trees, and boulders.

10. Tinago Falls - 240 Feet
Lanao Del Norte 

Last but certainly not the least is the Tinago Falls hidden in a deep ravine some 13 kilometers away from the city proper in Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte. This fan-type waterfalls is 240 feet (73.1 meters) in height. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Aliwagwag Falls

Where can you find the highest waterfall in the Philippines but in Davao Oriental called the Aliwagwag Falls!

Davao is blessed with numerous gifts of natural wonders such as talcum-fine white sand beaches, sprawling expanse of lush greenery of towering palm and varieties of forest trees, spectacular diving sites, awesome waterfalls, and many other geographical wonders. 

Situated in the middle of a lush forest some 25 kilometers away from Cateel proper in Davao Oriental, is the Aliwagwag Falls, the highest waterfall and one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines. With a towering height of 1,110 feet and an average of meters in width, it is a series of astounding cascades of 84 falls with various heights ranging from 6 to 110 feet that look like a huge spiraling stairway carved out by the wonder of nature, forming almost a hundred steps cascading from the forest to the edge where it enters Cateel River and then empties to the coast. 

Aliwagwag Falls

The Falls is very accessible and can easily be viewed along the main road that connects Cateel with Trento in Agusan del Sur. The bridge over the river is a good viewing area to this waterfall where many locals can be seen enjoying a good splash in the rapids. While Aliwagwag Falls may be way off the tourist map and is known mostly to locals and intrepid adventurers, many have come to this beautiful spot, foreign and domestic tourists alike, and left with a lasting memory deeply embedded with a promise of return in their hearts.

View of the Falls

Aliwagwag Falls

Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Republic of the Philippines

Being the foremost landmark in Davao Oriental, incumbent President of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III, declared the mountain range of Aliwagwag as a protected area under the category of protected landscape and its peripheral areas as buffer zone through Proclamation Number 139 known as the "Aliwagwag Protected Landscape." Not only was the  proclamation the result of the untiring efforts of by local environmentalists for the national government to help them provide protective measures that would effectively preserve this wonderful gift of nature to the people of Davao Oriental, but it also serves as a tremendous boost to the province’s tourism program.

Corazon Malanyaon
Davao Oriental Governor

Long before Corazon Malanyaon assumed office as Davao Oriental governor, then a representative of province’s first district, she had sponsored the bill in Congress for the declaration of Aliwagwag as a protected area. She was supported in the Senate by Senator Pia Cayetano who sponsored the same bill in the upper House.

Being a vital and potential source of energy, Aliwagwag Falls plays a critical role in serving the irrigation needs of the vast rice fields in the area and the massive volume of water it continually creates may be tapped as an indispensable means to harness renewable hydro power to augment and sustain the energy needs not only of Davao Oriental but its neighboring provinces as well.

Now that the Aliwagwag Falls and its vicinity had been declared as a watershed protected area and landscape under Republic Act No. 7586 otherwise known as the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) Act of 1992, this will immediately facilitate the ultimate conservation and preservation of the habitat of important and vanishing species and outstanding scenery which are critical in the sustainable development of natural resources and biodiversity of the area and will help prevent environmental exploitation brought about by the influx of unscrupulous people penetrating the area.

Map of Cateel inDavao Oriental

Davao Oriental has the largest protected areas in Southern Mindanao, covering 778.45 square kilometers or 43 percent of the total protected areas in the region. Aliwagwag Falls’s aggregate area is about 10,000 hectares, 78 percent of which falls within the province of Davao Oriental while 22 percent belongs to the Compostela Valley province. Municipality of Cateel is bounded by the Pacific Ocean in the east, Compostela Valley in the west, Boston in the north, and Baganga in the south.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), there are now seven protected areas in Davao Oriental, as follows: 

1. Baganga Bay Protected Landscape
with an area of 205 square kilometers

2. Baganga Protected Landscape
with an area of 1.14 square kilometers

3. Mati Protected Landscape
with an area of 10.17 square kilometers

4. Pujada Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape
with an area of 212 square kilometers

5. Mount Hamiguitan Range and Wildlife Sanctuary 
with an area of 68.34 square kilometers

6. San Isidro Protected Landscape and Seascape
with an area of 175.90 square kilometers

7. Aliwagwag Protected Landscape
with an area of 105.9 square kilometers

Moreover, long before President Benigno Aquino III issued Executive Order No. 23 that imposes a total log ban in the entire country, Governor Malanyaon, through the Provincial Board of Davao Oriental, had already imposed the provincial government’s absolute log ban policy. The Executive Order No. 23 is a declared moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests in the Philippines which also led to the creation of the Anti-illegal Logging Task Force.

How to get to Aliwagwag Falls

Cateel, Davao Oriental is some 360 kilometers away or about three and a half hour drive from Davao City and is easily accessible by bus at the Ecoland Transport terminal, or L300 vans for hire in Davao City.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Damosa Gateway

Damosa Gateway is one of the popular destinations for shopping and dining, a comfortable and spacious one-stop-shop where families bond together, friends hang-out, and colleagues meet. It hosts a collection of coffee shops, restaurants, eateries, bistros, bars, boutiques, a school, and a hotel. It is also where some IT companies in the Philippines are based.

Damosa Gateway

Damosa is surrounded with trees and greenery

Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku
(Mindanao International College)
Many shops are found in the arcade

Row of Restaurants


Pancake House

Yellow Cab Pizza

Other side of Yellow Cab Pizza

Yellow Cab Pizza Delivery Scooters

Ice Giants

Pizza Planet

Damosa Market Basket

Damosa Market Basket is a shopping arcade complete with several stalls that sell native items like hand woven sandals and capiz shell lamps, and other displays of low-priced variety of items and basic services. It is frequented by tourist for shopping souvenirs to bring back home. It was opened to the public on February 18, 2007.

Shops that line the Damosa Market Basket

Other view of the Damosa Market Basket

Damosa at Night

View of the other side

Market Basket

Damosa Gateway was developed by Damosa Land, one of the city's premier land developers, primarily to attract commercial activity in the area for the convenience of the people living at Damosa. Prior to Damosa Gateway people had to go all the way to the city center to shop for items. It is also one of the favorite venues for many sponsored concerts for local bands and performances.

How to get to Damosa Gateway

Damosa Gateway is conveniently located along J. P. Laurel Avenue in Damosa, Lanang, some 15 minutes drive from downtown Davao City, and is easily accessible by private or public transportation.

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