The Devastated Aliwagwag Falls of Cateel

in #travel6 years ago (edited)


The devastation done by Typhoon Pablo opened up a window of opportunity for me to be of help as we conducted an Art Therapy Workshop for the kids of Cateel six(6) months after. That was also the time where I've seen the beauty of Aliwagwag falls for the first time. So please join me, as I look back at the memories of the horrendous event of the past while appreciating the aftermath beauty of Aliwagwag falls. Let's travel back in time and have #TheUltimateThrowback

For two days, we've spent our time with the kids, teaching them the basics of art and theater arts. Inspiring and healing their wounds from the tragic calamity they encountered. After our successful two day workshop, the best next thing to do is to unwind and enjoy the remaining hours before we'll journey back to Davao City. Our guide and host friend , Olan Emboscado of - a proud son of Cateel - invited us to Aliwagwag falls.


Aliwagwag falls was recognized as the tallest falls of its kind in the Philippines and considered as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Mindanao. Located in Brgy. Aliwagwag, about 25 kilometers from the center of Cateel, this famous waterfalls has a towering height of 1,100 feet with a width of 20 meters that boasts of 84 cascades blessed with different shapes and height that ranges from 6 to 70 feet. Seeing it from afar is like a huge stairway forming steps cascading from heaven down to earth. A stairway to heaven indeed.


As we travel to the Aliwagwag, we can clearly see the damage left by typhoon Bopha (Pablo). The scenery is heartbreaking. The once lush green vegetation has been ripped off, leaving nothing but debris of the once beautiful landscape. But, despite the depressing scenery, I am thankful that the denuded forest and the affected people are already slowly recovering during our visit.


The moment we passed by the bridge, the lovely view of Aliwagwag falls welcomed us with crowning glory and of course, with pride. It was absolutely... stunningly... breathtakingly beautiful. What caught my attention after praising this majestic beauty of nature was the logs that fell off the falls and the balded trees surrounding her - a clear indication of Pablo's wrath. Although some logs are blocking the view, the breathtaking beauty of Aliwagwag falls still prevails.


I took some photographs then eventually joined the rest of the group enjoying the cold rushing waters of Aliwagwag falls. I even dared jump on the log and it was so thrilling. We also tried climbing the falls but we eventually stopped since the current was unbearable. We've spend the whole afternoon enjoying this beautiful disaster and it was such an amazing experience being with them.


I'm so skinny here. This is way back 2013.

Visiting Aliwagwag falls has been on my "must visit list" since I started my "now-not-so-active" travel blog, but I never expected to get to this majestic waterfalls during the time of devastation. I may have not gotten to this priceless work of nature if not for Kikit and Dan Guillano, Sarah Elizar, Olan Emboscado and to the rest of the Pens of Hope in Davao volunteers and Help Cateel Volunteers who invited me to become a volunteer for the workshop 6 years ago. Time flies so fast. It was already more than half a decade since the calamity happened. I've personally witnessed the resiliency of the people who were once a victim of nature's wrath and it is amazing how they've turn such tragedy into an opportunity to become better and do better, not only for themselves, but to our mother nature as well.

The town of Cateel also did a great job in transforming Aliwagwag falls into an Eco Park where more activities such as zip lining, monkey bridge crossing and even trekking can be done while enjoying the great scenery. Now, we are planning to go back and experience the all new Aliwagwag falls soon.

This is @lakawero and thank you for reading my #FlashbackSaturday post.

All images used in this post are mine. These photos was also uploaded on my inactive domain on the year 2013.

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