I was scouring my brain, thinking where exactly I should spend a couple of days at. I wanted, nature, trees, streams, anywhere scenic. After hours of gorging an entire box of chocolates, what popped into my tired brain is the Hagimit waterfalls. Luckily, despite the peak season of summer, —not to mention the crazy airfare rates. I found a friendly deal with Cebu Pacific Air. GOSH! It took me months of planning to make my vacation happen. And finally, after being away for years, I got the chance to visit my hometown again.
How To Get There
The Davao region’s Island Garden City of Samal is just 15 minutes away by a ferry boat service or a bus transported by a barge (cheaper, ₱50). You can cross from Davao city wharf to the island’s Ferry Terminal in Babak.
This remote paradise belongs to the Brgy. Cawag, in Peñaplata, but the route to the waterfalls run up and downhill on trails. You can hire a tricycle from the dock to the destination for 300 pesos or $5, per way. It’s easier for the budget to just make arrangements with the tricycle drivers for a pickup. What you will appreciate with these tricycle drivers is they are mostly friendly. You will not have much trouble negotiating for the service fee.
Getting To Hagimit Waterfalls Is A HIKE!!
Reaching the entrance of the Hagimit waterfalls, you’ll see a huge sign that says “PAY HERE.” Expect a flight of steps going down and a few more staircases going up if you want to reach the top waterfall & pool. Trust me, you’ll be surprised by how amazingly beautiful the surrounding is. Broached with lush greens, full-grown trees of various kinds, and the cool water gently descending on huge rocks.
The fee which I find pretty cheap is what they use to maintain the area’s cleanliness and natural form. The rate for children 8 years old and above is only ₱40 or 90 cents in American currency. While for ages two to seven years old, the rate is ₱20 or 44 cents.
As the saying goes, if you want something so bad, you have to work hard for it. There it was, I found myself navigating 200 steps downhill, which was certainly a leg workout. My journey to the Hagimit waterfalls was like a trail hike except that we were treading on concrete steps. Boy! I’m glad we ate breakfast prior that unexpected walkathon. Nevertheless, my excitement was soaring high, and I really cared less that I made it there all tuckered out because it is all worth the sweat.
The long walks on a hot sunny day sucked most of my energy. So, I quickly ran to the nearest stream and soaked my tired feet. The refreshing water and the trees looking down at you (not the creepy way) helped cool the air temperature. After five minutes of immersing my tired feet in the river water, I felt recharged! When I reached the top waterfall, I didn’t waste time and took lots of photos before I finally dipped myself.
I spent my three days wandering around Peñaplata without wearing corrective lenses, yet my vision was okay, and I didn’t experience headaches. It is certainly true that the eye-soothing canopy of greens remedies eye-strain. According to the local old folks I met near the Hagimit waterfalls, since the early part of the 20th century, the river has its enchantments. They shared stories of people who had encountered the environmental spirits living near the Hagimit Falls and the surrounding forest.
Surrounding the first three waterfalls, owned and managed by “Mahal Forest Resort” are huts, cottages, and small stores. Life vests to those who can’t swim as well as wooden rafts are available! Unlike other riverside resorts, the Mahal forest resort’s setting is very much befitting campers. You can’t even find souvenir shops which encourage visitors to take photos instead.
Here’s The Resort’s Rates
Open Cottage – Php 500.00
Close Cottage – Php 1000.00
Tables with Chair – Php 150.00
*The price is subject to change without prior notice
The Hagimit waterfalls are consists of about six short natural pools good for a dive. Two are more than six feet deep. If you’re like me who can’t swim,— better wear a life vest. My personal choice of the natural pool is the one situated right at the very top of the Hagimit waterfalls, where the sunlight meets the glistening waters. It was a short three days, but it’s a kind of retreat that I absolutely love!