I know from research that Hagimit Falls is a touristy place with its cottages and other structures. While some folks like to go to "developed" destinations, I like my destinations (especially waterfalls) wild, pristine, and unspoilt. But my wife and I decided to check it out anyway since we got time to spare before heading back to Davao City.
The place is developed indeed. There is a gate where you pay an entrance fee of 20 pesos per person. The walkway down to the falls area is cemented.
I soon realized that Hagimit does not refer to a single waterfall: the place is more like a lattice of cascades, mostly just a few feet high, and streams. Most of the place is under a canopy of full grown trees so there is plenty of shade. The area is named so because of the abundance of hagimit trees (ficus minahassae) nearby.
We hiked further upstream to check out the source of water: a huge cave under a limestone cliff. I had to climb over slippery boulders to get a closer look.
The mouth of the cave is almost underwater now. A small dam was built just a few meters from the entrance to make a reservoir which supplies drinking water to nearby districts. Due to that nobody is allowed to swim near or in the reservoir.
We got the place mostly to ourselves since we went there on a weekday. I got no problem finding a POV with no people in it but the sunny weather limited my shots. I had to wait for some cloud cover before I can take snaps, and my cloud cover usually lasted just a few seconds.
The cool water is ideal for swimming (and for soothing my tired feet). Some days the water is clear but turns a bit muddy when it rains. Hagimit's "configuration" changes over time as small streams either disappear during the dry season or swell into a raging river when its flooded.
one of the main falls
Hagimit is a good place for picnics since it has the facilities. It was quiet when we were there but I could just imagine the place during a holiday or a weekend: rowdy crowd, drinking sessions, a looming cloud of barbecue smoke, and the ever present karaoke. For us Filipinos, when the next municipality cannot hear you sing then its not karaoke.
Hagimit falls is just about 2 kilometers from Peñaplata district. You can get habal-habals or motorcycles in town to take you there and back for 50 pesos (depending on your haggling skills).
At the time of writing, they are building more cottages for overnight stay. You may contact +63-917-667-4831 and +63-920-587-2430 for inquiries and reservations.