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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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September 23, 2009

samal island: hagimit falls quickie

Source of Hagimit Water
Hagimit's water source

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.

Hagimit Nook
Hagimit nook

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.

Getting there
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.
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Unknown said...

enchanting! i've been to Hagimit Spring a few years ago when i spent my vacation in Samal but wasn't able to see the source of this spring. beautiful shots!

Ebie said...

I say your shots are just as beautiful as the waterfalls and the scenery! This is one of the hidden gem of our Country. Great job Allan!
P.S. Bisdak pud ko!

bertN said...

With more and more visitors to the place how will they be able to continually protect the drinking water reservoir? I imagine the water goes to the end-users untreated.

Linnea said...

What an amazing place. Your photos are spectacular. I can almost hear and feel the water around me!

Gaelyn said...

What a beautiful place with it's hanging gardens and waterfalls. Too bad about the development, a little bit would be enough. Humans tend to love it too much then destroy in the name of money.

Norm said...

hello! kanindot sa imong falls, I love the view very impressive and authentic, basta Mindanao ayos diba?.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos & very interesting information, too!
I love your work

eileeninmd said...

Gorgeous pictures, I can picture myself sitting there enjoying the scene.

Lantaw said...

@luna - the source is just a short hike up stream, but the rocks going to the cave's mouth are too slippery

Lantaw said...

@Ebie- Thank you. nice to meet another bisdak :D

Lantaw said...

@bert - they don't allow visitors to bath up stream near the cave's mouth and i'm sure the water goes through a purification process. You should see La Mesa watershed, the source of metro manila's potable water hehehe. I'll drink Hagimit's water any day :D

Lantaw said...

@Linnea - Thanks! Its indeed a nice place to relax

Lantaw said...

@Gaelyn - I guess its the rush into "tourism". In a place where there is not much livelihood the prospect of making money by putting up cottages near some of nature's wonders seem very enticing.

Lantaw said...

@Norm - mismo mo! lots and lots of great places in Mindanao

Lantaw said...

@Tricia - Thank you!

Lantaw said...

@eileeninmd - Thanks! If by some chance you find yourself in Davao one of these days, include Hagimit in your itinerary

atto aryo said...

the place looks so peaceful and pristine, and it was made more captivating by your shots. magnifico!

Johnny Boy said...

the last time i've been here was during holyweek 2005... was badly deteriorated back then, but i can see now that it's being developed! very nice indeed!

Lantaw said...

@r-yo, it was peaceful indeed, at least when we were there hehe. I just imagine how the place looks like on a weekend :D

Lantaw said...

@Johnny Boy, I think it deteriorates every now and then, especially during the rainy season :D, but the tenants of the place tries to rebuild it every time it does happen.

I dont know about others but I am not especially thrilled on putting resorts around waterfalls and springs. It tends to destroy the natural beauty of things. Obscure walkways and trails are OK, but cottages, well its another story

Oman said...

sayang walang worship emoticon dito hehehe. ang ganda ng mga kuha bro. the best. you are the bomb.

Lantaw said...

@oman, hahaha, thanks bai! dami pang pwdeng kunan dun, na ubos lang time sa kakahintay ng tamang lighting

Anonymous said...

nami mga kuha mo sir ba.. nagpasamal ka gali..hehe diri na ko sa davao subong na assign.. salamat sa info.. try ko man mag shoot da, mangita ko anay upod..hehe

Lantaw said...

@philip - damu da lagawan sa Samal ba. mayo ka lapit ka lang da :)

Anonymous said...

Hope to visit Hagimit soon...

Davao real estate properties

Anonymous said...

It is such a wonderful place, you will really appreciate the beauty of nature.

Anonymous said...

how many times nko nkaadto diri...sobrang ganda ng place..1st ko punta d2 it was year 1999 with my barkadas..dami ko kuha d2 pero luma na..i love hagimit..: )

Anonymous said...


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