My inland tour on Samal Island continues. After being amazed by the millions of bats at Monfort Bat Cave, we tracked back at the main road and proceeded to Barangay Peñaplata, where our next stop, the Hagimit Falls can be found. It is one of the well known attractions on the island and is quite accessible by the main road. We reached the entrance gate in less than an hour. There’s a Php 40 entrance fee per person for the upkeep of the resort park. There weren’t many people around since its the weekday.
Nature Amidst Development
Being a popular attraction in Samal island, I was already expecting heavy development in Hagimit Falls. We followed the paved descending pathway leading to the main falls. I’m glad to say though that despite noticeable developments, like the cemented platforms and pathways to make it convenient for most people, they kept much of the vegetation in the area intact. Towering tree particularly the hagimit trees where the waterfalls name came from are still abundant. There are cottages, picnic tables for rent in the area ranging from Php 150 to 500. Some sell food and drinks but its much better to bring your own. It’s not totally lost to commercial development which is good. There are still some cascades where people can enjoy a piece of solitude with nature.
Hagimit Falls really reminds me a lot of Tat Kuang Si in Laos, especially in the early part of the falls where multiple cascades and natural pools lead to the main falls. Hagimit Falls doesn’t have a towering main drop though but it has wonderful turquoise water on good weather with a number of inviting pools too. I enjoyed swimming on the main falls and exploring a bit of its upper portion. The only thing that kinda ticked me off with the area are the numerous tarp signages everywhere. Just on the main falls there are three “No Diving” signs! Can’t reiterate much can they? The worse thing about it is that people seemed oblivious to it especially the young ones who enjoyed diving on the basin. Eventually I just ignored them too and just enjoyed the cascade and wading through the clear basin. Hagimit Falls is still a good place to enjoy nature’s simple pleasure.
Hagimit falls is located about two kilometers from Peñaplata proper. Buses plying the route can drop visitors to the entry point. Then hire a habal-habal to the main entrance. There’s an entrance fee of Php 40 per pax. Water can be murky a few days after the rain so check the weather. The place can also get crowded during the weekends or holidays.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.