Easily Accessible Cascades of Tenogtog Waterfalls

Tenogtog Waterfalls

Going on a picturesque 5 km journey along a winding mountain road led us to the enchanting Tenogtog Waterfalls, tucked in barangay Mapawoy, within the charming municipality of Mayoyao, in the scenic province of Ifugao. Our guide for the Mayoyao rice terraces trek, Leandro Elahe, enlightened us that “Tenogtog” in the local dialect means “chopped,” harking back to a time when early Mayoyao hunters would gather at this very spot to prepare and distribute their game among comrades.

Tenogtog Waterfalls
Our ride to Barangay Mapawoy
Our ride to Barangay Mapawoy
Trail to Tenogtog Waterfalls
Trail to Tenogtog Waterfalls

Short Hike, Big Rewards

Similar to the path to A’pfaw Mahencha Falls, the trail to Tenogtog Waterfalls boasts well-developed cemented stairs, adorned with lush foliage along the way. Yet, the ascent here is brief, requiring only a leisurely 15–20-minute stroll to reach the cascades.

Tenogtog Waterfalls

3-Level Delight: Tenogtog Waterfalls

Tenogtog Waterfalls unveils itself in three distinct tiers, each with its own serene basin. The initial level presents a majestic twin cascade, gracefully descending into a petite pool, framed by the verdant embrace of the surrounding forest—a sight worthy of any postcard.

A staircase beckons to the second tier, where a charming smaller waterfall awaits, nestled within a wider basin, its crystalline waters enticing visitors for a refreshing dip. Picnic cottages dot the area, adorned with cogon roofing, seamlessly blending with the natural ambiance.

Tenogtog Waterfalls
Elegant tit
Elegant tit
Warbling white-eye
Warbling white-eye

A fruit-laden tree provides sustenance for a variety of avian visitors, including the melodious warbling white eye and elegant tits, adding to the allure of the scene.

The jaw-dropping portion awaits at the third tier, boasting the tallest cascade of all. Here, the falls reveal a dual basin arrangement, capturing the imagination with its sheer grandeur. Photos reveal a broader cascade during the rainy season, while the wider basin serves as the prime swimming spot—offering a chilling yet invigorating experience akin to an icy plunge.

Towering third level of Tenogtog Waterfalls
Towering third level of Tenogtog Waterfalls

From Headhunting to Feasting: A Transformative Tale

The third tier doubles as the primary picnic area, boasting additional cottages and restroom facilities. Here, we indulged in coffee and snacks, enveloped by the tranquil embrace of nature. Our luncheon took the form of a festive boodle fight, featuring a sumptuous spread of rice, watercress, eggplants, grilled fish, and meat—a culinary celebration amidst natural splendor.

Tenogtog Waterfalls
Cascades at the 3rd level of the falls
Pinang-et snack
Pinang-et snack

Long before the era of Mayoyao hunters, legend speaks of Apfayyan, the first female headhunter, whose legacy echoes through the ages. In the tumultuous era of tribal warfare, Tenogtog Waterfalls served as a battleground, where adversaries would converge to settle their scores through grisly acts of beheading. Thus, alongside its moniker of “chopped,” Tenogtog also symbolizes the somber legacy of “beheading,” marking the site where Apfayyan vanquished her foes.

In contemporary times, however, the only chopping to be found is in the culinary realm, as delectable meats are prepared for communal feasts, epitomized by the jovial spirit of boodle fights. Tenogtog Waterfalls stands as a testament to the harmonious union of nature and culture, inviting all to bask in its timeless beauty and revel in the tranquility it bestows.

For more information on Tenogtog Waterfalls and touring Mayoyao, please connect with Mayoyao Tourism and Majestic Mayoyao Tourism

Enjoying the ice-cold waters.
Enjoying the ice-cold waters.
Boodle fight lunch spread
Boodle fight lunch spread
View of all three tiers of Tenogtog Waterfalls
View of all three tiers of Tenogtog Waterfalls