Rodriguez, Rizal: Nature Trip To Wawa Dam
There’s nothing much to do one weekend so I browsed the internet looking for something to shoot. A friend posted about her recent trip in La Mesa Eco Park and asked her details, but unfortunately the budget always gets in the way, so save this destination some other time. For now, I’m setting foot at the far end of my home town, Rodriguez.
Formerly known as Montalban, referring to the mountainous terrain of this northern most town in Rizal. As the jeepney to Wawa journey along the the foot of the mountain, I wander outside the window, astonished by the huge mountains though some of them were converted to quarry sites. On the other side of the road runs a river where from the dam flows. The 15 minute jeepney ride end on a dirt road where the trek to the dam begins. Before I begin the hike, I had a quick meal at Aling Norm’s Eatery (Aling Norma’s or Aling Norm’s), which serves home cook viands served with rice.
River filled with big limestone rocks.
Bridging the two gorges.
From a distance, you can see the twin mountains pushed by the legendary figure of the Philippine folklore, Bernardio Carpio (click link to see different versions of the story), who bears supernatural strength. The path leads to the mountains where the dam is situated in between. Many sari-sari stores, souvenir shops, and local houses stand along the path which leads to a short tunnel. Hand rails on the side where placed to ensure the safety of hikers.
People bathing at the Wawa Dam’s cascades.
Ruins of an observation deck.
Wawa Dam gorge.
Wawa Dam used to supply water in Metro Manila until it stopped operation when Angat Dam was built. Now it serves as a destination for weekend warriors seeking a taste of nature without going far off the city. People can swim right at the cascade where small make-shift cottages are available. A short walk leads to the observation deck where you can see the gorge, the dam, and reservoir, an another option to cool down after that short sweaty hike. Rafts on the reservoir are also available for rent.
Locals maneuver rafts as they cruise on the reservoir.
Floating huts for rent.
Rafting at the dam.
Rodriguez’ Wawa Dam is really a good option for travelers searching for a little nature adventure. Since it’s cheap and accessible, anyone, especially cheap travelers like, can visit the place, shoot photos, and cool down. Unfortunately, locals built houses on the river banks so where there’s residents there’s always waste. A local DENR officer told me that resident should be 20 meters away from the bank but many violated and now you can see the outcome. She also told me that she saw the dam many years ago, when there were no one residing. It was really different back then. Hopefully, residents, locals, and visitors collaborate to restore the cleanliness and preserve the natural and man-made wonders of Wawa Dam.
Mountains an hour before the sun sets.
Now here are some fast facts that may help you in your trip:
1. Public vehicles with direct routes to Montalban passes by Santa Lucia Mall in Marcos Highway for P27.00. From town, there are jeeps to Wawa for P8.00, this is preferable instead of hailing a tricycle which probably would be very expensive.
2. There are no entrance fees in Wawa Dam.
3. Wear light clothes, and hiking shoes or sandals. Rocks are sometimes slippery so better be careful.
4. Be safe on the trip.
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