Stone Giants and Balsas at Wawa Dam

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

April 8, 2014

Found in Rodriquez, Rizal (formerly Montalban), nestled in the Montalban Gorge, the Wawa Dam used to be the only water source in Manila until Angat Dam was built and the former was abandoned. Built in 1909, during the American Colonial era, Wawa Dam now serves as a tourist attraction, providing both water and tramping fun.

I've wanted to visit this place eversince one of my bestfriends told me about it. It had finally come into fruition two days after my Ilocos Adventure.

At first, I was planning to go on this adventure by myself. I'm fortunate that my only major concern in going on adventures is companionship. So I wanted to try solo-exploring because I get inexplicably choleric when adventures don't push through because of other people. I'm selfish that way.

However, since I've been regularly frequenting my sister/bestfriend's house, I've noticed that my oldest nephew, RJ, was always on the computer playing - surprise, surprise - DOTA. I've felt sorry for the kid, telling him the world outside is beautiful and he should see and experience it first hand. Ergo, I decided RJ would come with me to Wawa Dam.

The journey began in Angono. From here, we hailed a jeepney with a placard that said "Cubao/LRT". (One can also ride a "Sta. Lucia/Tropical/Hi-Way.") We got off at "Tropical", fare was 23pesos each. Here, we waited for a jeepney bound for "Montalban." Just tell the driver you'll be alighting at "Dulo." A gasoline station, I think it was Petron (the color scheme was blue), was where we got off. It had cost us 32pesos per person. We rode another jeepney with a "Wawa" signboard and paid 8pesos each. Just tell the driver you're bound to Wawa Dam, their terminal is at the foot of the place.
The Road to Wawa Dam
Anyway, if I remember correctly, the trip lasted almost three hours, with heavy to moderate traffic.

We then proceeded to the Rodriguez tourism office and inquired about the arrangements. We wanted to explore Pamitinan first before we go to Wawa Dam. (Read Pamitinan Cave Exploration here.)

After spelunking at the historic cave, we went up the walkway on the mountainside, up to the actual dam. We bumped into locals carrying sacks of vegetables en route. The boundary that divides the narrow man-made road and the mountain seem to disappear, for both seem to get lost in each other, making them difficult to distinguish.

Along this path, you'll see giant white boulders that can stir fantastical thoughts to those who have a very active imagination.

I like to think these were sleeping Stone Elders that will someday rise and claim dominion over mankind. (Cue thunder and maniacal laugh.)

At any rate, we went down to the actual reservoir. The place looked like a small village, with nipa huts and improvised bamboo bridges. Using these bridges to cross, by the way, will cost you 10pesos.

We took a couple of pictures and told our guide, Kuya Michael, to take us upwards to the old dam tower (?). 

When we arrived at the place, I saw these: still emerald green water, buoyant huts, and bamboo rafts - or balsa, as we are used to call it.

I asked RJ if he wanted to take a cruise in the river. We both were excited and for the price of 100pesos, we toured the river's length (plus photo ops) and went like the Tagailog.

We didn't stay to go swimming but I bet it would be fun to do it. Several people were there chillin' and taking a dip in the cool waters.

I shall return to this place for swimming! Hope to see you there!

Cheers to the next adventure!

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