Wawa Dam and the Montalban Gorge

Satellite image of Wawa Dam and the Montalban Gorge in Montalban, Rizal.

Before, I didn’t know that several kilometers from Quezon City in Rodriguez, Rizal lies a popular outdoor destination that’s possibly one of the best places to visit during the summer months. I’m taking about the Wawa Dam and the Montalban Gorge. The Wawa Dam is the white arc that you see in the thumbnail and is shown in the photo below, while the Montalban Gorge is the boulder-strewn valley to the east of the dam—its rocky cliffs throw shadows that are quite visible on Google Maps.

Side shot of the Wawa Dam waterfall. Photo by Neil Vicencio. (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

The Montalban Gorge is supposedly the place where the legendary Bernardo Carpio is trapped, like Atlas trying to hold the earth. If you’re a rock climbing enthusiast, both the north and south faces of the gorge, as well as the surrounding areas, have a lot of numerous climbing paths that you can try. Here’s a web page documenting such paths. In addition, there are a few caves in the area that the Katipuneros supposedly used as hiding places during the Philippine Revolution and then by Japanese soldiers during the final years of World War II.

The Wawa Dam itself is interesting. It was constructed by the American colonial government on the upper Marikina River back in 1909 and it served as the primary water source for the Manila area. Then in the 1960s, the La Mesa–Ipo–Angat watershed system was established. The new water source and the increased siltation and pollution upstream from the Wawa Dam led to its decommissioning in the 1970s.

Anyway, you might want to read about how the popular GMA reporter Howie Severino jumped 40 feet into the reservoir provides for an entertaining read. You can also check out this blogger travelogue about his visit to the dam including instructions on how to get there. Finally, here’s an album depicting the area if you want to see more.

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Posted on
August 21, 2008
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28 comments
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CalabarzonDamsRivers / Waterfalls
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Comments

  1. mark wrote on August 27, 2008 @ 05:14PM

    w0w sana mkapunta ako dyan

  2. ria wrote on March 12, 2009 @ 08:57AM

    woww!iwant to go there.how can i go there. its so nice..

  3. Kris wrote on March 18, 2009 @ 01:46AM

    My friends and I used to go to Wawa dam. I recommend this place to those who wants nature tripping.

  4. Alvin wrote on April 5, 2009 @ 12:48PM

    Paano makapunta diyan??? anu sasakyan ko from quezon city??

  5. jhamz wrote on April 8, 2009 @ 07:24AM

    yeah I agree! maganda talaga sa wawa and can be a great tourist site but it can be more attracting and interesting kung malinis yung daanan hindi puros kalat ang nakikita, and then kung lilinisan at iaayos lang yung nagibang construction dun, swak yun! kunting ayos lang sa daanan kasi kung uulan, maputik hindi safe sa mga travelers lalo na at bangin pa mandin yung daraanan…

  6. Red wrote on April 24, 2009 @ 06:41AM

    I’ve been to Wawa dam before to rock climb and it was awesome!!I was in awe seeing the view from the top

  7. val kc wrote on August 18, 2009 @ 03:27PM

    I just went to Wawa dam this morning…how come this is a bit different than what we saw earlier? we were just having a joyride…from Total gas we turned left to the river itself….then there was a bridge on the far right of the dam…i didn’t see any kubos/cottages..and the falls weren’t that high…is this a different dam?

  8. aleah wrote on October 22, 2009 @ 07:17AM

    VAL KC: Wawa Dam is farther than Total Gas. You should have taken the Wawa Jeepney. When you turned left from the gas station, you came to the throughbridge to the Centella Homes subdivision. The bridge you saw on the far right was the bridge to Eastwood Residences. The river is called Wawa River, and its source is the Wawa Dam.

  9. JAIME wrote on January 6, 2010 @ 01:44PM

    sakay MONTALBAN-CUBAO TPOS SAKAY KA TRICYCLE CBHIN MU sA WAWA DAM KA PUPUNTA PERO UNG SASAKYAN MUNG TRICYCLE AY UNGSAN RAFAEL
    TAPOS PAG SAKAY MU NG TRICYCLE I DIDIRETSO KA NA SA DAM

    ANG GNDA TLGA NG WAWA DAM DAMI TURISTA

    TGA D2 ME SA MONTALBAN EH

    GN2 KMI SA MONTALBAN MABAIT _

    SANA MAKA2LONG AQ..

  10. ricky wrote on January 6, 2010 @ 10:53PM

    ive been to wawa dam many times, taga rito kse ako, i recommend this site for those who love nature tripping, napagandang lugar malinis ang hangin malayo sa polusyon, pede din kayo maligo kung makakarating kayo sa bandang itaas, mga half kilometer lampas ng dam, pede rin mamingwit kaso may panahon kung kailan maraming isda, ussually kse nagpupunta kme dun after umulan, dapat malasuka ang kulay ng tubig, dun kse lumalabas ang mga isda para kumain at dun ka lang makakahuli ng marami. madali lang pumunta dun, pde jeep pde rin trycicle pero mas relaxing kung sa jeep na kse medyo malayo ang byahe, kung trycicle ang sasakyan mo, medyo bugbog k na sa byahe pag dating dun. may jeep na diretso sa wawa ang terminal ay sa montalban proper in front of montalban market. and dont forget to bring your camera ksi sayang ang mga moments kung hindi nyo makukunan. “have a nice trip” hope this will help.

  11. cassey wrote on February 3, 2010 @ 02:49PM

    well,..i’ve been there too,several times..and it was great!!you should see the place,..

  12. RunningAtom wrote on February 20, 2010 @ 08:00AM

    The 2010 Merrell Adventure Run will be held here on Apr. 17.

    Are there nearby cottages/inns/hotels that we can stay for a night?

    Please get back at me at my blogsite: http://runningatom.blogspot.com

    Thanks,
    pEDo

  13. Winston wrote on March 1, 2010 @ 01:42PM

    Its summer time again….I would like to invite you folks to explore the beauty of Wawa Limestone Formation or simple called “Wawa Gorge”
    My place is good to visit and explore, and doing camping activities as will.
    Email me at:www_regarde@yahoo.com
    Trivia: Did you know that Wawa Gorge was formed 65 million years ago? It was once part of a sea within Eastern Manila Basin. It is from such remains of marine micro and macro organism that was once live in the shallow seas what makes Wawa Limestone Formation to occur.
    Interested? Write me at:www_regarde@yahoo.com

  14. farrah orosco wrote on March 16, 2010 @ 07:45AM

    hi Pedo!

    I will also run on the Merrell Adventure Run..please send me an email through farrahvo@gmail.com if you know any nearby hotels that we can stay overnight prior to the race..thanks!!!

    farrah

  15. mark wrote on March 18, 2010 @ 07:15AM

    ahhm!!
    hanap po kami ng resort sa montalban!!
    ung mura lng xempre…hehe
    ung pedeng overnyt po!!
    kung me alam po kau plz inform me!!
    09081912683—thnx!!

    ….gue n nga sa wawa dam nlng!!hehe

  16. jake wrote on April 7, 2010 @ 06:47AM

    paano po papunta dun kung magdadala ng sasakyan?

    salamat po!

  17. patrick wrote on June 12, 2010 @ 06:38PM

    astig kya sa wawa dam

    sana nga madevelop talaga sya ng maayos..

    lalo na ngau na bgo ung mayor !

    sana mapatunayan nya na karapatdapat sya,,

    hehe cuz i was a tour guide at avilon zoo.

    come and visit avilon zoo u will se the diff

    kinds of animals from here and abroad

    if u want some tour services visit us my fb page

    .. its egyzbot05s@yahoo.com

  18. norev wrote on August 12, 2010 @ 03:15PM

    mganda tlga sah wawa txka dmi mggandang place..nd lng at resort pa..astig lhat ng tga montalban..

  19. menchu wrote on October 14, 2010 @ 07:42PM

    cge lalo gaganda ang wawa pag si kapt.umpek uli ang kapitan.

  20. espiritu.corazon wrote on October 14, 2010 @ 08:01PM

    maganda ang montalban lalo na dati,kasi pasyalan na mga tao yan…pag naging kapitan muli si umpek lalo gaganda ang wawa.

  21. Cagayan de Oro hotels wrote on November 3, 2010 @ 11:18AM

    I read your post and got stuck on Howie Severino’s blog! haha.. I actually admire him as a journalist, as a reporter. hope he’ll visit Cagayan de Oro as well.

  22. emelin wrote on March 13, 2011 @ 09:29PM

    verry nice ang wawa sana maiayos yung daan para yung mga kidz ko madala ko dun…

  23. sydney wrote on March 17, 2011 @ 03:23AM

    Wow, I just heard about Wawa from one of my officemates. Mukhang okay nga, I’m looking forward to visiting the place myself. Question lang po sa mga nakapunta doon, may mga activities available po ba na pwedeng gawin aside from swimming?
    Para po ba syang LaMesa Ecopark na merong mga zipline, park na pwedeng paglutuan, games,etc?

    Thank you po!

  24. Marcial Rabe wrote on March 20, 2011 @ 07:01AM

    I was there and it so great to see “nature” you will appreciate…mountain rocks…cool water…lime stones…caves…and its refreshing atmosphere!
    We really enjoy so much!

    Need to take care this place because this is a Historical Place in the Phil History such as the KKK by Emilio Aguinaldo.

    However need for maintenance to beautify the place its really need to take good care that place the garbage should be strictly observed and put on a proper place.

    thank you

  25. dolly wrote on April 24, 2011 @ 07:52PM

    grbe ang ganda tlga dyan!!!!!mamamangha ka sa narute>>>LALO PA SXANG GUMANDA NGAUN dhl sa mga nangangalga ng dam na yan>>>>keep up da gud work>>>gogogogogogwwwww:)

  26. jessica de palma reyes wrote on May 6, 2011 @ 05:49PM

    nice place i want to go back there

  27. jade wrote on September 8, 2011 @ 05:54PM

    a good spot to build a great dam to control flooding and to generate electricity….iw will help the whole rizal region and greater manila

  28. butch wrote on March 9, 2012 @ 08:27PM

    this sight is my feasibility studies in planning development thets why i choose wawa dam for developing to serve you well as soon as posible

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