The din of rushing water was getting louder as we passed a metal bridge crossing a ravine. The sight of the mighty Wawa Dam was steadily rising through the huge boulders that dot the river below. It was a sunny day and everything looked good; this was going to be a fun shoot.
We immediately headed down a rough path that descended into the river to get an ant’s view of the dam. Navigating the rough trail was no easy task though and my old worn-down slippers were not making it easier. Carefully circling the boulders to get a good view of Wawa Dam, I had to take it very slow; one wrong move could easily have me sliding down the water. Even though it doesn’t look that deep, I worry about my cameras.
We spent about half an hour shooting the rampaging waters before going up the dam’s watchtower.
Wawa Dam used to be the only water source for Manila before the La Mesa–Ipo–Angat watershed was tapped as the city’s reservoir. It was said silt and pollution from the piggeries upstream was one of the main reason the dam was shut down. The water from the reservoir looks pretty clean to me though.
Built by the Americans in 1909, the dam crosses a natural gorge that was said to have trapped Bernardo Carpio, a giant according to local legends, as he was being pursued by the Spaniards. His footprints can be found imprinted on one of the boulders along the river.
Grand legends or not, the Wawa Dam itself can hold its own in terms of majesty.
Viewed from the skeletal remains of the former watchtower (watch out for the holes on the floor by the way), the deep calm waters of the Wawa River transforms into a rushing whitewater as it crashes down the dam and into the gargantuan boulders downstream. And when I say gargantuan, I mean gargantuan in every sense of the word, I’d bet you’ve never seen rocks as humongous as those found here.
Everything at the Wawa Dam seemed to be on gigantic scale; its cliffs, boulders, waters, and even its legends.
Address: Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal, Calabarzon
Entrance Fee: None
How to get to Wawa Dam via Public Transport
Board an FX (Php45.00) at the Farmer’s Plaza Cubao (Terminal is in front of Jollibee)
Alight at Eastwood, Rizal (Ask the driver to drop you where you can board a jeep to Wawa)
Board a Wawa jeep (Php8.00) and alight at the terminal which is at Wawa Dam already.