A mini cascade, Epol Waterfall in Davao

Not as spectacular and lofty as other waterfalls, its an easy trip from Davao City

It wasn’t in the plan but my friend, Raegan, world authority on Philippine Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) invited me for a trip to the hinterlands of Davao City to see Epol Waterfalls and check out the beetles found in this area. Although I have lived in this bustling regional capital for a total of two years, I really haven’t gone to the cascade.

Epol is in the mountainous Marilog District, homeland of the Matigsalog tribe and is adjacent to Bukidnon and North Cotabato provinces with their own tribal groups. It is high altitude with some parts reaching 4,000 feet above sea level, cool and pleasant weather where many go for treks, vegetables and just to escape the humid and punishing heat in the lowlands.

Trail leading to the waterfalls from the main highway

A curculionid beetle (genus Pachyrhynchus) on a tree bark along the trail

Epol Waterfall is not as lofty and as spectacular as others like Aliwagwag in Cateel, Davao Oriental or Tinuy-an in Bislig, Surigao del Sur. However, it is a good introduction to trekking as the trail leads you to a slight descent passing secondary forest, stand of tall trees as well as passion fruit farms.

For those interested with insects, there are many butterfly species including the beautiful and big Delias fluttering overhead with its many hued wings of yellow, white, blue and red. Small and yellow Euremas pass slowly along the trail while fast swallowtail butterflies dash. For beetles, there are small and colorful weevils. Of course, delicate damselflies hover above streams.

One unusual plant that can be seen along the trail are pitcher plants, genus Nepenthes, growing on trees. The leaves terminate with pitcher like receptacles that traps and digest insects unfortunate enough to fall inside. Compared in other areas, this species found here are large and spectacular.

Epol Waterfall is reached by taking the road from Davao City to BuDa, the Bukidnon – Davao boundary. While it is much easier to have your own vehicle, one can just ride the bus from the Ecoland terminal to Bukidnon for two hours. Tell the conductor to drop you at the starting point at Epol, just below the Smart relay station perched on a hill.

This trip was made possible with my win in the Wandering Juan Travel Blog Awards, Culture and Heritage Category. Visit the official site.

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