I was in shock when I arrived at Barangay Mainint in Catarman to supposedly trek to Tuasan Falls only to find that the new road envisioned to cut the drive time between Catarman and Mambajao is so dangerously close to Tuasan Falls. Piles of excavated soil below the new road already encroached on the river emanating from the said waterfall and as you turn your view to where the water comes from, there, a strip of white is one of three of Camiguin’s beautiful waterfall looking hapless with this latest developlment.
It was in August of 2001 that I first visited Tuasan Falls alone. Compared with Katibawasan Falls, the island province’s most popular waterfall and found in the capital of Mambajao, Tuasan wasn’t very much visited because it was far and involved an hourlong trek with a steep uphill climb back. But I was able to visit it then.
READ MORE: In awe of Katibawasan Falls
Development usually looks good on paper. And when implemented, it should not only benefit people but it should also respect the environment. In this case, the trek to the falls is just an easy and short, less than five minute walk from the main road. But unfortunately, the road is too close to this beautiful waterfall.
Does Camiguin really need this new road? Or its project proponent, the Department of Tourism, in wanting to open up the interior for tourists been too enthusiastic without even thinking of the future? The more tourists, the merrier? With this road cutting through the mountains and opening up the forests, it will just be a short time before people will come in.
That, despite their avowed declarations that specific ordinances are put in place to safeguard the environment as according to this news item? The Philippine Government, even its local governing units don’t have a good track record of safeguarding the environement, even if its a declared eco-tourism site.
With easy access to a once difficult and mountainous area, houses will be built along the road. The trees will be cut to give way to farmlands and eventually, with less trees, the river will slowly die. Will this spell her end? Will this be the death of Tuasan Falls?