Crystal-clear waterfalls in farming village beckon nature-lovers
NEW CORELLA, Davao del Norte – A tenminute drive from the center of this bucolic agricultural town is a gem picnickers and nature-lovers alike should never miss.
Tucked deep in a forest and nestled between hills is a mountain resort replete with natural multi-tiered waterfalls that cascade down to a lagoon, a catch basin, where one can take a dip in its soothingly cold, crystalclear waters.
Situated in a community bearing its name, Panas is located in New Carcor village, some five kilometers from the poblacion.
With 20 cottages dotting around the vicinity of the waterfalls and the lagoon, Panas is an ideal getaway for families and friends who want to have an enjoyable communion with nature, according to local tourism officials.
Picnic huts or cottages cost between P50 to P100, quite affordable for a town known for having over a dozen ecotourism and inland resorts, and one of Davao del Norte's tourist destinations.
The local government manages the resort, a centerpiece of a 30-hectare area on the fringes of New Corella's watershed.
Noel Daquioag, provincial tourism officer, says Panas forms part of a three-town cluster packaged as eco-tourism destinations, along with Asuncion and Kapalong.
The three towns are also known for their caves, a handful of these found around Panas. In fact, New Corella is slowly becoming a spelunking destination.
Daquioag says the provincial government has partnered with the Department of Tourism (DOT) in pouring infrastructure projects to further open Panas to a booming tourism.
“What's drawing people here is that the entire place is an eco-tourism gem. Entrance fee's minimal,” says a town tourism official.
One pays for-the-masses rate for a high-end recreation experience.
The canopy of trees offer a natural cooling effect for Panas while flowers abound, a lush and verdant scene awaiting those who are drawn to the place's natural beauty.
Feeding the three-level water fall are streams and tributaries of Del Monte and Patrociño rivers.
For more adventurous guests, there is more to Panas than its stairway-like gushing crystal waters.
With guides from the local tourism office, guests can take a 1.5-kilometer trek upriver, hking along the banks, eyes feasting on the enchanting yet beautiful sights of flowers, plants and butterflies amid the cacophony of different birds cheerfully chirping as they flutter between towering moss-covered trees.
The resort is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
With DOT, the provincial government is on its way of concreting parts of New CarcorPoblacion road and other infrastructure projects totaling some P50 million, in the hope of improving the place's accessibility, tourism officials say.
These improvements included more architectural landscaping and construction of 20 additional cottages.
The resort has since recovered, according to local authorities, following the damage caused by Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) which ravaged
Southern Mindanao in 2012. Fund infusion from the local, provincial and national governments has also helped in improving many of its amenities.
The resort has been touted as one of Davao del Norte's best destinations.
PANAS Waterfalls is one of the many magnificent waterfalls in New Corella, Davao del Norte. The town also has clean rivers and gushing springs, earning it the title ‘Watershed Town of Davao del Norte.’
PANAS Waterfalls in New Corella, Davao del Norte