Holiday break gave an opportunity to Amador Lagrosa Jr. and his friends to reconnect with nature before the resumption of their classes. But aside from chasing waterfalls, they also went after trash in Masagana Falls in Barangay Irawan in the city.
Lagrosa shared that he had already visited the area a few times before and was surprised to see the volume of trash beside the water. There were plastic bottles, chips packets, pizza boxes, takeout packages from fast-food stores, and liquor bottles.
“We decided to climb to the top of Masagana because I knew there was a beautiful spot up there, and I thought there might be no one else there. While on the way, we passed by so much garbage, like plastic and other things,” he said.
The falls are almost an hour hike from the highway and provide a refreshing space for those who love to connect with nature. The area is surrounded by rocks and trees, making it a perfect spot to escape the noise of the city.
However, Lagrosa fears that the place might be slowly damaged by the practices of some guests visiting the falls. As it is also promoted online, many individuals are going to the place which is beyond its manageable capacity, he added.
“It’s also getting really hot, so a lot of people are swimming. If this situation continues, for sure it will end up like the Irawan river and other rivers, which were closed due to the trash left behind after swimming,” he said.
Their group tried to bring the trash back to the highway area to be disposed of, but he admitted that it was hard to accomplish for a group of four individuals.
“While we were on our way home, we picked up trash, but we couldn’t bring it down because there were only four of us. Sadly, yes, the garbage left by other people just piled up there,” he said.
Masagana Falls is part of the local watershed located in the Palawan Flora and Fauna Watershed Reserve (PFFWR). In 2021, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office encouraged barangay officials to turn the falls into an ecotourism destination as it is being frequently visited by locals as a picnic spot.
The littering has been observed in the area due to the lack of a management organization to oversee the location, the office stated.