Visiting a dam is probably not at the top of travelers’ lists of things to do in a province. These massive artificial barriers constructed to restrict the flow of water and their reservoirs serve an important role in providing water-supply, hydroelectric power or flood control and aren’t really a venue for recreational activities.
But if you do find time visit dams around the Philippines, you’ll find out that some of them offer surprisingly scenic views. If you’re already in a destination and are looking for a spot to go sightseeing or just enjoy the breeze and scenery, here are a few of the dams you can check out.
Magat Dam, Isabela/Ifugao
Magat Dam is one of the largest dams in the Philippines, located at the boundaries of Ramon, Isabela and Alfonso Lista, Ifugao. This multipurpose dam is used primarily for irrigating about 85,000 hectares (210,000 acres) of agricultural lands, flood control, and power generation. The large rock-fill dam in Luzon is located on the Magat River, a major tributary of Cagayan River. Locals head up here to go jogging or do recreational biking. Magat Dam offers stunning overlooking view of a large lake and river, where you can just watch the sunset or enjoy a picnic with friends.
Ambuklao Dam, Benguet
Ambuklao Dam is part of a hyrdroelectric facility in Brgy. Ambuklao, Bokod, Benguet and is one of the oldest power plants in the country. The reservoir was created by damming by the Agno River for hydroelectric power generation, flood control, and irrigation. This scenic spot is usually included as a stopover side trip for those heading up to climb Mt. Pulag, Luzon’s highest peak. The view of the boats on the lake and the mountains in the distance is a refreshing sight for sore eyes after a long drive.
Angat Dam, Bulacan
Angat Dam is a concrete water reservoir embankment hydroelectric dam that supplies 90 percent of the raw water requirements for Metro Manila. The reservoir supplies about 90 percent of raw water requirements for Metro Manila through the MWSS and irrigates thousands of hectares of farmland in Bulacan and Pampanga. The dam impounds water from the Angat River which subsequently created the Angat Lake. Visitors can get a pretty nice view of the dam, river and lake from the view deck of the Angat Rainforest and Eco-Park in Norzagaray, Bulacan or explore the other areas right beside the lake. The whole area of Angat Dam is a refreshing destination for bikers and road-trippers.
Pantabangan Dam, Nueva Ecija
Pantabangan Dam is an earth-fill embankment dam on the Pampanga River located in the town of Pantabangan in Nueva Ecija. The multi-purpose dam provides water for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation while its reservoir, Pantabangan Lake, affords flood control. The reservoir is considered one of the largest in Southeast Asia and also one of the cleanest in the Philippines. Aside from visiting the popular Minalungao National Park, Pantabangan Lake offers a more peaceful spot where you can just watch the sunset, go fishing and boating.
La Mesa Dam
La Mesa Dam and Reservoir is part of the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system, which supplies most of the water supply of Metro Manila. The La Mesa Watershed is located in Quezon City, the last remaining rainforest in Metro Manila. It provides a vital link to the water requirements of 12 million residents of Metro Manila considering that 1.5 million liters of water pass through this reservoir every day. The forest trails of La Mesa Nature Reserve are a top mountain biking destination in the metro and the lake offers a refreshing rest stop and view for bikers.
Who knew dams could be so scenic, right? Know of other places with dam good views in the country? Let us know in the comments section!