Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pandora: The Wawa Dam Lady

Wawa Dam (also known as Montalban Dam) is a gravity dam constructed over the Marikina River in the municipality of Rodriguez in Rizal province, Philippines. The slightly arched dam is situated in the 360-metre (1,180 ft) high Montalban Gorge or Wawa Gorge, a water gap in the Sierra Madre Mountains, east of Manila.[1]

It was built in 1909 during the American colonial era to provide the water needs for Metro Manila. It used to be the only source of water for Manila until Angat Dam was built and Wawa was abandoned. Due to insufficiency of water supply for Metro Manila, there was a strong clamor to reuse the dam.[1]

The Wawa Dam was famous for being the site of Bernardo Carpio's legend. (I'm not talking about Bernardo del Carpio, the legendary hero of medieval Kingdom of Asturias, who squeezed Orlando to death. I'm talking about the Filipino version of him.)

Legend has it, at the time of Spanish Era, Bernardo Carpio was trapped between two great rocks. An engkantado (or some say an albularyo) planned to trap him. They induced him to go to the mountains of Montalban, Rizal. When he was in the middle of the two mountains, the engkantado caused the two to grind with each other. Some legends say he was killed after that, others say he survived but struggling to push away the two mountains. According to the locals, whenever he moves an earthquake comes (for me it is because the legend is set in the West Valley Fault System where earthquakes often occur).

Well, that's a local folklore, but that's not what were focusing here.

Aside of that legend, another one rosed but more recent than the legend of Bernardo Carpio. It started in 2007, when someone died there for some reason. Local folks claimed that the reason of the death was a lady in white.

The Story

The Wawa Dam has claimed the lives of over 40 people starting 2007 according to a local. An engkanto named, Pandora was the reason behind the deaths. Every holy week, almost 15 to 16 people died in the dam.

According to a local legend, Pandora is a queen of the mountains in a kingdom where all of them are female. She was a beautiful, long-haired woman with a natural Filipino complexion (what we called as kayumangging kaligatan). Her first victim was just gathering logs in the forest, then she put him away to his tracks then lost in the woods. He was never found till then.

However, her story varies from one person to another. Some believe she was an engkanto, some of them suggest she was just a mortal girl.

The natives knew many stories of why she was doing this. Those story imply only one point - she wants to avenge something.
  • One story tells that she had once a lover, but this guy became unfaithful to her. Thus she spurned him. Then started to revenge over every people.

  • According to another story, she was just a simple mortal girl who became a rape victim. The suspect brought her to the nearest cave, then there she was molested and killed. After that, she claimed lives of every man.

  • Another story combined the two, she is a beautiful fairy who was raped by a mortal and seek revenge by drowning men on her waters.

  • Because there is no male engkanto in there kingdom, they get mortal men.

  • If one of the stories is true, I prefer to believe the second one. Well, not because it is possible, but also ,they said, they often hear a voice of a girl crying at night. Maybe, because of her grief. I also suspect them to be a different individual. What I mean is there are two of them there. But what makes it incredible is the similarities of those people who died there - all of them are first born, as what the locals said, and it happens every time an owl coos. That's the reason why they always advise a first born not to swim there. The survivors claimed that someone or something was pulling them down to the depths of the water whether they're in the shallow part or not.

    Television Appearance

    The story of Pandora was featured in a GMA Network Halloween television series entitled Elemento.

    She was portrayed by Ms. Solenn Heusaff.

    A tour guide and environmentalist played by Carlos Agassi, investigates the mystery behind the Wawa river. In the end, he sacrificed his life to Pandora to cleanse and take away the curse in her so that she will stop taking lives of innocent people.[2]

    Last Updated: October 27, 2014


    Image Source:

    You may also visit:

    The Mysterious Death of Julie Vega
    Mt. Apo's Venado Lake
    San Juan, La Union Ghosts
    Cantilan's Malitangtang Bridge


    1. people from puneraryas were the ones pulling those feet. :)

      1. Kakamatay lang nung ngaung buwan ng kakilala ko s wawa. Mga taga roon na ang nagsasbe na mga taga purinarya at hospital na malapit dun ang humihila s mga biktima para kumita sila. Ang sasama nila, mga walang kaluluwa!

      2. seriously?? grabe naman yun

    2. Galing lang kami kahapon sa wawa dam. Araw ng pagkabuhay ngayon ni hesus at tatlong lalaki ang namatay at nalunod. -_- Yung pangalawa ang nasasambit ng mga tao roon. May nangunguha daw talaga sa lugar na iyon taon-taon.

    3. Dito po namatay ang panganay kong anak na lalaki last april 12, 2014. Magbbday na sana sya ng april 18, 2014, turning 16 years old. Sobrang sakit ng pangyayari, kasi wala po kmi ng mama niya nung mangyari ang aksidente. Ang mga kasama niya ay ang pastora nila sa born again church niya at yung iba pa niyang kasamahan sa simbahan. Hanggang ngayon, hirap ko pa ring tanggapin na wala na ang anak ko.. mahal na mahal ko siya, at miss na miss ko na rin sya. :(

      1. Hi sir Alfred! I would just like to know if you are the one I saw on facebook with this link below? I sent you a message po pero sa others folder po ninyo napupunta. Hope to hear from you the soonest po. Please let me know po through the message I sent you there in facebook. My concern is abit important lang po sana. Thank you po and God bless!

    4. nung mid 90's ay nag swimming din kami jan sa wawa dam,kasi yung mga pinsan ko taga jan din sa montalban kaya nagyaya sila mag swimming,sa hindi inaasang pang yayari biglang nalunod yung asawa ng kuya ko at yung 2 tyahin ko bale tatlo sila nalulunod,ang ginawa naman ng mga kapatid ko at mga pininsan ko nagkapit kapit kamay sila hanggang sa maabot yung tatlong nalulunod.buti naka ligtas sila,ang sabi nilang tatlo,nasa gilid lang sila na mababaw at maya maya ay may parang hinihila sila ng tubig papalayo sa pampang tpos may bato daw na malaki na naapakan nila na may butas na humihigop,magkaka hawak silang tatlo kaya sabay sabay silang nalunod..palubog na sila non buti nahawakan ng sila ng mga pinsan ko sa buhok kaya nasagip sila,totoo talaga na may nangunguha don taon taon yon na may nag bubuwis ng buhay.kaya sina suggest ko na kung pupunta kau don,mamasyal nlng kayo at wag na wag kaung maliligo kahit marunong kayo lumangoy.

    5. lesson na po yun na sana wag ng payagan ang mga taong mag swimming sa wawa dam..delikado pala kaya dapat gawing restricted area dun..pwedeng mamasyal nalang at hwag ng maligo..nakakatkot T_T dami nagbuwis ng buhay

    6. Dapat Malaman Ng mga Eksperto Kung ano talaga Ang Misteryong Nkatago jan ..

    7. My friends and I participated before on an adventure race known as Montalban Challenge, sometime in 2002. The last discipline that we have to take in order to finish was to swim accross the wawa river with the aid of ropes. Napansin ko lang during that time is bukod sa malakas ang agos and underwater current, some parts of nung ilog mababaw then biglang lalalim. Even the 4 of us who are strong swimmers had find it very difficult to cross that river.

    8. We were there yesterday, and yes someone had just died there. Lalaki nga din. Sabi sabi magmamahal na araw dw kse kaya naghahanap ng alay yung diwata dun. At first, nagkkwentuhan lng kmi tpos nung pauwi na kami ayun nga, nakuha yung bangkay nung lalaki na nalunod

    9. Maligo sana kami sa Wawa yesterday, March 27, 2016, kaya lng binalita ng kapitbahay na the day before, March 26, 2016, naligo sila doon at dalawang tao ang hinigop ng tubig pailalim, parang kuweba sa tubig, ang isa nakita nalang nang lumutang na ang bangkay, ang isa di makita ng mga divers. Marunong akong lumangoy, pero noong naligo kami last year sa Wawa, napansin kong malakas ang current ng tubig papunta sa gitnang malalim, kahit nasa mababaw ka, unti-unti kang aanurin sa gitna. Pangalawa, maraming parte sa mababaw ang biglang lalim na di mo mamalayan dahil di malinaw ang tubig. Kahit wla ang kwento ng enkanto o multong babae nangunguha ng tao, meron din talagang dangerous current and structure ang river. Kaya, the safest way is, mag life jacket na lang ang maliligo.

      1. hndi safe ang life jacket kasi pag hinawakan na ng engkantada ang paa nyo wala kayong kawala cguradong isisiksik ka nya sa ilalim ng bato ..

    10. hndi totoong punerarya ang humihila sa mga taong naliligo sa wawa dam, i am 21 years resident there and that is my birth place,marami na akong karanasan dyan, ang totoo nyan may engkantada sa wawa dam na hanggang talampakan ang buhok na galit na galit sa mga kalalakihan kaya kung mapapansin nyo puro kalalakihan lamang ang namamatay dun at marunong o hindi lumangoy, kwento sakin ng lola noon bata pa daw sya dyan na daw cla nakatira sa wawa dam at wala pa daw gaanong nakatira doon nung time na un, may isang lalaki na naligaw dyan sa kagubatan ng wawa dam para mangahoy, dahil nga sa napakagandang tanawin at napakalinaw ng tubig sa ilog natukso syang maligo doon hanggang sa magpakita ung napakagandang dilag na hanggang talampakan ang buhok hndi inaasahan ng lalaki na mahuhulog ang loob niya sa babaeng un kaya nagdecide sya na magstay muna sa kagubatan kasama ng babae naging magkasintahan sila at nagpasyang magpakasal, hanggang dumating ang isang araw nagpasya ang mga kamag-anak ng lalaking un na hanapin sya dun sa gubat at nagtagumpay nga cla na mahanap dito ung lalaki na un, pinilit nla itong umuwi na sa kanilang bahay pero ayaw sumama nitong lalaki dahil sumumpa cla sa isa't isa nung kasintahan nyang engkantada ngunit pinagtulungan sya ng mga kaanak nya na iuwi na dahil pinagsususpetsahan nla itong nasisiraan na ng ulo, simula ng araw na un ay hndi na cla nagkita nung engkantada hanggang sa nabalitaan ng engkantada na nagpakasal na ang lalaking iyon sa ibang babae at dahil nga duon nagalit ang engkantada kaya sa tuwing may maliligong mga dayuhang kalalakihan duon ay pinapatay nya hinihila nya sa ilalim ng tubig at sinisiksik sa bato,maging ako ay naranasan kong mapaglaruan nya 13 years old ako nuon ang inaasahan ko talga mababaw lang ang tubig sa pinaliliguan ko hanggang sa maya maya'y napansin ko ang unti unting paglalim nito at duon nya na sinimulang hatakin ang mga paa ko napakalaki ng kamay nya kya nyang hawakan ang mga paa ako gamit ang iisa nyang kamay lamang, dali dali akung nagpumiglas at pilit kumawala sa kamay na un..

      at lumipas na ang isang taon i am 14 years old already ng maexperience ko ulit ang karumaldumal na karanasan na habang sumisisid ako sa ilalim ng tubig nakakita ako ng kuweba na punong puno ng mga bulaklak at nakita ko duon ang engkantada na may napakahabang buhok at sya ay nagsusuklay, napakaganda sa loob ng kuweba na un at kahit sino ay matutuksong pumasok duon, kaso nakakakilabot ang engkantada kasi pumapatay sya, ang alam ko meron syang kapatid na kamukha nya dn un naman ung mabait na engkantada .....

      the end......

      if u want a continuation of that story just call me: 434-2799

    11. arpil 4 sunday nasa wawa dam din kame with my co-guards from toyota balintawak, around 2pm my isa lalaki ang nalunod habang naliligo nakita nalang namin pasan pasan na ng mga tao dun at itinakbo palabas ng wawa dam. im sure wala na siya malay at patay na. kaya konting ingat lang sa paliligo. true na malalim ang tubig at delikado kahit marunong kapa na lumangoy ako mismo bigla pinulikat ang right leg ko habang tumatawid from other side. pero im sure babalik pa ulit kame sa wawa dam kc enjoy puwede ka uminom at mag videoke my mga tinda pa na pulutan. arnold billon from tondo manila.