Monday, April 11, 2016

Samboan Action Verbs

Sitting. Going to Samboan from Cebu City involves sitting on a bus for 4 hours. At South Bus Terminal, take a bus bound for Bato via Barili (Php 168, non AC).

Sleeping. We wanted to stay near the town center but, according to the habalhabal driver [Dario 0943 252 4136] we hired to take us around Samboan, there was only one and it was full. We stayed at Villa Isabella instead, a lodging house by the beach, about a kilometer from the town center (Php 10 for habalhabal or Php 7 for tricycle ride from the town center).

Ponong, Brgy. Poblacion
0999 530 2603
Php 1500 AC room for 5 pax
Php 1000 AC room for 2 pax

AC room for 5 persons

Swimming. You're staying at the beach, why not go for a swim? The beach at Villa Isabella is not of fine white sand but of broken pieces of corals.

Strolling. Start at the Boluntaryo Monument (World War II Volunteers Monument), that little green kiosk with a man on the roof along the highway where habalhabal drivers converge. Go up the road to the Samboan Museum (closed on weekends), town plaza, St Michael Archangel Church (built in 1842), Campanario de Antigua (watchtower), and then go down the Escala de Jacob (Jacob's Ladder, a 147-step stairway built in 1878 to make it easier for the people living along the coastal area to go to the church).

Samboan Plaza, Campanario de Antigua, St Michael Archangel Church

Snorkeling. Colase Marine Sanctuary, located just two barangays short of the next town of Santander, is a nice little underwater world of corals and fish just a few kicks and paddles from the highway. It was very near the shore, thus shallow, that I had to be careful to keep afloat to avoid stepping on or hitting the corals. The lifevest I rented kept me afloat but I had to steer myself with one hand because the other hand had to hold the lifevest in place (the lifevest's cords were broken). Once past the shallow area, I enjoyed spying on the lionfish, clown fish, and a long thin fish that I don't know the name of. 

Colase Marine Sanctuary
Brgy. Colase
Snorkeling Fee Php 100
Snorkel and mask rental Php 20
Lifevest rental Php 20

By the way, highway 

Finding Nemo

Sweating. The jump off point for Dau Falls is a 15–minute motorcycle ride from the highway. Sweating would start from the highway if you attempted to walk from there. If you don't, don't pump your fist in triumph, from the jump off you're still 30 to 45 minutes away by foot and for sure your shirt won't be as fresh before you reach Dau Falls. A guide is assigned to each group whether you ask for one or not (there is no guide fee, it is up to you to give them a tip). And you would be grateful for that. The way is long and easy, but there are no directional signs. We crossed a bamboo bridge, got our feet wet in streams, climbed a short ladder, stuck our bodies close to rock walls, and climbed so many steps before we reached the dam–looking Dau Falls. The basin of Dau Falls is shallow and there is only a small portion deep enough to jump in.

Dau Falls
Brgy. Suba
Entrance Fee Php 20

Scrambling. The jump off point for Aguinid Falls is less than a hundred meters from the highway. Before we reached the registration area, we passed by eateries and shops selling souvenirs, waterproof pouches, swimming attires. At the registration area we paid the entrance fee and our group of four was assigned two guides, one of whom gave a briefing before we commenced the trek. The trek started off easy for the first ten minutes or so, and then the challenge appeared in the form of a huge, daunting rock with water constantly flowing over it: Level 2 of Aguinid Falls. Those wearing slippers were asked to go barefoot while those wearing trekking sandals were given the go signal to follow the guide all the way to the top. I thought it would be a slippery and difficult climb, but it wasn't, thanks to the handholds/footholds carved on the rock and to the guides for orchestrating our arm and leg movement. Five seconds of scrambling over the rock and we were already soaked. At the third level, we had to scramble up a head-high rock, again with the help of handholds.  Past that, the rest of the way to Level 5 was easy peasy.

Aguinid Falls
Brgy. Tangbo
Entrance Fee Php 20

  • Go to Aguinid Falls early, before the crowds stir up the silt and the waters all the way down to Level 1 become cloudy.
  • Bring as few things as possible and put it in a waterproof bag.
  • Listen to your guide.

2nd Level of Aguinid Falls 

5th Level of Aguinid Falls

Soaking. Soaking our feet in the shallow pool at the fifth level of Aguinid Falls. In truth, we were feeding the fish with our dirty feet and dry skin. The fish happily gnawed my toes and heels while I tried to keep a straight face (it tickles!).

Shivering. The jump off point for Hidden Falls is not so hidden, it is just by the highway. From the jump off point, it is an easy 15-minute walk to the waterfall. We were once again assigned a guide though the way was so easy, we could have found the waterfall ourselves. But I guess it's protocol and a way for the locals to earn extra income. We reached a small waterfall, climbed some steps, made a U-turn and found Hidden Falls...a bit crowded. Because the basin is small. Nevertheless, we dipped in Hidden Falls' freezing water and joined the shivering crowd.

Hidden Falls (aka Triple Drop/Binalayan Falls)
Brgy. Bonbon
Entrance Fee Php 20

A beautiful gem of a waterfall...except for the vandalized rock walls :(

Staring. Weren't we told that staring is rude? But not when you're staring at something as beautiful as a sunset. Especially in this part of Cebu, the west side, the perfect place to watch the sun dip below the horizon. Or in this case, behind the mountains of Negros island.

Spending. Nothing is free.
Bus from Cebu to Colase, Samboan Php 170
Snorkeling fee Php 100
Lifevest rental Php 20
Mask and snorkel rental Php 20
Bus from Colase to Poblacion Php 8
Room in Villa Isabella Php 1500
Meals, average of Php 80 per meal
Habalhabal for the three waterfalls Php 500/2 pax
Dau Falls entrance fee Php 20
Aguinid Falls entrance fee Php 20
Hidden Falls entrance fee Php 20
Tips for the three guides
Bus from Poblacion, Samboan to Cebu Php 168 (non AC)


  1. Ahhh. I want this! I will definitely include this on my bucket list. This is the first time I read about this place and I am so pleased I read it here. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Thank you Mr Pepe sir! Ginatilan, the town before Samboan, also has a waterfall (Inambakan Falls). You might want to give that a visit too while you're in the area :)