Cebu is amazingly endowed with so much abundance in nature. If you think you have fully conquered all the wonders that the Queen City of the South is blessed to bear- think twice.
At the south most part of the province of Cebu, the last municipality and the farthest point from the main land, Samboan enchants you with its breathtaking body of water- a one-of-a-kind. The turquoise water, the gigantic standing rocks, the relaxing sound of the fresh water flowing through, and the enlivening view that fascinate your senses are all reasons enough for you to take your own journey, wander, and experience for yourself the enchanting waterfalls lie in the heart of Samboan.
Okay, enough of me trying to allure you with my words. The main point is, if you have not been, or is planning to trip southbound particularly in Samboan, now is the best time.
On this post, I will include a little facts about Samboan, my estimated budget, tips, and a little of my experience during our "No Itinerary Trip".
Fact: Samboan is a fifth income class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines. It is composed of 15 barangays namely: Basak, Bonbon, Bulangsuran, Calatagan, Cambigong, Camburoy, Canorong, Colase, Dalahikan, Jumangpas, Monteverde, Poblacioan, San Sebastian (Bato), Suba, and Tangbo. It is 150km (93mi) away from the main land, Cebu City.
It all started with a random idea to wander somewhere within the Queen City the three of us (Chardie and Channel, both blogger friends) haven't been to in our entire life, and then suddenly, agreed to explore the hidden gems of Samboan- and that's without any game plan, with no itinerary at all. The only plan we had was getting lost and going with the flow- a very spontaneous trip which only gave us a little time to prepare.
It was a Sunday, we took the first trip through Sunrays Bus going to Samboan, leaving from Cebu South Bus Terminal around 4:00am. We arrived at the municipality of Samboan at around 7:30am and asked the driver to drop us at the rotunda.
Since the municipal hall was closed where we are supposed to ask for directions and all information we need for our adventure, because it's a Sunday, we then decided to take our breakfast first at the public market which is located at the left side of the road when you are facing the rotunda (it's basically the same side with the municipal hall and just a walking distance) for us to have enough energy for the whole day activities.
After breakfast, we headed back to the rotunda and negotiated with the habal-habal driver (sky lab) to be our service ride for the day. What's good about taking habal-habal for a ride is that, they already know where to take you- so, you are good to go, plus, you save time.
The first on the list was Dau Waterfalls- a 15-20 min. ride to the starting trek point and about 30 min. to an hour trek taking the Brgy. Suba route. Entrance fee for locals is 20.00php and double up for tourists/ foreigners.
From the starting point, you will be asked to register, pay the entrance, and be provided with a guide. Guide fee is "according to conscience", joke, haha. It's a donation-based. So, it's up to you on how satisfied you are with your guide. On our case, we gave 50php each.
After a few minutes of trekking, following the stream and taking snaps of the jaw-dropping view of nature...
Second of the Itinerary was the Binalayan Hidden Falls- a 5-10 min. ride to the trek point and another 10 min. walk to the waterfalls. Same protocol to follow when you get there- pay the entrance fee (10.00php for locals, double up for tourists), register, and get a guide.
On a typical Sunday, the place is a bit crowded by families on picnic and water-dipping.
The last on the list and the most intense among three was Aguinid Falls- a 5-tier waterfalls. Treking is not necessary to get to the starting point but you are required to climb up and go through steep rocks to conquer all five tiers.
Entrance fee is 20php per head for locals, double up for tourists/ foreigners. And don't worry, you will be provided with a well-trained guide- all you have to do is listen, follow instructions, cooperate, repeat. Make sure you have fun every step you take for it is an achievement, haha.
Fact: According to our guide, Al Gamallo, the rocks in Aguinid falls are not slippery because it's limestone and it constantly change its form.
Fact: On weekends and holidays, there are more tourists visiting Samboan for waterfall adventure than on typical weekdays.
My "SAMBOAN Chasing Waterfalls" was one of my most rewarding and craziest adventures I've done in my entire life. I didn't realize that going on an unplanned adventure can be that euphoric- I will definitely have another set soon.
TIPS: 1. Pack light- if it's just a one-day trip. 2. Bring with you adventure essentials: enough water, protective gears, sunscreen protect, sunnies, CAMERA, and lifeproof/ waterproof case for your gadgets! 3. Bring light snacks that you can take along the way or in between travels. 4. Wear light. Wear what's comfortable for you- if you are not 100% sure of sporting out a 2-piece, rash guard and cycling shorts will do. You will be doing a lot of climbing and jumping and we don't want to see your "hidden cave" in an untimely manner (if you know what i mean). 5. Manage your time. 6. Watch each other's back. 7. Bring enough cash and a lot of energy. 8. Have fun!
Here's my estimated budget for the whole adventure. Take note, there were three of us on this trip, so, there are some fees that we divide into three (you get to save a little though).
Bus Fare: P150.00 x 2 (but could go up to 200php) = P300.00
Entrance Fee (fee is double up for tourists/ foreigners): Dau Falls: P20.00 Binalayan Hidden Falls: P10.00 Aguinid Falls: P20.00
Guide Fee: Guide1 (Dau): 150/3 = P50.00 Guide2 (Binalayan): 50/3= P16.67 Guide3 (Aguinid): 300/3= P100.00
Foood: Breakfast: P50.00 Lunch: P60.00
Skylab Fee (Habal-habal): 500/3 = P166.67
ESTIMATED TOTAL: 793.34php
Very Important: When negotiating with the habal-habal driver, make sure it's clear to both parties the agreed rate and the agreed number of hours. In our case, we originally agreed to a 300.00php rate as his first demand, but at the end of the trip, he asked for an extra 200.00php for a whole day service. We thought the first agreed rate covers the whole day trip, but we didn't mind paying since we had so much fun.
Yes, it was a huge blast for us, three and YES to next unplanned adventure.