Chasing Waterfalls in Samboan, South Cebu: Da-o, Bonbon & Aguinid

I've been in Cebu for 2 years but I have not really explored the province since I was very preoccupied. At the start of the year, I've started to travel again and plan my adventures including this series of waterfalls in the south part of the Cebu Province. This is the first part of the Chasing Waterfalls in South Cebu.

I took the 3AM trip to Liloan via Bato-Barili at the Cebu South Bus Terminal on my way to Samboan, the last municipality in the southwest side of Cebu Province and 150km from Cebu City.

The landmark for the town proper of Samboan is this kiosk with a farmer on top. I arrived in the town proper past 6AM and had breakfast in one of the eateries. Afterwards, I proceeded to the municipal hall to ask for information on how to get to the waterfalls.



I was able to get a guide and habal-habal driver to bring me where I wanted to go. Before heading to the first waterfalls, he guided me to a secret place just within the town proper. After a 5-minute walk heading to a footbridge, we came to our destination.



Ponong Hidden Lake is not actually a lake, but a type of a closed lagoon. Its water is brackish. It is unique in the sense that it is where a certain kind of bird - the manolong - dives into its salty waters and stays under for a long time in order to escape the hunters. It was still early in the morning and the water was so inviting but since this was not really in my itinerary, we had to proceed to our first waterfalls.



We left the hidden lake after taking some pictures and headed for Da-o Falls. There are 2 ways to get to the falls; 1 option and which is easier is via Brgy Palanas which is accessible by habal-habal and trek is around 30 minutes maximum while the other route is via Brgy Suba, which is accessble by 4-wheel vehicles but the trek going to the falls is around 45 minutes to 1 hour.



We took the the route via Brgy Palanas and reached our jump-off point in 15 minutes and started our trek downhill.





Part of the trek was this 1st of 4 sets of bamboo staircase. We were already near as I can hear the water already.



After 5 more minutes, we already saw Da-o Falls. It is approximately  120 meters in height and is the tallest among the 5 waterfalls in Samboan. Above the waterfalls is another small falls, which hopefully I can explore next time. The guide said that no one has been able to get to that part including the water source.



Da-o Falls somehow resemble a dam and the water current is not that strong, perhaps because it is summer. The catch basin is not really deep as it was only around 6 feet deep. Janrey, my guide, said that this was previously deep but due to the strong earthquake that rocked the whole Central Visayas last 2011, some rocks fell into the catch basin.



There were no other people when we arrived and we had the falls to ourselves. The falls have three more levels of cascades, but due to the difficulty of trying to take a picture, I will just let the readers see it for themselves.



After dipping in the falls, I took a final picture with Utazo and we headed back.



The trek going to Da-o Falls was easy, the way back was challenging as we have to scale our way back to the top.



After we reached the top, we passed by a house where we had fresh buko.



We decided to explore the other route which leads to this hanging bridge.



The route via Brgy Suba was indeed longer but has a better view and one can see the whole town and sea from here.



We proceeded to Aguinid falls in Brgy Tangbo, which is the most accessible waterfalls in Samboan. It is around 10 minutes by motorcycle from the town proper and another 5-minute walk in the park going there. There is an entrance fee of P10 for this falls. Most of the locals of Samboan go here to have their picnic since it is very accessible. Aguinid waterfalls consist of 4 levels of unique waterfalls flowing along the Tangbo River.



The first of 4 levels is just about 10 meters in height and 5 feet deep. Most of the people who come here usually plunge into the water. Another 5 minutes walk and one will reach the second level. The third level can be reached in another 5 minutes by climbing on the second falls.



The 4th and last level of of the Aguinid Falls is around 30 meters high and another 10 minutes from the 3rd level. One has to pass and climb the limestone walls of each waterfall to reach the peak. Only a few people go here as most tourist stay only near the first two levels of the waterfalls.



We had our very late lunch at the Bato Wharf, where ferries coming Negros Oriental dock. After lunch, we headed to the Brgy Bonbon to explore Bonbon Hidden Falls. We asked some locals who were around the jump off to guide us going to the waterfalls.



The 30-minute walk to Bonbon Falls passes through a trail of cocount trees.



We passed by a smaller waterfalls before we reached the foot of Bonbon falls.



Another 2-minute walk and we already reached our destination. Bonbon Falls is approximately 60 meters tall and the deepest part of the catch basin is 7 feet deep.



I had the locals plunge from halfway the height of the falls twice; the first jump, he did a somersault from the side and the other jump from the falls itself.



Photo ops with Utazo before we left.



It was already mid-afteroon when we got back at the town proper, which gave me ample time to see the Heritage Sites of Samboan. Since I wanted to go to Ginatilan, which is the next town, I decided to stay in at Abutun's Resort for the night. After dinner and washing up, I dozed off already since I barely had sleep before coming to Samboan.

My next post will be my trip to Ginatilan, where our recent saint, San Pedro Calungsod came from.

HOW TO GET THERE:

Samboan and Ginatilan are both accessible from Cebu City and Dumaguete if you're coming from Manila.

From Cebu City

  1. Take the Ceres Bus plying the Bato-Barili route from the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Samboan.
  2. It is a 3-hour bus ride from Cebu City.
  3. The earliest trip is 2AM which is ordinary bus. The first trip for aircon bus is 5AM.
  4. Bus leaves every hour, but be there at least 30 minutes before your intended departure time because all seats may be taken already by the time the bus leaves.
  5. Last trip back to Cebu City is 7PM from Samboan.

From Oslob

  1. Take the Ceres Bus going to Liloan. The trip is around 30 minutes.
  2. From Liloan taking the Ceres Bus going to Bato.
  3. From Bato take the bus going back to Cebu City, Moalboal or Badian and alight at Samboan town proper.
  4. Sometimes there are ordinary bused going directly to Samboan from Oslob.

From Dumaguete

Via Liloan Wharf
  1. Proceed to Sibulan Wharf.
  2. It is a 20-minute fast craft ride from Sibulan to Liloan Wharf, Santander.
  3. From Liloan Wharf, you can reach Samboan by taking the Ceres Bus going to Bato.
  4. From Bato take the bus going back to Cebu City, Moalboal or Badian and alight at Samboan town proper.

Via Tampi Wharf
  1. Proceed to Tampi Wharf.
  2. It is a 2-hour roro ride from Tampi Wharf to Samboan Wharf.
  3. From Samboan Wharf, take the bus going to Cebu City, Moalboal or Badian and alight at Samboan town proper.

Once you reach Samboan town proper, you can go the Municipal tourism office of Police Station for assistance on how to get to the waterfalls.

Suggested Itinerary (via Cebu City):

Day 1

0230H Arrive Cebu South Bus Terminal (come early)
0300H Bus leaves (full already most of the time)
0615H ETA Samboan Town Proper, breakfast, roam around
0730H Look for a guide in the municipal hall or in the kiosk
0800H ETD for Brgy Palanan for Da-o Falls
0830H ETA Brgy Palanan, start trek
0900H ETA Da-o Falls
1000H ETD back to jump-off and town proper
1100H ETA town proper, head to Brgy Tangbo for Aguinid Falls
1115H ETA Aguinid Falls
1230H ETD for Bato Wharf
1300H ETA Bato Wharf,lunch
1400H ETD for Brgy Bonbon, Hidden Falls
1500H ETA Bonbon Hidden Falls
1600H ETD for town proper
1700H ETA Town proper, find accommodation, go back to Cebu City or go to Dumaguete City

Related Links:

Chasing Waterfalls in Ginatilan, South Cebu: Inambakan, Kampael & Bugnawan

Chasing Waterfalls in Malabuyoc, South Cebu: Montaneza

Chasing Waterfalls in Alegria, South Cebu: Cambais

Chasing Waterfalls in Badian, South Cebu: Kawasan

Chasing Waterfalls in Barili, South Cebu: Mantayupan






Share this article:





43 comments:

  1. This is the first time I've heard of this place. How far is it from Oslob? And how much for the guide and ride?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is approximately 30KM at most from Oslob, one has to go around Santander to get to Samboan. Will post the details of this 2-day trip on my next post sir. thanks for reading my blog.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful photos of nature. Something I've never seen bafore. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Authentic Blogger. http://475035832790540880.weebly.com/blog.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. welcome, i hope you enjoyed reading my article.

      Delete
  4. whaaa! bat kc indi na explore to :( will comeback to Cebu soon. thanks for sharing bro

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no problem, the chasing waterfalls series is consist of 6 towns in the southwest part of Cebu province. i wanna go back to mindanao to explore again...

      Delete
  5. Hi Mike! Do you have a contact number of your habal-habal driver/guide? thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i was not able to get contact numbers but you can drop by in the Municipal Tourism Office of Samboan

      Delete
  6. I was not able to get his number but when you alight at the poblacion, you can proceed to the tourism and/or to the police station. thanks for reading my article. i have also gone through some of your articles before.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for your wonderful pictures and concise description of the trip. Can you tell me how safe is the area for the typical American tourist?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can guarantee 100%, the town is very quiet. you can probably ask for assistance in the police station or municipal hall

      Delete
    2. We even had a photoshoot here

      Delete
  8. Do you know how much the fare for.the bus is? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the expenses for this trip can be seen in http://www.mikelaagan.com/2013/06/chasing-waterfalls-in-ginatilan-south.html

      Delete
  9. Hi! I love waterfalls, too. Have you visited Tumalog Falls in Oslob? It is much like the Ulan-ulan Falls (in your other post) but on a much grander scale. Simply awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been to Tumalog Falls. Unfortunately, when I was there in the summer of 2013, there was barely water flow, which can be attributed to the summer heat drying up most water sources including Tumalog Falls. I plan to come back there on a colder part of the year.

      Delete
  10. This is great! I've been to oslob and tumalog and I wanted to go back there but this time I want to include aguinid falls on my itinerary. Is that possible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HOW TO GET THERE:

      Samboan and Ginatilan are both accessible from Cebu City and Dumaguete if you're coming from Manila.

      From Cebu City

      Take the Ceres Bus plying the Bato-Barili route from the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Samboan.
      It is a 3-hour bus ride from Cebu City.
      The earliest trip is 2AM which is ordinary bus. The first trip for aircon bus is 5AM.
      Bus leaves every hour, but be there at least 30 minutes before your intended departure time because all seats may be taken already by the time the bus leaves.
      Last trip back to Cebu City is 7PM from Samboan.

      From Oslob

      Take the Ceres Bus going to Liloan. The trip is around 30 minutes.
      From Liloan taking the Ceres Bus going to Bato.
      From Bato take the bus going back to Cebu City, Moalboal or Badian and alight at Samboan town proper.
      Sometimes there are ordinary bused going directly to Samboan from Oslob.

      From Dumaguete

      Via Liloan Wharf
      Proceed to Sibulan Wharf.
      It is a 20-minute fast craft ride from Sibulan to Liloan Wharf, Santander.
      From Liloan Wharf, you can reach Samboan by taking the Ceres Bus going to Bato.
      From Bato take the bus going back to Cebu City, Moalboal or Badian and alight at Samboan town proper.

      Via Tampi Wharf
      Proceed to Tampi Wharf.
      It is a 2-hour roro ride from Tampi Wharf to Samboan Wharf.
      From Samboan Wharf, take the bus going to Cebu City, Moalboal or Badian and alight at Samboan town proper.

      Once you reach Samboan town proper, you can go the Municipal tourism office of Police Station for assistance on how to get to the waterfalls.

      Delete
  11. How much did you pay for the guide fee? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. except for Dao Falls, you dont need a guide. Aguinid Falls is two minutes away from the main road while Bonbon Falls is a 15-minute easy walk

      Delete
  12. This is nice! I'm going to Dumaguete and visit Siquijor. I'll definitely add some of these waterfalls to my itinerary as a side-trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for dropping by. there around 10 waterfalls in the southwest side of Cebu.

      Delete
  13. How much is the cost for the guides

    ReplyDelete
  14. How much is the cost for the tour guide?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i had a friend in the area who was my guide. for rates, you can go to the municipal tourism. for aguinid and bonbon falls, there is no need for a guide actually.

      Delete
  15. Is there a safe place to park near (or near the trail to) bonbon falls?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sorry for the very late reply. i believe it is safe to park on the vacant area leading to the trail to the waterfalls

      Delete
  16. would definitely visit here soon. :) great photos sir..Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello sir mike, thanks for your wonderful blog. tanong ko lang if there is a cheaper place in samboan to stay overnight?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Fantastic post,
    I hope they preserve the are.
    Did you go there alone? It is safe to just get a guide, and around how much would it cost?
    I actually am from Cebu but based overseas and would like to go there soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aguinid falls and bonbon falls are easy to reach and safe to go to even by yourself. dao falls though is quite far and though i have been there twice, i think i would still need a guide to get there.

      Delete
  19. Sorry to say but this is not the same as before 1year ago 2014, the place is already commercialise due to Rated K program and nature has been damage by local there as pathway for tourist convenience tsk tsk tsk sayang i was so sad when i visited it for the third time around this year its no longer the same as before

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i went to samboan several times in the summer of 2013, and i can say that the place was still preserved back then.

      Delete
    2. i went to samboan several times in the summer of 2013, and i can say that the place was still preserved back then.

      Delete
  20. Thank you for the very informative post/blog! I know the place is really awesome but I beg to ask if is it ok or safe to have kids at age of 8yo with us? I hope I could have my family going to that place you have posted... More power to what ever you love to have for the benefit of your follower.. Take care & be safe always! GBUA!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aguinid falls is very safe and accessible for your kids even for 8 year old ones as it is very near the highway. bonbon falls though is a bit a far at 15 minutes walk though it is very safe. dao falls though is far and the hike is quite dangerous for kids especially the bamboo staircase...

      Delete
  21. Hi Sir Mike,

    Good day,

    Can i ask how much is the expenses for the samboan falls trek?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.mikelaagan.com/2013/06/chasing-waterfalls-in-ginatilan-south.html

      Delete
  22. Sir, how is the the overall expenses for this trip? dao, aguinid and bonbon

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is a very informative blog. Cebu is indeed a very wonderful city to tour with aside from Boracay and Palawan. There are so many hidden wonders to discover in the Philippines! My previous visit in Cebu was unforgettable. I had a chance to visit waterfalls in Samboan. I rented out a motorcycle at book2wheel.com. I had a chance to speak with the owner, and he is nice and friendly. I ordered online for the motorcycle and they delivered it to the hotel where I stayed for less than an hour! After we had everything arranged, I started using it to tour around in Cebu!

    ReplyDelete