Southwest Cebu Heritage Trail: SAMBOAN

Have you been to Samboan? It is the last municipality in the southwest side of Cebu Province, and it surprised me. You see, I didn't really intend to linger after I visited the 3 waterfalls around the town. (Read about it here.) But realizing that I had time in my hands, I decided to explore the town and I'm glad that I did because I found myself immersed in its rich Spanish influenced heritage sites.

Samboan is a town situated on top of a hill. And however small the town is, it is quite interesting.

Escala de Jacob
Escala de Jacob

This flight of stairs that totals to 147 steps is called the St. Jacob's Ladder, otherwise known as Escala de Jacobe. It was built in 1878 and serves as a pathway going to the Church and also to the old watchtower and both are situated on a plateau approximately 65 meters above the town proper.

Samboan Heritage
Town Plaza

The town plaza stood before me as I reached the top of the stairs. The Campanario de Antigua, a belfry, and the old watchtower can be found within the plaza. All were built in 1798 during the time of Father Toribio Gerzon. It was meant to safeguard the town against Moro attacks and pirate ships.

St Michael the Archangel Parish Church
St Michael the Archangel Parish Church

Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel
Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel

St Michael the Archangel Parish Church
St Michael the Archangel Parish Church Coral Stone Walls

St Michael the Archangel Parish Church Grounds
St Michael the Archangel Parish Church Grounds

The St Michael the Archangel Parish Church was built in 1784 out of coral stones under Fr. Romulado Avila and it is actually one of the oldest churches in Cebu. A renovated convent is attached to the left of the town church while a statue of the patron saint San Miguel Arcangel was built on the other side. It was unfortunate though that the church was closed nor was I able to find someone to ask about its history.

Samboan Heritage

Samboan Heritage

Samboan Heritage

Samboan Watchtower

Farther left from the church and behind the watchtower is a grotto.


A series of fixed wooden chairs were erected fronting the watchtower. Townspeople rest here during the afternoon waiting for the sun to set while their children play in the grassy grounds of the plaza.

Utazo at Samboan
Utazo with the watchtower in the background

How to get here:

From Cebu City:

Take the Ceres Bus plying the Bato-Barili route from the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City. 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 because all seats may be taken already by the time the bus leaves. Last trip back to Cebu City is 7PM from Samboan.

From Dumaguete:

From the neigboring island of Negros Oriental, it is a 20-minute fast craft ride from Sibulan to Liloan, Santander or Tampi to Bato, Samboan.

From Liloan, Santander, you can reach Samboan by taking the Ceres Bus going to Bato then take the hired motorcycles (habal-habal).

From Bato, Samboan you can reach Samboan town proper by hired motorcycles (habal-habal)

Related Links:

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

South Cebu Heritage Trail: OSLOB

South Cebu Heritage Trail: BOLJOON PART 1

South Cebu Heritage Trail: BOLJOON PART 2

South Cebu Heritage Trail: DALAGUETE

South Cebu Heritage Trail: ARGAO

South Cebu Heritage Trail: SIBONGA

South Cebu Heritage Trail: CARCAR

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