October 22, 2020
Southern Cebu’s Hidden Gems
When you hear Cebu’s famous waterfalls, Kawasan Falls comes directly into your mind. Kawasan is definitely the most famous one among the tourists, both local and international. But did you know that we have other waterfalls that are worth a visit? Why not explore further and see the hidden gems of the southern part of Cebu Island. Let’s have Ginatilan, Samboan, and Malabuyoc for this blog. As you can see, we have a map below that shows the three municipalities. They have splendid spots for tourists to visit and experience. Let’s start with the stuff that people should have when they visit waterfalls.
It is important for travelers like you to pack essentials before you start your adventure. Cebu is one of the islands in the Philippines and by that we are located in a tropical country. Yes, tropical! Expect that the weather is hot and humid. You should be ready for the sudden rain as it is common anytime and anywhere. Here are some of the things you might need:
This will help you hydrate. Water is very much needed when you chase waterfalls since you’ll do some sort of extreme activities like, trekking, plunging into the waterfalls, etc.
Waterproof phone case
It is a must! Why a waterproof phone case? Since you will be surrounded by water, it is better to protect your gadget at all costs. We can’t guarantee that holding your bare phone near the water is safe. It happened to me a lot of times. I accidentally brought my phone with me when I jumped off the cliff. It’s my fault but it served a lesson for me to make sure to have a waterproof phone case with me during a trip. You can also use it when the rain pours.
Aside from a waterproof phone case, you can also bring with you a dry bag. You can put your things safe and protected from getting wet.
As a traveler, we are not familiar with most of the places we plan to visit. We tend to use Google Maps to search for the destination. Using this search engine, our phone battery easily drains. If that happens, you can charge your phone and other gadget anytime and anywhere.
Bug Spray/ Insect Repellent
As you will go into the greenery forest, expect to encounter or be bitten by bugs. It’s better to be prepared than to suffer from those insect bites.
Selfie Stick/ Camera
Of course, it is mandatory to take pictures when we travel to keep the fun memories we have in a certain place with the people we are with.
Wearing slippers is okay, but if you have trekking shoes, it’s better to use it. This is to protect your precious feet while you enjoy the beauty of nature. You’ll need this to avoid yourself from slipping since there are a lot of uneven rocks and smooth surfaces.
Last but not the least, YOURSELF!
Before you start your day as a tourist, be sure to prepare yourself mentally and physically. Make it a habit especially when you travel to condition yourself right before your activity for you to have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Always give tips to your guides when you visit the waterfalls. This serves as their wage and the registration fee goes to maintaining the tourist attractions and other facilities.
Ginatilan is famous for waterfalls. First on our list is the Inambakan Falls. How to get there? You can go to South Bus Terminal and look for Ceres (the yellow bus). Make sure to ride via Bato- Barili in order for you to reach the said destination. Tell the driver or conductor to drop you off at St. Gregory the Great Church situated in the heart of the municipality. The bus fare costs for about 220-240 air-conditioned bus and 210-220 for non- airconditioned bus. Fares may vary depending on the season and petroleum rate. You can find motorbike drivers that can bring you to Inambakan Falls. Negotiate the fare to the motorbike drivers. Don’t worry! Based on my experience, they are trustworthy and friendly.
If you ask people what activity a tourist can do in Ginatilan, they will immediately tell you about the Inambakan Falls. It has different levels so a guide is of a great help. …. LGU (Local Government Unit) advises tourists to have with them a guide to have a safe adventure with your friends, family or even alone. When I went there with my family and friends, we decided to give the guide 100php. You can give them any amount as they don’t really give a specific rate for this. There are also life vests available for tourists.
This is located in Malabuyoc, a municipality right before Ginatilan. It’s just a few minutes’ drive from Ginatilan. If you hire a motorbike, tell the driver to take you to Kabutongan Falls. Fare varies on drivers, so you have to negotiate politely. If you prefer to ride a bus from Ginatilan, tell the bus driver or the conductor to drop you off the Kabutongan Falls or to San Isidro Chapel in Malabuyoc. Look for a motorbike. There are a lot of drivers waiting for tourists to visit the said waterfalls, so it’s easy for you to see them. There are different levels in this place. The owner or caretaker will advise you to have a guide when you want to reach the higher levels as it is dangerous. You will have to walk through a small path and hold on the rope for support. Your strength is very much needed here. The muscle pain and difficulties you encounter will fade once you see the hidden falls. You can ask the guide to bring you to the cave to complete your adventure.
Lastly, our last destination is Samboan! It is located next to Ginatilan. This municipality has a lot to offer to tourists. Waterfalls, sunset and their church are some of the must-love by the people. When you search Samboan on Google, you will eventually find out the three famous waterfalls in this area; Dao, Binalayan, and Aguinid Falls. You can easily do all these three in one day.
From Ginatilan, you can take a bus and tell the driver about your destination. Upon reaching the place, motorbike drivers are waiting for you, so it will be easy for you to go there. When you arrive at the ticket lounge, make sure to tell your driver to fetch you at your desired time since there is probably no available transportation for you to get back. After you register, a guide will be with you to bring you to the top. You will experience a scenic hike to a dramatic waterfall down a towering limestone wall into a turquoise catch pool. The trek to Dao Falls isn’t that hard. It requires you to walk through the water and bouldering. There are spots in Dao Falls that protect marine life like turtles and fish. Ferns and palms cover the bouldering, so it is not so hot for tourists to walk through it. =
It is located in Barangay Tamboan, Samboan. You have to register in the ticket lounge and have a short introduction about the place. They will tell you the Do’s and Don’ts for your safety. There will be some challenging spots in Aguinid that you have to pass through. That is why a guide is advised for tourists to have by the LGU. When you reach Level 2, you have to climb the 90-degree rock. Don’t worry as it has rope to hold onto and holes for you to step on. If you want to jump, ask the guide first before you do it. Remember, safety comes first. As you walk through the different levels of Aguinid Falls, you will definitely get wet on this hike. Prepare a dry bag and a waterproof case for this adventure. After your trip. Make sure to give a tip to your guide.
Note: If you plan to eat your lunch, you can have it in Aguinid as they have a small cafe for tourists.
It is easy to spot Binalayan’s location as it has signage placed just at the main road which leads to the ticket lounge. It has different tiers and one of which has a swing made of tire where you can reenact Miley Cyrus’s renowned song “Wrecking Ball”. After you enjoy your short break swinging, you can see a stair which has a bamboo handrail. Hold onto this handrail since the path is quite slippery. I can recommend this waterfall to those who want to bring their kids with them. Guide is always with you to help you bring things especially when you decide to dip in the cold water. Jumping from the rock is not that dangerous because your guide will wait for you down or you can ask him/ them to be with you and jump altogether. There is a small cave behind the waterfalls, so ask the guide if it’s okay for you to go there. If you are not confident to swim, ask them to bring you there. Don’t worry the guides are friendly and accommodating.
Travelling releases my stress. I usually do this kind of adventure with my sister, friends and even my family. Nature heals what’s inside me. Since we are facing a situation we can’t control now, we tend to just stay at home and do alternative ways to enjoy and relax. Healing is important for us to strive hard in this crisis. After this pandemic, hope you find time to travel and have a memorable experience here in the Philippines.
This post is written by Teacher Freci. Freci has been teaching English for 6 years, specializing in TOEIC exam preparation course. She enjoys having an in-depth conversation with her student to help them developing their confidence in communicating using English. She is a huge believer of learning new languages as a lifelong journey. She is looking to travel and make new friends while teaching English. Freci is online now at 3D Online English School. Now book an online 1:1 class within her if you want to find out more about how to learn English for travel and for food! You can sign up and claim your 2 free classes now at: https://ryugakujp-online.com/en/
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