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This falls adventure is true in Samboan (Part 1: Dao / Dau Falls)

The toxic last few weeks of the semester called for some unwinding and a road trip turned pathfinding to the southernmost part of Cebu –Samboan.

Scouring through different travel blogs, the waterfalls of Samboan seem the best place for de-stressing. Texted some ten or so friends but, we ended to be just a party of three (3) for this southern trip.

The group originally intended to discover the three waterfalls of Samboan, Cebu but the long drive – 3 hours or more – plus getting lost along the way allowed us to just see two: Dao Falls and Aguinid Falls. (Read: This falls adventure is true in Samboan Part 2: Aguinid Falls)

First stop: Dao Falls

From Fuente Osmeña, we started our drive at 6:50AM and sped through the southern towns of Cebu via Barili. Arrived at almost 10AM at the Samboan town proper to ask around for directions to Dao and Aguinid Waterfalls.

Samboan, Cebu town proper. Not easy to miss with its rotunda.
Samboan, Cebu town proper. Not easy to miss with its rotunda. (Photo grabbed from Wikipedia. This image was originally posted to Flickr by bortescristian at http://flickr.com/photos/79653482@N00/4451139179)

As per advice from locals, we drove back to the Samboan border near Ginatilan. (Habal-habal drivers are also around to get you to the “staging point” of the Dao trek.)

The absence of a signage pointing to Dao Waterfalls, however, cost us a lot of minutes asking locals along the way where to find the corner to Dao Falls.

General instructions would just lead you to hints such as go to the corner near Sunrays Bus, take the road and you’ll find a house where young guides will just approach you. After missing the Dao road many times, we realized that the place where Sunrays Buses park is not necessarily a terminal but just a roadside bus stop. It’s easy to miss especially if a bus is not parked.

Going your way to Dao Falls “staging point”, you have to pass a mix of paved and rough road. The slope is gradual so it’s not difficult to conquer the elevated terrain but NOT advisable to use a car during the rainy season. Car would easily get trapped to the likely muddy path). Just course through the path until young guides SUDDENLY appear and approach your vehicle.

Regie and Helemarie were our guides for the trek –roughly 1 kilometer of hilly terrain. (Better exercise before deciding to go on this trek.)

Helemarie still a few meters from us.
Helemarie still a few meters from us.

After some minutes, our front guide, Helemarie, was far, far from us.

Helemarie, wait!
Helemarie, wait!

We got to pass a creaking hanging bridge made out of bamboo and metal wires. For the adventurous, the bridge can be a makeshift swing.

Photo Op. Bamboo hanging bridge.
Photo Op. Bamboo hanging bridge.
More of hanging bridge.
More of hanging bridge.

After periods of rest to catch our breath, we’re midway!

Sheila posterizes our achievement.
Sheila posterizes our achievement.

Some more minutes and some bamboo ladders, Dao Falls awaits.

Kirby taking a time off for a photo with the ladders.
Kirby taking a time off for a photo with the ladders.

…and here’s Dao Falls!

Taking a dip. A tree branch sticks out of the waters where one can play a game of balance.
Taking a dip. A tree branch sticks out of the waters where one can play a game of balance.
Guides
Our guides, Reggie and Helemarie.
Enjoying the ice cold water on a summer. Our guides tell us that the waters act as a natural refrigerator for sodas and beer!
Enjoying the ice cold water on a summer. Our guides tell us that the waters act as a natural refrigerator for sodas and beer!

Sheila

Water near the falls itself ranges 5-6 feet deep.
Water near the falls itself ranges 5-6 feet deep.
Regie struts his diving skills.
Kirby attempts a dive after Reggie’s Olympic dive.
Photo op
Hello, Regie’s fingers!
Photo op
Me, pondering the meaning of life.

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