Mount Apo, for the longest time, has always been just a piece of trivia to me. An easy check mark in Civics class when asked the question from “One Country, One People”: What is the tallest mountain in the Philippines?
Nestled in Siaton, Negros Oriental, Lake Balanan is a recommended retreat for those visiting Dumaguete City.
The lush greens and cool waters of Lake Balanan natural reserve give a perfect setting for adventure activities such as trekking, swimming (at the pools only), kayaking, boating, ziplining, and meditation. I would love for Cebu City to have this kind sanctuary for weekend trips. Would be my go-to itinerary, if ever.
With a scenery perfect for picture-taking, make sure you have a fully-charged camera and/or a spare battery.
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.
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.
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.)
After some minutes, our front guide, Helemarie, was far, far from us.
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.
After periods of rest to catch our breath, we’re midway!
Some more minutes and some bamboo ladders, Dao Falls awaits.