Beyond the natural and cultural beauty of Cebu are its magnificent waterfalls. Not far from the Oslob whaleshark site lies a belt of stunning waterfalls, the falling wonders of southern Cebu.
Tumalog Falls (Oslob)
Coming from our early morning meeting with the whalesharks, we went straight to this fast-becoming popular adjacent attraction, the Tumalog Falls. Motorcycles (habal-habal) are available outside the resorts to bring you to the area uphill from the main road for a fee of Php 120.00/pax for a two way trip. It’s pretty good deal enough since you can practically spend your whole time without worrying of the time since the drivers are willing to wait. A brief walk on a sloping concrete road led us to the falls. Fortunately, we were the first visitors that day so we splurged in the refreshing drizzle-like plunge and enjoy the waterfalls on our own. It is advisable that you bring waterproof camera or cover since it could get wet due to the drizzle of the falls. A fascinating scene later left us in deep awe as the early morning sun stroke against the falls, creating a surreal view.
Entrance fee is at Php 30.00 each. An improvised raft (balsa) is also available for rent if you want to take some refreshing shower right below the falls.
Da-o Falls (Samboan)
From Oslob highway, we explored further north and hop on a Ceres Bus heading to Bato en route to the town proper of Samboan where beautiful waterfalls are said to abound in isolation. Bato is the last stop of the bus from Cebu City, so we need to take another bus, this time going to Barili which will pass through Samboan poblacion. An option is to hire a tricycle if you’re under time pressure but this would cost you more. So we waited for about 20 minutes more or less before the non-AC bus left and arrived at Samboan after another 15 minutes. We went straight to the Municipal Hall located along the main highway junction of Samboan proper and inquired with the staff who in turn were very accommodating and helpful in giving us information on the waterfalls. We took a quick lunch of fresh tinolang isda and bola-bola at a local carenderia for measly less than a hundred. We took a quick walk at a group of habal-habal drivers at the junction corner and luckily, we were able to find a good driver and guide, who had been to most of the falls in the town. We haggled for two motorcycles at a minimal Php 400.00. Despite our tight schedule for the day and the searing heat, we pursued on reaching this uniquely captivating Da-o Falls.
Our guides cautioned us of the trail in going there, but persistent that I am, we still pushed through. A brief ride uptown and we stopped by a community surrounded coconuts and cornfields, a typical scene of Cebu’s rocky landscape. We left our bags in one of the houses, a relative of our driver. So we then proceeded and found ourselves easily drained and tired due to the heat, worsened by the obvious vegetation clearing. Nevertheless, the overlooking view the vast Tanon Strait and passing through a footbridge on a very clear river offered some refreshing relief.
Halfway through, Ive has decided not to pursue anymore and after some rest, I’m back on feet to have a glimpse of Da-o. After another 15 minutes, we can already hear the sound of the falls, and I was advised by the guides of the looming challenge of going down the falls. true enough, it was a buwis-buhay (death-defying) experience to climb down an ageing 30 meters makeshift stairs.
Kawasan Falls (Badian)
Regarded as one of the World’s Most Beautiful Waterfalls by TravelandLeisure.com, Kawasan Falls is the crowning glory of the province. Situated in southern Cebu’s Badian town, the falls can be reached after a brief 30 minutes walk from the highway through relatively green vegetation of Brgy. Matutinao. The falls is a favorite destination for divers and tourists coming from Moalboal and a refreshing break from Cebu City’s metropolis. Kawasan boasts of its three-level falls, highlighted by its emerald natural pool. True enough, this very accessible natural attraction of southern Cebu is an awesome wonder worth experiencing.
Aside from exploring further up the other falls, you can also try the bamboo raft for rent at Php 300.00 for a round or two under the relaxing plunge of the falls. Interestingly, the people manning the rafts have creative takes on how to best and safely enjoy the raft. These acts range from the ‘hugging bears’ position to the ‘water massage’ act.
It worth noting however that unlike the usual isolated waterfalls in the middle of the forest, concrete structures such as commercial lodging rooms, restaurants and basic facilities (Restrooms, Bathrooms, etc.) are located adjacent to the main falls. During peak seasons, the pool could also get crowded so it is better to consider timing when going there.
Where to Stay
From Samboan and Badian, you can proceed directly to Moalboal and check-in at Clarita’s Cottage & Resort, Basdiot, Moalboal, Cebu 255-7606 / 253-4853 – 1,000/night. This is a beach front accommodation with basic amenities and walking distance to the famous Maya’s Garden Restaurant.
If you wish to stay in Badian, you can stay in lodging houses around Kawasan Falls for a bit higher rates but nevertheless, you can enjoy the falls on your own especially early in the morning when the tourist crowd are still not around.
How to Get There
From Cebu City. Proceed to the Cebu South Bus terminal and look for Ceres Bus. There are two routes in going to these falls, one is via Bato and the other is via Barili which is bit longer.