Daily Archives: May 6, 2015

Samboan: Dao Falls

Dao 14

Previously, I wrote about our road trip to Samboan and shared a teaser photo of Dao Falls in this post.  This time, I will describe in detail how we conquered Dao Falls, which offers a 90-foot vertical drop of water, making it the tallest waterfall in Samboan, if not the whole of Cebu.

Entrance to Dao Falls is Php 20 for locals and Php 40 for foreign guests. Before starting our trek, we had to register and were then assigned a guide.

To get to the falls, one has to navigate through lush greenery and rivers and streams. Depending on your pace, the trek is about thirty minutes to an hour.

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As always during trips like this, I was last in line because I take the time to capture views like this.

Dao 01
Isn’t it amazing? A colleague who saw this remarked that this photo made her think of an ascension to heaven because the clouds looked so dramatic.

While the trek under the scorching heat of the sun was tiring, the rustic views made it worthwhile.

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We even got to see butterflies flitting from one flower to the next, but I wasn’t able to take photos because they just wouldn’t stay still!

We got to pass by this hanging bamboo bridge too.

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Underneath the bridge is this small river. Alex, our guide from the resort, shared that the water here was coming straight from Dao Falls.

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Seeing these children brought back childhood memories of swimming at the river with my playmates.  Well, they swam, I just played in the water since I never learned how to swim.  Te he.

While the first 20-30 minutes involved trekking through dry land, halfway through, we had to wade into the waters to continue our trek.

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From time to time, we encountered “mini falls” like this one.

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I had fun snapping photos of my surroundings, but I also remembered to look up, and was rewarded with these views.

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I loved looking at the trees beneath the sky blue sky and at the clouds scurrying by.

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Looking up also afforded me views of the cliffs.

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When we reached this section, our guide told us that we were near already.

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Here, we chanced on some teenage boys fishing, and they gamely posed when I aimed my camera at them.

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I forgot how in provinces, they say, “it’s near already” when they meant quite some distance still. I really thought I would see the falls after this bend, but it turned out we still had to climb some steps. Phew!

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Aaand, finally, we reached the falls. Our teenage guide promptly claimed his spot by the falls and I was lucky to have captured the moment of him looking up the falls.

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We asked him how often he brings visitors to Dao Falls, and he said almost every day this summer, but on weekends, about 2-3 times a day.  Wow.

Here are more photos of the fall’s drop.

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Of course, we just had to go swimming in the fall’s pool.  It was the perfect way to cool off after our tiring climb.

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We were lucky because when we were here, there were only the 5 of us – me, my friend, our driver Manong Tobias, our guide Alex, and our teenage guide (top photo in the following collage).

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Eventually, some local children arrived, and they entertained us with their swimming skills.

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A note to those who will come here: there’s no restroom or changing room at the falls itself, so wear something light that you can also use as your swimming attire at the end of your trek.  Or bring a malong as your cover if you prefer to don  a suit.  And do be careful when getting into the pool because it’s very slippery. I even have photos of the mossy part of the pool.

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When more local guests had arrived, my friend and I decided to head back so that we can visit another falls.

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On the way back, I was again the last one in line because I kept on seeing views like this that I just had to capture.

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Here’s my absolute favorite because of the lush greenery and the clear stream.

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When we reached the hanging bamboo bridge, I decided to pass underneath it, and I was so happy I did because my vantage point gave me this view.

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Isn’t it so pretty?

Here’s another one taken when I was directly underneath it.

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After the bridge were these steps that we had to hurdle.

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By the time we reached the landing, I was so tired I asked that we rest a bit in this native hut. Too bad there was no one selling fresh buko (young coconut juice).  That would have been the perfect thirst quencher.

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After a much-needed rest, we continued our trek. Again, I let my surroundings inspire me to keep on moving.

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I’ll end this post by sharing photos of our guides.  Clockwise: Alex and Manong Tobias resting in our papag, our teenage guide by the narrow pathway, and Alex on what they jokingly call the “escalator.”

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We definitely had fun with this adventure, so we will be back. I just hope that the barangay will keep the place as is and not over-develop it e.g. put concrete and whatnot, which will only ruin the views and the experience (Camiguin’s falls come to mind). I also hope they will dissuade people from vandalizing the place.

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Dao Falls is located in Samboan. To get here from the town proper, hire a tricycle, or motorcycle.