During my college days, I knew of only one waterfalls here in Cebu and that was Kawasan Falls. (Oh, what a shame! Lol!) Now that I have started to wonder the wanders, have begun to go out of my monotonous and comfort zone, and embarked on new journeys and musings , I learned that Cebu has been blessed with a number of brimming waterfalls among many other natural treasures.
After our first stop at Malabuyoc where we immersed in its cold and hot springs, we then headed to Alegria for Cambais Falls. This would be our second stop. (On another note, maybe, you have heard about Alegria’s famous canyons, truly a treasure, too, that can be bragged about and shown off to the world, which I will share sooner on my blog. So stay tuned.)
Each one of us, Nina, Rowena and I, hired a habal- habal bound for Cambais Falls in Alegria and it so happened that the drivers of the habal-habal were also the guides that supposedly would have led us to Montaneza Falls in Malabuyoc, but due to some unexpected occurrence, our trek to Montaneza Falls was not realized. We settled for a fare of Php 50.00.
FYI : habal-habals are just outside the entrance of the hot spring waiting for passengers.
I used to get enjoyment in looking at the scenery while riding a habal-habal, but now … just look at this picture below. Supposedly Negros Island could be spotted (in the left corner of the photo) but due to the smoke and haze (smaze) which reached the Philippines from the burnt forests of Indonesia, the island looked vague. The smaze seemed to devour it. The Tañon Strait appeared endless. The horizon seemed like a blank space. The sky and the sea were tinted with pale grey. Oh, my …(Heave a sigh… 😦 )
In about 30 minutes, we arrived at Alegria Town and headed directly to the police station for some inquiries. Thanks to the officer on duty because he heartily entertained us and answered our questions willingly. (Thank you so much, Sir.)
- Tip No. 1 A few habal-habals are available in the locale. The drivers can easily spot tourists. Some may even approach you to hire them for a ride. Beware of opportunistic drivers.
In our case, the habal-habal drivers that brought us to Alegria from Mainit Spring were also interested in going to Cambais Falls since they haven’t visited that place, too. So, we hired them again to go to Cambais Falls. We agreed to a fare of Php 150.00 each back and forth.
But before that…our stomachs made a rumbling noise. We were hungry. We needed to eat to fill the emptiness of our bellies. We looked for a place to eat. While searching we passed by this quiet and quaint park of Alegria overviewing the sea. Perfect for a date, right?
At last, just near the park, we found a carenderia. My food consisted of two freshly cooked viands, a cup of hot rice and one bottle of soda that cost Php 45.00 only. BURP!
The engine of the motorbike started. And then we hit off the road. At first the pathway was plain but then moments later it was going uphill. Good thing, the road was cemented. We were like flying on the elevated pathway, soaring high toward the mountain top seeing the alluring panoramic mountain view!
*The smaze was annoyingly present during our trip in October. As of this time that I write this blog post, Cebu is SMAZE FREE! I am grateful for the wind and rain that made the smaze vanish . . . .hope it will be gone forever.
- Tip No. 2 The “habal-habal” ride will take 30 – 40 minutes. It’s a bit far. Despite the smazy atmosphere, we could feel the scorching heat of the sun. So it’s important to use sun block, put on sunglasses, wear hat, etc. for skin and body protection.
The picture below is the drop off area. As we disembarked from the habal-habal, a guide, named Kuya Bal, right away met us. He told us directly that the guide fee is Php 100.00 each.
We started our ramble towards Cambais Falls. We went uphill but the trail was easy because it had been used by many people who have visited the place before.
- Tip No. 3 Though the trail is easy make sure you watch your steps as you walk because on the other side is a cliff where one wrong step, might cause you to roll down.
As we continued our walk, we came across this mini forest. You may find this forest an ordinary one; but the ambiance is different. The shade of the trees, the gushing water of the streams and the lullabies of the birds made the place breezy and mystic.
Beware of this guide for he will make your heart melt in admiring his overloaded cuteness. Yes, we were approached by this charming dog. And don’t worry, he’s a harmless “little beastie”. He used to guide sightseers to the place. Hihi!
As standard operating procedure, we wrote our names in the logbook and paid an entrance fee of Php 30.00 per person.
- Tip No. 4 In case you do not know how to swim, a life vest will be a big help. There is a store where you can rent one for a price of Php 30.00 only.
Nina and Rowena rented life vests to make them feel assured that they would be safe when they would be going to swim in the spring. While waiting for them I saw this banana with many hearts. ( puso sa saging) This was my first time to see this kind of bizarre banana, a polygamous banana. Lol!
Finally, in all of its splendour, appearing in front of us . . . the beautiful Cambais Falls. Oh, I was mesmerized and enthralled by its beauty. Literally I was out words to aptly describe it. So without further ado, here are my pictures.
I thought what we already had the complete view of Cambais Falls, but I was totally wrong because Cambais Falls had three levels, and we were on the first level.
To go to the second level, one must climb this boulder where the water cascaded. The current was strong. Good thing, Kuya Bal instructed us well on how to climb. (This reminded me of Level 2 of Aguinid Falls .)
It was safe to climb because there were potholes which were intently burrowed out. These were modified to make it easier for people to mount up safely.
Since the current of the water was strong, Kuya Bal shielded the water above with the weight of his body and this made our upward climb very much easier. But his posture shielding the water was a funny sight. Lol! He looked like a mermaid relaxing out in the water. Hehe!
- Tip No. 5 This venture will surely make you get wet. So make sure your belongings, especially your gadgets, are water resistant. It is advisable to bring a waterproof camera.
There were areas where we stepped on rocky and narrow parts.
- Tip No. 6 Wear proper footwear to avoid slipping in the slithery path.
And this was the second level of Cambais Falls. For me, it was not that outstanding. It simply had a small tier of falls with a narrow catch basin. In the left corner of the falls there stood a staircase made of bamboo for effortless ascent.
And at last, the stunning and remarkable third level of Cambais Falls. It had two waterfalls, which made it distinct from other falls. I have been chasing waterfalls, and every falls is different from the other. Like human fingerprint, no two waterfalls are alike.
The pool was emerald-like in color which made it look unfathomably deep. This was the reason why one must wear a life vest for safety purposes.
So these are our pictures!
- Tip No. 7 Jumping is at your own risk. There are parts where the rocks are slippery. So please be extra watchful in doing so.
We had so much fun. We enjoyed our adventure. And again we got hungry. Good thing, we brought food.
- TIP No. 8 Take some food and water because there are no stores in the area.
- Tip No. 9 Don’t litter. Respect mother nature and behave accordingly so that this treasure in Alegria will be maintained and preserved.
Our Alegria adventure was truly enjoyable; but time did not stand still. We bade farewell and proceeded to our next stop which was Badian.
I was happy that the habal-habal drivers named, Kokoy Martin, Jelly Ace and Dodong also enjoyed themselves in Cambais Falls.
How to get there
1. If by bus, go to South Bus Terminal. Ride a bus bound for Alegria. The fare going to Alegria for non-air conditioned bus is Php 139.00 The fare for air-conditionned bus is Php 151.00.
2. From Alegria Park, hire a habal- habal for Php 150.00. *subject to haggling
3. Pay an entrance fee of Php 20.00.
4. Hire a guide for Php 100.00.
Plan to take your bus trip early to avoid heavy traffic, save time and have a chance to maximize your trip.
5. If by taxi, negotiate the fare. It is usually a “Pakyaw” system if by taxi. In our case our fare was 1,200.00 (one way).
Suggested Itinerary for the South Invasion in Cebu
03:00AM– (via bus) meet up at the South Bus Terminal, ride bus and depart for Malabuyoc
07:00AM– arrive at Malabuyoc,
07:10AM– ride habal- habal
07:15AM– arrive at Mainit Spring, register, change swimming attire
07:30AM– immersing at the hot spring, trekking to Montaneza Falls
08:30AM– ride habal habal to Alegria
09:00AM– arrive at Alegria police station/park, inquire
09:20AM– breakfast, pack up
09:40AM– ride habal habal to Cambais Falls
10:20AM– arrive cambais meet uide
10:30AM– register, trek to the falls, swim at Cambais Falls
12:00AM– pack up, ride habal habal to Badian
12:45PM– arrive at Badian, trek to kawasan
01:00PM– sightseeing, picture taking at Kawasan Falls
01:30PM– hire habal habal to Moalboal
01:50PM– lunch at MCDO
02:00PM– hire tricycle to Panagsama Beach
02:15 PM– snorkel/swim with the sardines
03:00PM– hire tricycle to Moalboal highyway
03:15PM– wait for the bus
04:00PM– depart from Moalboal
08:00PM– arrive in CEBU
Estimated Expenses for the South Invasion in Cebu
Php 151.00/pax – fare for the ordinary bus to Malabuyoc
Php 20.00/pax – fare for the habal habal to Mainit Spring
Php 20.00/pax – environmental fee in Mainit Spring
Php 240.00/pax – fare for habal habal (alegria and badian) *subject to haggling
Php 30.00/pax – entrance fee in Cambais Falls
Php 100.00/pax – guide fee in Cambais Falls
Php 20.00 /pax– entrance fee to Kawasan Falls
Php 66.00/pax – fare for the habal habal to Moalboal *(Php 200 /3) subject to haggling
Php 50.00/pax – fare for the tricycle from Moalboal Town to Panagsama Beach *(Php 150.00/3) subject to haggling
Php 100.00/pax – rental fee for snorkeling gears
Php 50.00/pax – fare for the tricycle from Panagsama Beach to Moalboal Town*(Php 150.00/3) subject to haggling
Php 107.00/pax – fare for the ordinary bus from Moalboal to Cebu
A total of Php 954.00 per pax
*food, souvenirs, tour guide tips and miscellaneous fees are not included