In many of our trips and adventures, we have set foot on natural attractions that have been exploited by commercialization. Sure they are still amazingly stunning, but there are simply too many marks of human development that just don’t belong there. Thus, it is always a joy and privilege for us to witness pure, undisturbed natural treasures before people set eyes on using them for commercial tourism. We found one such beautiful attraction, the relatively unknown Calasa Falls, in the hinterlands of Samboan.
After snorkeling at the Colase Marine Sanctuary, Irwin announced that we will be visiting Calasa Falls to rinse off the seawater, which is located in the same barangay. We were naturally curious since Calasa Falls was not included in our itinerary.
The jump-off point to Calasa Falls is a small, unobtrusive visitor’s center that comprises a simple shed, a small store, and a typical rural house. It lies just beside a dusty, unpaved road. With no signs to indicate that there is an attraction nearby, it is virtually unnoticeable. Until there are signs that point to Calasa Falls, you need a local guide who is familiar with the place.
A few minutes after we arrived, Colase barangay captain Eddie Hisoler arrived. After a short formal introduction, he personally led us to this beautiful hidden attraction situated at the verdant heart of Barangay Colase.
We hiked down the slope of a steep hill. With adequate clearing and light woods, the hill offers a nice view of the cerulean Tañon Strait and mountainous island of Negros.
Aside from fishing, Samboan’s main industry centers around agriculture. Vast coconut groves, farms, and plantations dot the entire municipality. It is only recently that the municipality focused its drive towards eco-tourism.
Calasa Falls is located at the foot of the hill. Thus, guests will have to walk down this slippery trail that is characterized by loose rocks.
It only took us less than half an hour before the highest tier of the humble Calasa Falls came to sight. Yes, the tier is in the heart of a pristine jungle. Already, there were a couple of local teenagers enjoying a refreshing early-morning swim.
Well, we can’t blame them for being there so early. Who wouldn’t be tempted to jump into that emerald-green water? The clear, clean liquid that flows through the pool comes from accumulated rain and spring water high up in the mountain. As a result, the water is quite chilly.
The clean, natural pool is more than six feet in depth at the center, which means diving into it is safe. So go ahead and take the plunge! This is a perfect respite to refresh yourself from the oppressive summer heat.
The LGU constructed a small rock-filled dike to control the water’s flow. The shallow pool in front of the dike is a natural Jacuzzi where you can just lie down and let the cool water caress you. Children and non-swimmers can safely play and enjoy here.
Let’s go deeper into the green jungle. We waded in the river; we love the feel of cool water rushing over our feet.
If you don’t like your feet to get wet, well, you will have to gut this out. Without an established trail, there’s no way down the river other than to actually wade in it.
This is how a river looks like before it is developed into an attraction. Twigs, coconut husks, leaves, and other natural debris are scattered all over the place. But that is way better than seeing plastics, bottles, and other man-made trash floating around.
Locals nervously whisper that this river is taw-an or enchanted. Many believe that this is the secret dwelling place of enkantos (fairies and pixies), duwendes (dwarves), and espiritus (specters). We wouldn’t be surprised if we witness these magical creatures. Also, check out these giant ferns.
Be careful because those river-borne rocks are mossy and slippery. Also, check out the water; it has a slightly milky look. The frosty appearance comes from the mud and silt that were stirred by our passage and the force of the water’s flow.
In less than half an hour, we were on top of the lower and, perhaps, tallest tier of Calasa Falls. Again, it’s really hard to resist diving in.
The sound of falling water joins the chorus of tweeting birds, rushing leaves, and the gleeful human laughter. Yes, it’s a perfect Sunday morning in Mother Nature’s bosom.
That’s a lovely waterfall, isn’t it? Similar to the popular Aguinid Falls, Calasa waterfalls is multi-tiered. According to Captain Hisoler, the entirety of the river is yet to be explored. They believe there are more waterfalls, natural pools, caverns, and other unique features along the river.
Alexa and a young boy succumbed to the temptation of the pool. The two had a great time swimming in the milky green natural pool.
Remember we told you about unique features in the river? Well, this is one of them, which is situated above the highest waterfalls. Moss-covered stalagmites look like dreadlocks hanging at the stair-like cascades. The scene made us feel as if we just stepped into the setting of a fairy tale.
Our visit to alluring Calasa Falls took a little over an hour, but the short visit was all worth it. The pristine and undeveloped nature of the waterfall is truly its defining character. It lets people witness the unadulterated elegance of Mother Nature untouched by modern development. And of course, it is the perfect venue for those who want cascading mountain waters to wash away their stress, fears, and doubts.
Visit Calasa Falls now, and witness Mother Nature’s pure and awesome beauty!
- P 170 – bus fare (non-airconditioned) from Cebu City to Samboan (same rate applies on the return trip)
- P 15 to 20 – habal-habal fare from highway-upper Colase crossing to the Calasa Falls jump off (same rate applies on the return trip), or,
- P 30 – habal-habal fare from Samboan Poblacion to Calasa Falls jump off (same rate applies on the return trip)
- P 20 – registration fee
* We did not include our expenses for snacks, tips, and other fees in this rate sheet as you may have different needs, preferences, itineraries, and sharing scheme from us. Note that all figures are subject to change without prior notice.
1. For more information, guideship, and assistance, get in touch with Samboan Tourism Officer Irwin P. Gamallo at 0925-5061879. You can also search his name on Facebook. Since the waterfall is relatively unknown, we strongly recommend you get in touch with him first so that he can inform the Colase barangay officials to assist you.
2. You can also contact Kap Eddie Hisoler at 0933-1425591 for guideship and assistance. Make sure you are guided by barangay officials for safety and cleanliness as well as to avoid potential negative environmental impact of your visit.
3. Watch your step. Going down to the waterfalls involves walking down a steep trail of loose rocks. The rocks along the river are also slippery and moss-covered, so be careful.
4. Do not touch or break off the stalactites that are found along the tiers of the waterfalls.
5. To make most of your time, visit Colase Marine Sanctuary, which is just in the same barangay. After that, you can also head off to one or more of Samboan’s waterfall trilogy—Aguinid, Dau, and Binalayan Falls.
6. Pack light but do bring the following:
- water (at least 1 liter)
- swim wear, rash guard, cycling shorts
- trekking sandals or shoes
- extra clothes
- extra money for emergencies
7. Do not litter, and bring all your garbage with you. Do not vandalize the rocks or trees.