Samboan in South Cebu is known for its beautiful waterfalls. But dig deeper, and you will realize that there’s more to this sleepy municipality than just waterfalls. Think about it: waterfalls are fed by rivers. Those rivers come from deep within the mountains and valleys of the land. Thus, their flow must be directed and controlled by geographical features such as canyons, ravines, and natural embankments within their arteries. And if canyons and ravines are present, that would definitely mean that there are secret places in Samboan that have a great potential for canyoneering adventures! We found one such place at the strangely named Candayvic Falls in Barangay Cañorong.
Our first order of business in the afternoon is to answer the increasingly loud rumblings of our tummies. We went back to Mayor Calderon’s guest house where the home staff of the mayor prepared a sumptuous lunch of sinugbang baboy (grilled pork), tinolang bisayang manok (native chicken simmered in a spicy stock and garnished with vegetables), and inun-unan (fish stewed in native vinegar, chilis, garlic, onion, and ginger). We ate with audible gusto, and our conversation drifted from one delightful topic to another.
Earlier on the way to the guesthouse, we bought some enticingly delicious and healthy Samboan delicacies that we could munch for snacks. We brought sinakol (steamed cake made of cassava, young coconut, corn, and brown sugar and wrapped in saksak leaves), palagsing (steamed pastry made of coconut meat and saksak starch and wrapped in woven saksak leaves), and sweetened camote chips.
After a filling lunch, it was time to continue our adventure. We drove 30 minutes uphill to a mountain barangay called Cañorong. We stopped in the middle of what seemed to be a cornfield in the middle of nowhere. There’s a steep trail going up, and we started a journey under the bright sun.
What a gorgeous view of the blue Tañon Strait. The coconut groves at the plateau at the right side of the photo is the boundary between Samboan and Ginatilan. If you recall our earlier posts, Ginatilan is where the mighty Inambakan Falls and the postcard-perfect Mt. Hambubuyog are found.
The trail took us to fields that are parched from constant exposure to the sun. Thankfully, in less than 30 minutes, we entered a wooded area with a downhill trail that seemed to be a dirt road for habal-habals. The dirt road led us to the cool and airy visitor’s center of Candayvic Falls where we enjoyed a 5-minute rest.
A set of stone steps, a slippery trail of loose soil, and a bamboo fence marked the descent towards Candayvic Falls. Check out those healthy bamboo grooves; they make a nice clacking sound when the breeze causes their stems to hit each other.
In less than 10 minutes, we caught sight of this beautiful aquamarine lagoon hidden in a canopy of a leafy jungle. We arrived at Candayvic Falls.
We tell you, this is not just mere water but a liquid, free-flowing gem! To say that is just water from a river is an insult! Hehehe! Two slick rock-strewn walls form a canyon that directs the flow of the river. Irwin said that the water actually flows to Dau Falls as the two places share the same river.
If that’s the case, then one day, you might find yourself rappelling down the towering Dau Falls!
The water flows into parts unknown. According to Irwin, most of the river, aside from this section, is yet to be surveyed and mapped. They are planning to have a team explore the river to check if it’s a good site for canyoneering. We strongly support the idea so that we can de-saturate the enormous number of visitors in Kanlaob River in Alegria/Badian who want to try out their over-commercialized cayoneering activity.
High dives, high jump, high adventure! The canyon’s ledge forms a perfect diving platform for those who want to have a thrill. By our reckoning, that cliff is around 30 feet high.
That’s the entrance to the canyon. Be careful in entering this way as there are slippery and loose rocks that can cause you to lose your balance.
But once in the green water—-well, let our team’s happy faces, visible from this distance, speak for the excitement and fun.
It is impossible not to be drawn by the allure and magic of this beautiful place. Just imagine frolicking in cool, clean waters in the middle of a virgin canyon in the middle of nowhere!
Moss-covered flowstones and other interesting rock formations cover one side of the cliff. Water from several mountain springs above the canyon continuously deposit sediments on the flowstones, making them “grow” over time.
Oh, look! We found a nice cavern. You can just tuck in there and let the cool, dripping water fall on your skin. What a way to relax!
The sound, feel, and look of rushing water is a tonic to the spirit. Like water that flows freely down a cascade, a well-lived, happy, and free life involves constantly moving forward and not getting stuck in a rut.
This small waterfall, produced by this rock wall, is Candayvic Falls. Now, you might wonder how this place got its unusual name. Well, it is actually a contraction of “Kang Inday Vic, ” which means “belonging to Inday Vic.”
Who is Inday Vic, you might ask? Well, her full name is Ma. Victoria Calderon, known by her constituents as “Inday Vic.” She is the dynamic and innovative chairperson of the Samboan Tourism and Heritage Council.
This upcoming local tourist destination, which is projected to generate income, is one of her projects. Locals took it upon themselves to name the place in her honor.
The man-made rock wall hindered the river’s natural flow, allowing the formation of this large, lovely pool of crystal clear water. The pool is shallow enough for children and non-swimmers to wade safely.
Aguinid Technical Guide Janice Marimat showed Alexa a bamboo water sprout that channels a mountain spring towards the natural pool. Fresh mountain spring shower anyone?
Alexa enjoyed the pool so much that she doesn’t want to come out for a snack break! Hehehe!
This is the last explored part of Candayvic Falls. Samboan is planning to explore upstream to see if the entire river is viable for a nice canyoneering venue. If it is, then it will be another adventure come-on for this rustic municipality.
We had a great time diving and swimming in enchanting Candayvic Falls. Its natural pool and lagoon will definitely wash away dust, heat, stress, doubts, and worries that you have accumulated over the years.
But the thing that made us very excited is the plan of Samboan’s LGU to turn this place into a great canyoneering venue. Candayvic Falls is just a tiny part in this river system. A team of skilled and trained outdoor specialists together with Samboan’s Tourism and Heritage Council is now on its way to organizing an expedition to explore the innards of this beautiful river.
- P 170 – bus fare (non-airconditioned) from Cebu City to Samboan (same rate applies on the return trip)
- P 50 – estimated habal-habal fare from Samboan Poblacion to Barangay Cañorong (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 Candayvic Waterfalls is relatively unknown and there are no directional signs, we strongly recommend you get in touch with him first so that he can inform the Cañorong barangay officials to assist you.
2. 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.
3. Do not touch or break off the stalactites that are found along the ravine’s walls.
4. Be careful when diving off the cliff. Aim at the center of the lagoon where the water is deep.
5. To make most of your time, visit other Samboan attractions such as the Colase Marine Sanctuary or Calasa Falls. 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
- PFD or life jacket (for non-swimmers)
- extra clothes
- extra money for emergencies
7. Do not litter, and bring all your garbage with you. Do not vandalize the rocks.