SIQUIJOR | Cambugahay Falls ~ Enchantment at Lazi

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Enchanting Cambugahay Falls at Lazi, Siquijor

Down some hundred steps from Lazi’s main road is a scenery as magical as Siquijor’s mystical reputation. The afternoon was steadily progressing on as we made our slow way down on stone steps leading to Siquijor’s famous three-tiered Cambugahay Falls. The treads were evenly made with natural stones, probably procured from the river that feeds the waterfall. The falls cascade all the way from a small rainforest above the mountains, some freshwater springs, and watersheds.

Cambugahay Falls Siquijor
UNEVEN STONE STEPS TO CAMBUGAHAY FALLS

A hint of light green waters, reminiscent of Palawan’s famed Kayangan Lake, springs into view in between the foliage as we made our ever downwards progress. And in less than five minutes, we were holding on to our jaws, lest it fall all the way downstream with the green gushing waters of Cambugahay Falls.

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Cambugahay Falls Siquijor
CAMBUGAHAY FALLS, THE FIRST LEVEL

I have seen quite a few waterfalls during the years and I’m not one to base grandness on height. It’s like saying the greatest basketball players are the tallest ones (as if I know a thing about basketballs, but hey, right?). It’s surely no Niagara Falls but for me this is by far the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen.

Cambugahay Falls rises three times in ten-foot increments—by my estimate—from the lowest pool, which eventually snakes for another three kilometers down before emptying in the Bay of Lazi. The water is light turquoise green and looked very inviting.

Cambugahay Falls Siquijor Dog Puppy
A STRAY PUPPY FOLLOWING US AROUND CAMBUGAHAY

The waterfalls was deserted except for us and a couple of very small puppies which were tailing us wherever we go. Our guide said the dogs might have been left there by the owners who probably don’t want to spend for vaccinations and stuff; Siquijor apparently enforces a strict law regarding stray dogs. I guess the owner took comfort in leaving them in the area since Cambugahay Falls attract visitors everyday and since everyone loves dogs—these puppies wouldn’t get hungry at all.

Cambugahay Falls Siquijor
HUGE ROCKS ON THE WATER

After taking my time capturing each levels of Cambugahay, I finally gave in and took a dip. The water was surprisingly warm, unlike most waterfalls I’ve swam on. The bottom varies from soft clay to hard rock. Huge boulders appear out of nowhere and can seriously hurt your foot, so care must be taken, especially if you’re planning to jump. Water height varies from knee-deep to more than a man’s height, with the catch basin on the lowest falls the deepest of the three.

Cambugahay Falls Siquijor Second Level
CAMBUGAHAY FALLS, THE SECOND LEVEL

According to our guide, a company has been courting the local government to develop the area as a resort. I’m just glad that the offer has been turned down. Privatizing Cambugahay Falls would in all probability mean cottages along its banks, bridge ways in between waterfalls, and concretized catch basins. We already have those in artificial swimming resorts, let’s not ruin a real one, please.

Cambugahay Falls Siquijor Second Level
STILL AT THE SECOND LEVEL

It was interesting to note that unlike most waterfalls I’ve visited, there was hardly any litter in the area; so that’s another hooray for the local government.

Cambugahay Falls Siquijor Third Level
CAMBUGAHAY FALLS, THE THIRD LEVEL

The sun is hurrying its way down as I took my final lap and waded my way to shore where the two little puppies were waiting. Another group of tourists arrived as we finished feeding the little doggies and delegated the responsibilities to the next guys.

I wasn’t really expecting anything when we went down the stone steps towards the falls an hour before and I was completely surprised with what we found. Cambugahay Waterfalls’ drop may not be a hundred feet high, but its small size and placid green waters makes it three times more poetic than the largest falls I’ve seen.




UPDATE 2016 ~ THE CAMBUGAHAY SWING


Cambugahay Falls Siquijor Vandalism
STUPID TOURISTS LEFT THOSE MARKS ON THE ROCK SURFACE

It was still drizzling lightly as we wended our way down the 138 stone steps to Cambugahay Falls. It was my second time visiting this place, but still, I was very much looking forward to seeing it again, especially after Lugnason Falls.

Unlike my first time, Cambugahay was packed when we arrived; the crowd, a combination of Filipinos, Koreans, Chinese, and European tourists. A queue was forming on one edge of the first basin and soon enough, someone was propelled into the water, swooshing from a rope tied from a tree above, whooping all the way down. A swing!

Cambugahay Falls Siquijor Rope Swing
CAMBUGAHAY FALLS ROPE SWING!

We went in line ourselves, waiting for our turn to do the Tarzan-style jump to the turquoise waters of Cambugahay Falls a few feet down the natural platform. Swinging down looked effortless for those who were ahead of me, so I was a bit surprised at how much energy it took for me to hold on before letting go. Well, with my weight, I really shouldn’t have been surprised at all, lol.

I knew, even from my previous outing here, that there’s a rope swing in the area, it’s actually just now that I saw where it’s located. And it’s only now, obviously, that I’ve tried it. Old places, new experiences.


Recommended Siquijor Island Tour Guide:
Kuya Joam Camingao: (0927) 693-2095
Fee: Php1,000.00 inclusive transportation, port pick-up, lodging transfer and lots of stories :)


Cambugahay Falls
Address: Brgy. Kinamandagan, Lazi, Siquijor
Entrance Fee: None
Parking Fee: Php20.00
GPS Coordinates Map: 9.139833, 123.626622


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17 comments

  1. ganda pre at muka talagang malinis! sana inuwi mo yung isang puppy :D

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  2. hindi pa din ako nakakakita ng falls until now.. buti ka pa...

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  3. Cool and serene Christian :)

    Glenn | maTAlentE

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  4. i love kuya joam. hihi

    yung fee for the parking yun. free entrance yun eh. from what i remember

    i miss the baging-a-la-tarzan ko :)

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    1. When I went on a solo backpack trip a couple of years ago si Joam din yung guide ko. He was really nice and I felt secure kahit mag isa lng ako. Nice guy and alam mu na he's not in it just for the money.

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    2. So true Katrina! Joam's one of the most reliable guides in Siquijor :)

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  5. ganda ng pool nya. so inviting! I haven't explored Camiguin yet, except for an official visit in 1998. tagal na nun! hmmmm...thinking of going back there...

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  6. Ang ganda nga :) Inggit tuloy tong di nakapaglakwatsa nong 20 years akong nasa Dgte. hahaha

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  7. Romz
    Hehe hirap magdala ng pet sa eroplano eh, pero kakaawa nga yung mga puppies

    Kulatipot, Matalente
    Hear hear :)

    Ian
    I just cannot believe that, bakit naman? :o

    Blissfulguro
    Di kami naka-baging! Di namin alam na meron :(
    Kuya Joam's the best! :)

    Ding
    Siquijor Ding :D

    Elal
    Haha oo nga ikaw naman, ang lapit lang sa inyo nyan!

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  8. super miss ko na to and ang ganda ganda ng shot mo grabe ka na! hahaha! First time kong maglambitin dyan na malatarzan nakakatawa lang!

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  9. Di ako nakarating dito nung pumunta ako ng Siquijor sayang :(

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  10. Ang gondo gondo naman ng waterfalls! Kasama ba to sa side trip papuntang Dipolog?

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  11. it definitely looks inviting, nice to see the paved walkway going down too.. great shots.. :)

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  12. Adventurousfeet
    Haha buti kaw nakalambitin! Di namin alam na may Tarzanan pala jan eh :P

    Drew
    Sayang! Bakit naman?

    Joan
    Haha hindi Joanna, last year pa to :)

    Rian
    Thanks :)

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  13. I'll be seeing this paradise on August.:D

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