Dau Falls: An Experience Like No Other

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Still wet from my short adventure in Binalayan Falls in Barangay Bonbon, I got on my bike and drove towards the direction of Barangay Suba, Samboan. My guide in Binalayan had said that the drive to Dau would be quick so changing into a dry pair of shorts wouldn’t make sense. And I agree.

True enough, less than 15 minutes later, I saw a tarpaulin on the side of the road which read “Dau Falls.” This is it!


 

Name: Dau Falls
Type: Waterfall System
Municipality: Samboan
Barangay: Suba
Features: Waterfall System, Rock Formations
Distance from City: 3-4 Hours by Bus
Distance from Town Proper: 10 minutes
Access: Bus / Van / Private
Nearest Tourist Spot: Binalayan Falls
Trekking Time: 10-20 minutes
Standard Rate/Fee: PhP 20
Additional Expenses:
Hours: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Restrictions:
Guide/Tour Operator: Yes
Tours Offered: Yes
Accommodations: No
Restroom/Changing Room: No
Restaurant/Food: No
Picnic: Yes
Camping: No
Adventure Level: Beginner to Mid
Rating – Hospitality: ★★★★★★★★★☆
Rating – Safety: ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Rating – Guide: ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Rating – Adventure: ★★★★★★★★★☆
Rating – Overall: ★★★★★★★★☆☆


I turned right and just drove up a dirtroad for about 10 minutes. If you see cornfields on both sides of the road, don’t panic. Just keep driving until you see a cluster of small houses with some people converged in front. I asked the guy standing closest to the road if I was in the right spot and he confirmed that I was indeed at the ‘reception area.’ After parking my bike (PhP 20,) I paid the entrance fee (PhP 20) and signed the visitors’ log.

The lady at the counter then introduced me to my guide. And practically everyone surrounding the small table were the log was. They were all very friendly and warm. They’re locals whose sons and husbands and nephews have turned into tour guides. They asked where I was from and how I learned about Dau. And since I arrived late, they were worried that I wouldn’t be able to take good shots. Cool people, I must say.

My guide was a little chatty, so I was pretty relieved. I enjoy long treks but doing it with someone who doesn’t talk much is a little weird for me. He’s cool! I have a feeling this 20-minute trek would be easy.


Crossing this ‘bamboo bridge’ was fun. Not only did it sway with every step, it also croaked and moaned when more than 5 people were on it at the same time. Hehe.


My guide explained that although he grew up in the area, he never knew about the waterfall when he was a young kid.

This spot just below the bridge is where locals usually do their laundry.


He added that back in the day, he and his neighborhood friends spent their early mornings swimming in this part of the river system. They weren’t able to explore the area beyond this point.


This part requires a little balance and control. That ladder you see was added for the convenience of visitors. If you prefer to wade in the water, however, be ready to get your shorts wet.


What’s great about the 20-minute trek is that it’s never boring. There’s A LOT to see. This one, for example, looks particularly gorgeous in person. In fact, this could already very well be a ‘tourist spot’ in places that don’t see these waterfall systems very often. Here in Samboan, this spot is just one of the numerous ‘opening acts’ you see before you get to the main act.


Another crossing. Notice the small foot path on the side of the cliff? Yes, that’s man-made. The locals decided to make that to make the trek a little more convenient.


In some parts, however, you have to trek on the actual river. So, be sure to wear something light, comfortable, and durable. And, of course, bring extra clothes even if you don’t intend to swim.


This part is one of the most gorgeous things about the whole trek. The foot path is partially submerged so you’d have to be extra careful. And especially since that pool right next to it is very deep, according to my guide. He actually dropped a huge rock on it to try to prove that he wasn’t lying and the sound that the rock made when it hit the water was pretty convincing. Plus, he dropped a couple of leaves on the water and out came huge fresh-water fish! He said they’d stay longer if we threw actual food. But since the fish don’t eat leaves, they disappeared right away. But, just, WOW! Can you believe it?


Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Rivendell! I literally got chills when I reached this part of the trail. It was just too beautiful. One can’t help but think about Frodo’s visits to the land of the elves.


And take a look at that! Not every municipality is as gifted as Samboan.


The steps are a bit challenging but I assure you that the view is so worth it! Also, I’d have to commend my guide for taking good care of me. He made sure that I was safe and enjoying myself at the same time.

Also, he knew just exactly when and how to disappear from the scene whenever I needed to take some shots. That’s a plus! 🙂


At this point, I had to pause to catch my breath. I pretended that I was just busy taking photos. Haha. My guide never left my side. And instead of forcing me to keep walking, he started sharing fun stories about his experiences with other trekkers. Cool stuff.

And looking down, this is the sight that awaits you. Flawless, ain’t it?


A few more steps and we’re finally there!


There she is! The lovely Dau Falls of Barangay Suba, Samboan. Almost a hundred feet of pure natural goodness.

I stayed for at least thirty minutes to just enjoy the place and the company of other guests who were already there. A cool, refreshing swim right in the middle of a basin several hundred feet above sea level on a sunny Monday afternoon is not bad at all. Nothing more awesome than that!


Now just imagine this: A few years ago, those wooden railings were not there! Crazy, right?


My Dau (Dao) experience is definitely one I wouldn’t forget anytime soon. And actually, Dau sits near the top of my most favorite waterfalls list. Not only is the trek challenging, engaging, and truly awe-inspiring, the actual drop is also just a real eye candy. And let’s not forget about my awesome guide (and all the friendly people of Suba I met along the way) who made the experience even more special.

Do I recommend Dau to other waterfall chasers? Yep!
Will I be coming back? Heck, yeah!


GETTING THERE:

By Bus

1. Get on a Bato via Barili Bus at the South Bus Terminal. Tell the driver or the conductor to drop you off at the corner which leads to Dau Falls in Barangay Suba, Samboan.
2. When you reach your stop, get on a habal-habal and ask to be taken to the reception area of Dau Falls.
3. You should be at the reception area in 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Enjoy your trek and Dau Falls!

By Motorbike

1.1 Drive all the way to the town of Samboan. VIA BARILI
[Carcar City > Barili > Dumanjug > Alcantara > Ronda > Moalboal> Badian> Alegria > Malabuyoc > Ginatilan > Samboan]
1.2 Drive all the way to the town of Samboan. VIA OSLOB
[Carcar City > Sibonga > Argao > Dalaguete > Alcoy > Boljoon > Oslob > Santander > Samboan]
2. As soon as you enter Samboan town limits, keep an eye out for a small road-side (tarpaulin) sign that welcomes you to Dau Falls.
3.1 Turn left, drive for about 5 minutes and proceed to the reception area.
3.2 Turn right, drive for about 5 minutes and proceed to the reception area.
4. Pay the PhP 20 entrance fee.
5. Negotiate with a local guide (if you don’t know the way.) Rate is not fixed.
6. The trek will take about 25 to 30 minutes.
7. Continue on foot towards Dau.
8. Enjoy Dau Falls!

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