What Happened to Cambuhawe?

Many years ago, I was able to visit the Cambuhawe Springs in Balamban. I remember that there were numerous springs in the area and one (or two) of them fed a gigantic swimming pool. The water from the pool then flows straight towards a shallow brackish body of water which also flows towards the sea.

Two weeks ago, I decided to finally visit the place again to see if things have remained the same after all these years. It’s been more than a decade since my last visit to Cambuhawe.

Name: Cambuhawe Springs
Type: Cold Spring
Municipality: Balamban
Barangay: Cambuhawe
Features: Several cold springs
Distance from City: 1 Hour by V-Hire
Distance from Town Proper: 5 minutes
Access: Bus / Van / Private
Nearest Tourist Spot: Gaisano Balamban
Trekking Time:
Standard Rate/Fee: 10/20/50
Additional Expenses:
Guide/Tour Operator: No
Tours Offered: No
Accommodations: No
Restroom/Changing Room: Yes
Restaurant/Food: No
Picnic: Yes
Camping: No

Travel time from Cebu City (JY Square in Lahug) to Gaisano Balamban via the TransCentral Highway is approximately 1 hour. By 10 am, I was already in the town of Balamban.

By the way, make sure to keep an eye out for this lovely waterfall somewhere in Barangay Busay. It’s very visible from the main road especially during the rainy season.

From Gaisano Balamban, the trip to the springs would only take around 5 minutes. The road to Cambuhawe is basically located just right across the mall. There’s also a sign by the road so it would be hard to miss it.

When I reached the springs, however, I was a bit shocked. It looked like the pools had been untouched for at least a week. The main gates to the resort were closed. I found this extremely odd since it was a Monday. I expected that this place would be swarming with local kids and families from nearby towns. But there was no one in sight.

I decided to check out the surrounding areas, instead. This is the view from the back part of the resort. The water from the pools flows straight towards this portion.

I’m not sure if people also swim here. But the part looks like one giant swimming pool. The water doesn’t look too clean, however, even though it looks pretty clear.

I walked towards a shed behind the pool where I remember one of the springs was located. And true enough, it was still there. But to be honest, the area could really need a good makeover or something. It just looked really dirty and uncared for.

The only person that I saw was this young lady who was washing her laundry. She didn’t look too happy to see me so I didn’t try to move closer to the spring. Haha.

Right next to the spring was this small stagnant body of water which was filled with garbage. Another part that could definitely use a massive overhaul.

Water from the main pools flows straight towards this bigger ground-level pool and then straight towards the river.

Pretty pleased to know that this area was relatively clean and free from trash. Thank God!

View of the resort and the laundry shed right behind it.

I returned to the main entrance where I saw a few more springs. This one doesn’t look too good. There’s shampoo and detergent packs everywhere. I chatted with that old man in the photos. He said that he wasn’t from here. He was waiting for his carpet to dry which she finished washing a few minutes before I arrived.

Even this tiny source which supposedly produces fresh, clean water doesn’t look too awesome either.

On my way out, I finally saw this notice. Apparently, there is no “maintenance budget” for the pools and people are basically not allowed to use the facility. Since there are no dates anywhere in the notice, I’m guessing that the closure is indefinite. Sad.

I hope the people behind the operation of the resort decide to revive this gem very soon. And when it’s back in operation, I hope the LGU would help bring back the old natural beauty of Cambuhawe.

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