I had so much fun at Aguinid Falls I didn’t want to leave. But I didn’t want to keep my guides from earning more. It was around 11:40am when we got down from all levels of Aguinid.
I needed to eat because after all it was lunchtime, so my guides took me to the store a few meters from the entrance. While having lunch, my guide Siede engaged me in a deeper conversation about how they underwent training as guides and they can take any visitor to the other waterfalls in Samboan. I told him I would definitely recommend him to my friends. His number is 09298648699. I would have hired going to the other falls but I have already spoken to a habal-habal driver earlier. The guides, by the way, would not give me a quote. They only accept voluntary payments.
After lunch, I asked my habal-habal driver to take me to Binalayan Falls. It only took us about five minutes to reach it.
When I arrived, I paid the P10 entrance fee at a store, which I later found out was owned by their nice barangay captain who allowed me to charge my phone inside his house for free. I was then escorted by another guide. We took his motorcycle first, then we started walking.
My guide pointed to me a small waterfalls with many locals lounging around. He said it was being improved (or renovated) to become the Level Zero of Binalayan Falls. We then just continued our short hike.
Then we arrived at the main drop.
As you can see in the picture, the waterfalls is lovely. But sadly, there are lots of vandalism on the natural walls, probably even made by the locals. I wish people should stop this. All I can hope for right now is that someday, many years from now, this nonsense graffiti would become part of the beauty, of the history of the place. I still can’t see it for now though.
When I got to the falls, it was only me and the guide so I felt I owned the place. After the pictures were taken, I hit the water. It was freezing cold, which probably contributed to my flu the next day. I only stayed on the shallow part because as usual, I didn’t want to showcase my lack of swimming skills.
My guide told me one could go up that cave behind the drop and jump from there. He tried but maybe it was too slippery for him so he decided to just jump from the small ledge on the left.
When another visitor arrived with his trio of guides, I decided to get out of the water. They also started jumping from the ledge before I left.
We slowly made our way back to the barangay captain’s store. I stayed at the store for 30 more minutes to wait for my phone that was being charged.
Around 12:45pm, we drove to Dao (or Da-o or Dau – I saw different spellings but it is just pronounced one way, the Bisaya way. I’m Bisaya too, or at least I feel like one, so I’m not being offensive here). It took a longer drive going to Dao as what I was told.
I was led to a house of a nice lady where I registered and paid the P20 entrance fee. The nice lady asked me if I could swim. I told her no so she called a teenage boy to be my guide. She said I might get tempted to jump to the water when I see the S-shaped part (not this time). I think even if you know how to swim, they’ll still provide you with a guide. The guide’s friend also accompanied us and was even more helpful. I forgot their names so I’ll just call them Toto 1 and Toto 2.
Near the start of the hike was a hanging bridge. My guides asked me if I preferred crossing the bridge or crossing the river below it instead. I told I could do either way, whichever was better (or more adventurous), so we took the bridge. Toto 2 said the reason why they were asking was because there were a few people who got dizzy when crossing the bridge before.
I received plenty of warnings about Dao Falls, from my friend Jao to my guides in Aguinid and Binalayan. I was warned about the narrow pathway that do not have any guardrails so falling off of it was a possibility. Siede, my guide in Aguinid, even suggested that I should stretch my arms and stick my back to the wall when crossing that pathway. With all these warnings in mind, I expected the worst. It was all I was thinking during the 20-minute hike going to the falls.
When we finally got to that pathway, I didn’t feel scared at all. It was wider than I expected. Maybe if I wasn’t warned, then I probably would have been really scared. People were talking about how there were multitude of people earlier that day but I never heard anyone mentioning somebody falling from that ledge, so I felt safe.
The nice lady at the “front office” told me later on that their barangay is working to add more bamboo rails to safeguard the pathway. But since funds are not readily available and they’re far from the city, work is slow.
You can see my friend Jao crossing that pathway at the last part of this video:
Dao Falls itself looked majestic to me. It was perfect to cap my day of falls hopping.
Toto 2 asked me if what was more beautiful, Aguinid or Dao. Since this was his place, I told him it was Dao. But honestly, Dao Falls looks grander, although the trek going here may not have been as fun as the one I had in Aguinid. In addition, the dents on the wall made it look more dramatic.
My guides literally jumped to the water first to see which parts were deep and which were shallow.
It was shallow enough in the middle of the pool all the way to the wall so I went ahead and did my own brand of swimming. Again, it was only me and my guides so I felt like I owned the world for 30 minutes. It was peaceful and all that.
We left when other visitors started arriving. The hike going back was more tiring since it was mostly uphill.
Since I was swimming in my own little way the whole day, I had to change to dry clothes before heading to Dumaguete where I was staying for the night. My guides pointed me to a bathroom used by visitors.
After making my payment, my habal-habal driver took me to a bus stop where I hopped on a bus going to Lilo-an Port in Santander around 3pm.
I crashed at my friend Maybelle’s house in Dumaguete for the night and made my way home the next day. I was planning to go to Casaroro Falls but that had to be canceled. My flu was starting and I was running out of dry clothes. So ’til next time, folks!