Sunday, January 3, 2016


Location: Barangay Cagbayang, Oquendo District, Calbayog City, Samar, Philippines

The enchanting Tabokno Water Falls

Tabokno is a 50-minute drive from Calbayog City proper to Barangay Cagbayang, one of the 46 barangays of Oquendo District of Calbayog. The whole of Calbayog is divided into three districts. Calbayog District alone is consist of 84 barangays and the third district which is Tinambacan District has 27 barangays. The three districts has a total of 157 barangays.

The end of the 50-minute drive from Calbayog City

Since, I was only with my nephew and we were only two, we decided to board a green center car from Calbayog City to Barangay Cagbayang with a fare of P30 per pax. If you opt to have a cutting trip, whether it is far or near, you will be charged with P25 per head. Center car in Calbayog parlance, is a single motor, housed at the center and carrying 10 passengers. Two passengers on both sides of the driver and 8 from the rear part of the vehicle.

The bridge leading to the villages near the water falls

Actually, the landmark where we were suppose to lift was a bridge, but the driver forgot it, so we were dropped to Cagbayang Elementary School which is a few meters away the bridge. I think, maybe 10 meters.

The irrigation canal - part of the 4-kilometer 55-minute trek

The day we visited this spot was December 30, 2015 and it was Wednesday. It was not a weekend and nobody was around to go to Tabukno Waterfalls. I have asked around for a guide but there was no guide. Good that my nephew has once visited this place and so he knew the place. The first trail after the bridge was muddy since rain has just stopped that moment. Then, after that was the almost endless irrigation canal where you have to balance walking over it.

Rice fields as a common sight along the trek

Refreshing green fields are just part of our trek. By this time, fields were just plowed for planting rice. It is understood that by this time, they have just started to plant rice. The irrigation canals are filled with water distributing water to nearby rice fields.

The locals using the irrigation canals as a convenient trail

Surprisingly, there were some locals where we met or trekked fast ahead of us carrying sack of coconut shell for sale in the barangay poblacion which will be burned for charcoal. I even saw small kids also carrying with them a sack of coconut shell where the sack was even longer than them. Amazing!!! They are already working as young as they are!

Alternative trail other than the irrigation canal

Maybe only 10% of the trail was a muddy track as an alternative of the irrigation canal. I actually find it difficult to walk over the irrigation canal since some of its walls are filled with mud from the local who passed thru it barefooted carrying with their feet substantial amount of sticky mud and leaving it along the irrigation tracks.

Wider irrigation canal is a good trail

My nephew find it convenient to walk inside the wider irrigation canal but since I was wearing a trekking shoes, I opted not to wade along the shallow water of the irrigation canal. Thus, I even find it difficult since I have to expand my legs to step on both sides of the canal and walk like an Egyptian.

The landmark which tells that one is halfway to the falls

My nephew told me that when you happen to see the house of the picture above, you are halfway to the waterfalls. With this, I trekked fast unmindful of muddy trail or slippery irrigation canal.

The dam - a landmark that tells you that you are almost near your destination

Crossing the dam made me feel better as I my nephew told me that the falls is barely 5 minutes which was true enough and my heart jumped with joy as I hear the cascading sound of the water falls.

Overlooking the waterfalls a few meters away

It was feeling of relief and excitement as the clearing of trees slowly and dramatically showcased the stunning and marvelous sight of Tabonok Waterfalls. It was more than a prize of my 55-minute trek.

My most coveted prize - the splendorous beauty of Tabokno Waterfalls

The water was inviting then and I wasted no time to plunge in the cool basin of the waterfalls. It was only me and my nephew who enjoyed the sublime beauty of the water falls.

If you are in Calbayog, you can also visit the following:

Capul Island, San Antonio Island, Dalutan Island, Sambawan Island, The Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Shrine, Ciriaco Hotel, Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Other Calbayog tours, San Juanico Bridge, MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park, Limasawa Island, Bangon Water Falls, Tarangban Waterfalls, Dakdak Beach Resort, San Rafael Farm (Babatngon, Leyte), Kalanggaman Island, Biri Rock Formations and Pink Beach of San Vicente Island

As to the budget, it can be broken down as follows:

SN Particulars Amount
1. Round trip bus fare from Pasay City to Calbayog City (P1,200 one-way)
2. Round trip center car transport from Calbayog City to Barangay Cagbayang (P30 one-way)
3. Affordable and decent accommodation in Calbayog City in 3 Gems Pensione overnight (good for two) with an address in JPR Subdivision, Barangay Obrero with landline at (055) 2094055
4. Average costs of meal in Calbayog (Jollibee, Chowking and other fastfood) for three meals for an average of P100 per meal
5. Average cost of meals during bus stops at least two not to include the bottled water of P30 for 500ML
6. Matnog terminal fee
7. Northern Samar Port terminal fee (Either Allen or San Isidro)
8. Comfort room usage fee during bus stops for P5 (3 stops)

There are a number of hotels in Calbayog City ranging from the luxury hotel of Ciriaco to budget accommodation but for a backpack traveler like me, I prefer 3 Gems Pensione House.


You might find this link useful if you opt to travel by bus to Calbayog City

Please note that when you travel by bus, you have to pass through the Pan-Philippine Highway along Bicol Peninsula heading for Matnog Port of Sorsogon province, the tip of Luzon Island. Then, a ferry boat of 1 hour and 30 minutes will take you either to San Isidro or Allen ports, both part of Northern Samar and the bus drive will take you for another 1 hour and 30 minutes heading to Calbayog City. If there are no delays most particular in the ferry boat travel, it will only take 17 hours from Manila to Calbayog City but be prepared for additional money for your meals during bus stops for meals averages to P150 not to include the drinking water. The cost of the ferry fare is already included in the bus fare. However, the terminal fee in Matnog and Northern Samar is shouldered by the passenger.

Or you may also opt to travel by plane where Calbayog has its airport and this link maybe of great help to you.


To avoid costly food during bus stops, take with you food and drinking water. In addition, it is also very cold in the bus as you are boarding an airconditioned one. Thus, take with you a thick jacket.

It is also advisable to take with you additional cash for the crossing in Matnog to Northern Samar sometimes get delays and so you need to spend additional cost for your meals.

It is also cheaper to travel in group as expenses can be shared. Chartered vans are available in Calbayog City and you can even maximize your travel itinerary on a Samar-Leyte-Biliran trips where I tried it in a group of 10 for 8 days and we only spent approximately P14,000 which we opted to take a bus travel from Manila to Calbayog City and going back to Manila we took our route via Cebu City by plane coming from Maasin City of Southern Leyte.

Do not worry, if you spend this amount. There are a lot of places where you can visit in Calbayog but that will entail additional cost. Good luck and enjoy.


  1. wOw! wara ka gud mag siring na makada ka ha...

    1. Sobra kang busy kasi. Di mo rin naman ako sasamahan, di ba?