Samboan, Cebu

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Rotunda at the Samboan town proper
Rotunda at the Samboan town proper
Map of Cebu with Samboan highlighted
Map of Cebu with Samboan highlighted
Samboan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 09°32′N 123°18′E / 9.533°N 123.300°E / 9.533; 123.300Coordinates: 09°32′N 123°18′E / 9.533°N 123.300°E / 9.533; 123.300
Country Philippines
Region Central Visayas (Region VII)
Province Cebu
Congr. district 2nd district of Cebu
Barangays 15
 • Mayor Raymond Joseph D. Calderon
 • Total 45.16 km2 (17.44 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 18,613
 • Density 410/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6027
Dialing code 32

Samboan is a fifth class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines, about 150 kilometres (93 mi) south of Cebu City. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 18,613 people.[3]


Samboan is subdivided into 15 barangays.[2]

  • Basak
  • Bonbon
  • Bulangsuran
  • Calatagan
  • Cambigong
  • Camburoy
  • Canorong
  • Colase
  • Dalahikan
  • Jumangpas
  • Monteverde
  • Poblacion
  • San Sebastian (Bato)
  • Suba
  • Tangbo


Samboan is an abbreviation of the word sinamboang, the origin of the name of the town. Sinamboang is a means of ritual dance commonly used by the people of the village. Like other Cebu towns’ legends as to how they were named, Samboan’s also came about from a language barrier between the European and natives. It seemed that some Spaniards came upon a group of people who were engaged in sinamboang. Curious about the place, they asked for its name but the natives thought they were asking about what they were doing, and they promptly answered: sinamboang.

Samboan is a small town on a hill. But it used to be very much bigger, with Oslob and Alegria under its territorial jurisdiction. In fact, people of Alegria were made to render forced labor for the construction of the Samboan church. It was only some time during the middle of the 1880s that the two towns were separated from Samboan (the towns of Ginatilan and Malabuyoc, that lie in-between, were created after the separation).


Population census of Samboan
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 15,005 —    
1995 15,770 +0.94%
2000 16,659 +1.18%
2007 18,140 +1.18%
2010 18,613 +0.94%
Source: National Statistics Office[3]

Heritage buildings[edit]

One aspect of interest is that of Samboan's cultural heritage left by the Spanish conquerors. The St. Michael Archangel Church is one of the oldest Spanish built churches in Cebu, with its facade made of coral stones.

The Watch Tower is another Spanish structure, also made up of blocks of coral stones. It was built on the side of the hill to watch the Moro invaders to the island. It is the tallest and best preserved in the entire island of Cebu.

Connecting the beach area with the Spanish Watch Tower is the St. Jacob's Ladder, otherwise known as Escala De Jacobe. It is as a flight of stone stairs with 147 steps built in 1878, which leads up to the old watchtower on a plateau about 65 metres (213 ft) above the town. From here, one can get a view of the Tañon Strait.

The Samboan WWII Volunteers Monument, found at the center of Poblacion at the National Highway, was built in honor of the many volunteers fighting for the freedom of the Philippines.

The San Sebastian Stone Walls in barangay San Sebastian are old stone structures near the San Sebastian Parish Church. This is maybe the reason why this barangay is popularly known as 'Bato' (meaning "stone").

Another Spanish structure is an old coral stone believed to be a Spanish Boundary Post. It stands along the highway in Barangay Tangbo beside the Tangbo-Bonbon River Bridge. It was believed that it used to mark the boundary limit of old Poblacion but now serves to mark the boundary between Barangay Bonbon and Tangbo.


Samboan beach

Samboan is known for its beautiful crystal clear waters with a rich marine ecosystem along its coastal barangays.

Colase Marine Sanctuary in Barangay Colase where it is managed by the Municipality together with a fisherfolks organization. Samboan's effort for nature's protection is proven by this marine sanctuary's existence for almost two decades already. You can visit the fish sanctuary or dive for a fee where you can experience the most preserved marine ecosystem where sharks often visits, dolphins plays, whales often traverse and all kinds of fish visits the most shallow part of the shore unprovoked by man. Imagine yourself standing in the beach side and colorful fishes come to your eyes as clear as if you are swimming with them. Aside from Colase, other coastal barangays include San Sebastian (Bato), Dalahikan, Tangbo, Bonbon, Suba and Poblacion offers the same experience generally.

Aguinid Waterfalls in Barangay Tangbo. Aguinid Waterfalls is composed of five different tiers along Tangbo River. Each tier has a unique waterfall. One can never reach the peak or last waterfall but to pass and climb the limestone walls of each waterfall from the lowest up to highest level waterfall. Plus you can never climb towards the top without getting wet and with an adrenaline rush adds to the excitement. One hotel and travel magazine would describe it as like climbing all the falls by tracing the long waters like the hairs of Rapunzel.

Bonbon Hidden Falls in Brgy. Bonbon to the immediate south of Poblacion which some visitors call it the Triple Drop Falls.

Ponong Hidden Lake. It is not actually a lake, but a type of a closed lagoon. Its water is brackish. It is unique in the sense that it is where a certain kind of bird - the "manolong" - dives into its salty waters and stays under for a long time in order to escape the hunters. Also near the Poblacion (town center) at the hilly portion lies Sitio Calina-ay where you can also take a deep swim in the cool lagoon of the...

Balay'g Sawa Falls. Also near the Poblacion at the hilly portion lies Sitio Calina-ay where you can also plunge into the cool natural water pool. It is a smaller waterfall but has a bigger lagoon for swimming. In the mountain portion of the municipality is the newly-paved road connecting Samboan and Oslob town which is named...

Calderon Highway named after the famous Samboan Assemblyman Pedro Calderon. The road connects Samboan and Oslob and serves as access to Mt Bartolina. It is perfect for mountain biking, riding, trail walking and even hiking to the Samboan mountains.

Mt. Bartolina situated in between Brgy. Bulangsuran and Brgy. Canang (Oslob) where one can climb the peak and see both sides of Cebu, facing Bohol Strait to the East and Tañon Strait to the West. Bartolina Mountain is the highest peak in the south of Cebu where the panoramic view of north and south Bais Bay and the rest of Negros, Siquijor, and Bohol islands can be seen. From there, you can catch both the rising and setting of the sun.

Bato Wharf in Brgy San Sebastian serves as the gateway to Negros Oriental. Ferries and light cargo vessels connect to Tampi, San Jose, NegOr. It is quite near (7.5 km away) the neighboring island where on clear days one can see the moving vehicles on the opposite shore.

Da-o Falls of Brgy. Suba is a new spot to wander. It is the newest discovery for Samboan to offer. It has the highest height among the waterfalls of Samboan.

Tabon Falls is also an emerging natural spot found in between barangays of Tangbo and Bonbon. It is named after the first syllables both barangay names.

Town Fiesta[edit]

The town fiesta is celebrated during September 29-30 annually in honor of their patron saint, San Miguel, ang Arkanghel.


Torta Espesyal (With/without Coco Wine) and Samboan Cookies which usually come out of its best during Fiestas for visitors to offer. Torta de Tangbo is said to be among the best in the locality if not in the whole of Cebu.


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Cebu". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 

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