CEBU CITY, Philippines— Nestled in the southwestern part of Cebu, Samboan has been known for its mesmerizing waterfalls, friendly locals, and raw beauty.
But not many know that Samboan also has rich and vibrant heritage that is worth visiting.
CDN Digital spent a day in this quiet town located approximately 140 kilometers southwest of Cebu City and with the help of its dynamic tourism officer Ryan Galano, we were given a glimpse of the this town’s past, exploring once more its rich history and tradition.
Here are some of the heritage gems in Samboan:
Museo de Samboan
One of the town’s notable endeavors is the renovation of Museo de Samboan, a cultural treasure trove set to reopen during the vibrant “Dagayday Festival” in September.
Visitors to the museum is treated to a captivating collection of ancient artifacts discovered throughout the town, providing a glimpse into Samboan’s past.
In addition, the museum proudly showcases artworks by local talents.
The museum was inaugurated in 2010 and is now being renovated to improve the home of Samboan’s cultural treasure.
The ongoing restoration of Museo de Samboan is a testament to the town’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage.
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By giving value and significance to these artifacts, the museum allows the present generation to appreciate and learn from their ancestors’ legacy.
“Gusto gyud mi nga ma tagaan gyud siya’g value, kay this is the window to the past, ingon ani diay ang Samboan sa una. Dako gyud kaayo ni og kinatibuk-an nga tabang kung unsa na ta karon,” he added.
(We really want to give this value because this is the window to the past, it lets people know what Samboan was before. It is a huge help to what we are now.)
Campanario de Antigua
Another significant heritage site is the Campanario de Antigua, a watchtower constructed in 1878.
Built using coral stone slabs and adorned with terracotta tiles, this watch tower played a vital role during the Spanish era as it was where locals could monitor pirate invasions along the Tañon Strait that separates Negros and Cebu islands.
Escala de Jacob
Nearby, is the Escala de Jabob, a stair case with 157 steps from the watch tower down to the coastal barangays. It served as passage way for villagers entering and leaving the town in the past.
What awaits you after 157 steps? Pristine blue waters and vast shoreline of the Samboan’s coast.
San Miguel Arcangel Parish
Samboan’s San Miguel Arcangel Parish carries a storied history, originating as a “visita” of Tanjay, Negros Oriental, before gaining independent parish status in 1784.
Constructed with coral and wood, the church’s entrance guides visitors toward its original centuries-old altar, while the ceiling boasts awe-inspiring paintings, meticulously crafted by Bohol artists. It took six months to complete the painting of the ceiling.
Galano envisions Samboan as more than just a small town tucked away in Cebu’s southern tip.
Through the town government’s dedicated efforts, Samboan could be a hub for adventure, culture, and heritage.
Galano emphasizes that tourism is a collective responsibility. He urges locals to preserve their cultural wonders and serve as exemplary guardians of Samboan’s heritage.
The town’s commitment to showcasing its cultural treasures, from the renovated Museo de Samboan to the historic landmarks like Campanario de Antigua and San Miguel Arcangel Parish, is surely expected to ignite curiosity and attract tourists in the future.
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