Destinations Life! Sa Cebu Ra Ni

Rediscovering Cebu: A glimpse of Samboan’s cultural heritage

By: - May 21, 2023

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

The Museo de Samboan was inaugurated in 2010 and is now undergoing renovation to hold more memorabilias and artifacts to showcase the culture of this town. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

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.

This is one of the most prized memorabilia found inside the Museo de Samboan./ Immae Lachica

Samboan museum

In this part of the Museo de Samboan displays the artworks done by their local artists. CDN Digital photo | Immae Lachica

Samboan museum

More artworks at the Museo de Samboan. CDN Digital | Immae Lachica

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.

READ MORE: The Enchanting Beauty of Dayhag Falls: A Hidden Gem in Boljoon

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.

Campanario de Antigua

A view of the Campanario de Antigua with the church at its background. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

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.

Escala de Jacob

The Campanario de Antigua and Escala de Jacob. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

Escala de Jacob Samboan

A view of the Tañon Strait from the Escala de Jacob. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

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.

St. Michael de Archangel Samboan

St. Michael de Archangel church in Samboan. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

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.

St. Micheal the Arcangel church

The interior of the St. Michael de Archangel church. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

Samboan church

The altar of the St. Michael de Archangel church. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

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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