Oslob closes Tumalog Falls

The Tumalog Falls as of March 19, 2024.
The Tumalog Falls as of March 19, 2024.Photo from LGU Oslob News & Updates

THE local government unit of Oslob, a town south of Cebu, has temporarily closed Tumalog Falls starting on the weekend of March 17, 2024, as its rain-like attraction is now spilling only droplets of water.

This was confirmed by Oslob Mayor Ronald Guaren in a phone interview with SunStar Cebu on Wednesday, March 20.

He said his office had received an increasing number of complaints about the lack of water in the falls, prompting the closure order.

“January pa na siya nagkahinayhinay. Unya karon, wala na gyuy makita. Maong karon napugos ko pagsirado kay maikog intawn ta sa mga mobisita,” Guaren said.

(The water flow started slowing in January. Then now, the waterfalls has really dried up. That is why I was forced to close the falls because we would be embarrassed to show it to visitors.)

Guaren explained that the closure was due to the water that falls from the mountain to the ground vanishing, as the Tumalog Falls’ core attraction was its “rain-like waterfalls.”

“Pisik na lang ni. Dili na kaabot sa yuta,” Guaren said.

(It’s just a splatter now. It does not reach the ground.)

According to Guaren, this is the first time that the rain-like attraction that is Tumalog Falls has dried out, as normally it is not this alarming.

“Kinahanglan man nato nga i temporary close kay ang moadto didto wala gyu’y makita tungod sa kainit sa panahon. Atong gipangitaan og paagi aron mabalik ang kanindot sa Tumalog Falls,” said Guaren.

(We have to temporarily close because those who go there will have nothing to see because of the hot weather. We are looking for a way to bring back the beauty of Tumalog Falls.)

Tumalog Falls is located in Barangays Tumalog and Luka.


Guaren clarified that the water source supplying Tumalog Falls has not dried out.

Rather, he said that aside from the El Niño phenomenon and summer that bring dry weather, it is suspected that sinkholes in the mountain have collected the water that is supposed to fall in Tumalog Falls, dividing the waterways.

“Ang amo gani nga observation, dili ra ang kainit, naa nay daghang sinkhole. Mao na ang tubig, ang source, dili na siya kaabot didto,” Guaren said.

(Our observation is that it’s not just the heat. There are many sinkholes above. That’s why the water can no longer reach Tumalog Falls.)

Guaren suspects that the sinkholes emerged after super typhoon Odette, which struck Cebu in December 2021.

Other solution

Guaren is now working to restore the beauty of Tumalog Falls by finding other sources that can supply the ecotourism destination. He is confident that when the rainy season comes, Tumalog Falls will regain its beauty.

“Naay nakit-an nga bag-o nga source. Maoy among usa nga pangitaan og paagi nga ang tubig masumpay ngadto sa Tumalog Falls,” Guaren said.

(A new water source has been found, which we will find a way to connect to supply Tumalog Falls.)

The Tumalog Falls is not just a tourist destination but one of the backup water sources that supplies 13 barangays in the town.

Oslob has 21 barangays.

Tours still ongoing

Although the operation of Tumalog Falls is on hold, tour operators and guides continue to operate in the town.

In fact, tourism in Oslob involves whale shark, Sumilon Island, monkey viewing and more. Only the Tumalog Falls viewing is cancelled at the moment.

Prior to the closure, an average of 500 to 1,000 tourists per day visited Tumalog Falls alone.

The local government reported P35.3 million in tourism revenue in 2022, according to the most recent Annual Audit Report of the Commission on Audit.

This comes after the country fought a three-year campaign against the Covid-19 outbreak.

The biggest chunk of the town’s tourism revenues came from the well-known whale shark viewing in Barangay Tan-awan, which brought in P31,028,100 last year, an increase from P2,278,210 in 2021.

Second in revenues was Sumilon Island with P3,081,870, followed by Tumalog Falls in third place with P1,170,769.50, and monkey viewing in fourth place with P67,089.

Not the first time

Tumalog Falls has been temporarily closed to the public before.

The site was closed in early 2018 for half a day due to heavy rains.

In 2017, the falls remained open even though the dry season had reduced the water’s flow, but the town did not collect entrance fees from visitors.


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