Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spelunking Bayukbok Cave

One of the highlights of the trip to Mt. Manalmon is to explore Bayukbok Cave.

We were told there are three caves in the area, each cave charges 30 each. But Kuya AL just asked for 60pesos for all three. Well, the first cave which is the Madlum cave is nothing but normal – nothing extra ordinary. You can actually explore the small area by yourself. So parang di rin kami naka discount.

Bayukbok cave is said to be the hideout of guerillas during the revolutionary era. Just like Cu Chi tunnels of Vietnam, these caves served as the shelter of our forefathers from the historic battle against Japanese colony.

From the camping area, we started our descent a little past 9am. Back in the registration area, we left our bags in their conference room – and get ready for spelunking. The cave is located at the other side of the river, and this time, we were motivated to try the monkey bridge. No one dared to try it first but me … But I wasn’t alone, because Kuya Al was there to complete our tandem.


First few steps were scary. Reaching the middle of the wire bridge became more terrifying. I could feel my legs shaking, so I had to stop in the center, rest and relax for a moment to regain my fading strength. Kuya Al said the wire can carry up to two persons at the same time. At least you have someone to give you confidence and cheer you up to continue the heart pumping activity.

So pair by pair, we successfully finished the monkey bridge – buti walang nahulog kundi nakakahiya. Haha. But according to Kuya Al, wala pa namang nahulog dun ever. Well, looking back, it was an easy task, so long as you have that adventurous heart to try it. Tip: Try not to focus your attention down the river. Hold the wire firmly but not too strong. Relax when you feel like your legs are uncontrollably trembling. Take one step and just glide all throughout. Most of all, enjoy the moment.

The monkey bridge served as a warm up for our spelunking activity. It somehow boosts up our spirits.

Bayukbok cave is a series of interconnected caves. Their leaflet says it’s a 4km roundtrip with hardness scale of 6. I have personal idea about the hardness scale, but yes, exploring these caves was indeed hard. Rates: Caves 1-6 (150 per 5persons), caves 7-8 (150 for 5persons). So we decided to take all the cave, and we started with the hardest – caves 7-8.

It was the first caving experience for everyone, except for me and my boyfriend. So just imagine how surprise they were when we started to crawl, squeeze ourselves to the narrowest paths and climb the rockiest and sharpest limestone. The real adventure is here.

After finishing caves 7 and 8, we walked back in an open, grass-rocky hill – and traversed the second part of our spelunking. And we started it with rappelling. It looked easy and simple, but it’s quite challenging. Compared to caves 7 and 8, caves 1-6 is little less complicated but still, some parts of it can be death defying. Aside from rappelling, we also had to climb a swinging bamboo ladder placed in one of the rock walls.

And we thought the final part of all is the least difficult because we had the sunlight to our advantage. We were wrong. We had to climbed up an open rocky cliff – no harness or any supportive gadgets but your grip to the stones and your flexibility to bend and twist your body to ascend one of the risky parts of the cave. 

It took us more than two hours navigating one of the best caves I have ever been to. I got one bruise on my knees – and unnumbered fun and body aches.

*collage photos courtesy of Allenson  Varquez

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