Strange Little Wanderer Goes to Iloilo-Guimaras (Part 2)

Caving

We woke up at around 6 AM the next day. It’s always easier to wake up early when on vacation. There’s no “I have to drag myself out of bed” feeling. I wish it’s always like that on working days haha. I WISH.

Anyway, Kuya Paeng called us out for breakfast. He was so helpful because he remembered what we liked. When we arrived at the inn the day before, he asked us what brand of coffee we would like. Three of us ordered Kopiko Brown, I chose Nescafe 3-in-1 and Pao doesn’t drink hot coffee. So when we got to our table that morning, there were already three sachets of Kopiko Brown and one Nescafe. So thoughtful, Kuya Paeng!

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Breakfast is served

We had to eat breakfast quick because our first scheduled activity, which is exploring the Bakwitan Cave, will start at 7. So we changed clothes and hopped on to our respective motorcycles. The cave was only about 3 minutes from the inn.

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At the entrance of the cave. We still look fresh and unaware of what was in store for us inside.

Kuya Paeng didn’t go with us to the cave. Another guide named Kuya Louie was our assigned cave guide. I guess maybe he knows the cave better and is the best at spelunking.

The cave is called Bakwitan Cave because it was and is where people evacuate. So “bakwitan” = “evacuate-an”. 🙂 It was where the locals hid from the Japanese invaders during the occupation. Now, it’s still used as a refuge whenever there are strong typhoons.

The cave boasts of amazing natural formations. Too bad the cave walls near the entrance are littered with graffiti. Most of them are things like *Guy’s name* LOVE *Girl’s name*. Seriously guys 😦

After Kuya Louie was done retelling the history of the cave and showing us the various rock formations, he asked us if we wanted to continue inside the cave or go back already. He said that if we continue, we’d have to crawl through a tiny hole, which he then proceeds to show us, and climb up further into the cave until we reach the exit. Then we would have to climb down again. He assured us that the climb up would not be entirely vertical, that it would have a bit of a slope so it will be manageable.

So of course we continued. We’re young and able-bodied after all. HA. Kuya Louie informed us that it would take about 2 hours. So we crawled one by one inside that tiny hole. When we reached the other side, I saw another entrance-like hole so we thought we’re going inside it. But Kuya Louie pointed up to where we are going-a vertical series of jagged rock formations. Needless to say, I broke out in a nervous sweat. I think that was when I realized that it was going to be the kind of vacation where we’d have to rough it to enjoy ourselves. It was like when we went to Sagada and climbed Mt. Ampacao and walked for like 5 hours.

Kuya Louie then proceeded to show us how to climb. He said that we have to follow the steps closely because one wrong and miscalculated step could lead to us falling or hurting ourselves. He showed us the exact places where our feet and hands should be.  Upon reaching the top, there’s a rope that we would have to hold on to and push our weights up against. There were a lot of hoisting ourselves up and trying to stretch my body as much as possible to be able to hold on to or step on crevices. At one point, we came to a rock formation wherein the only way to climb it is to prop the right knee on the rock and stretch the other leg towards the left where a particular crevice is. I had my right knee propped up against the rock but my left leg really couldn’t reach the crevice to the left. Then Kuya was saying something like “You can do it! We’re the same height and I can do it”. But I’m not agile and I’m not a freakin’ spelunking tour guide! Haha but seriously Kuya Louie is very helpful and understanding. In the end, he just pulled me up by my right arm. Haha.

We were relieved when we finally reached the exit and saw light again. But the challenge is not over yet because we had to climb down rocks to get back to where we came from. There’s literally no trail or path, as in we had to balance on pointy rocks.

 

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Climbing down

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High up

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With Kuya Louie
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Yep that’s how high and pointy the rocks we climbed down were

 

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Finally reached the end and we survived!

We chugged down lots of water and softdrinks when we were done. It was exhausting and dangerous but well worth it! I wouldn’t mind spelunking again. Hopefully, we’d get to try it when we go back to Sagada. 🙂 It was only around past 9 when we finished and it was just the beginning of our itinerary for that day. Part 3 coming soon!

 

 

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