Hello itinerants all over the world and hive community! What's up with you guys? As I write this blog for today, I do enjoy the perfectly fine weather here in our hometown, Surigao City. The weather seems cooperative today than these past couple of days but it didn't stop me from bringing you to wonderful places here in Mindanao Island. In addition to my journey to sanity, I have finally visited most of Siargao's finest. If you are a non-surfer and still likes to wander and have a fun vacation in this wonderful island, let me bring you to one of the activities that non-surfers would surely love and definitely get a thrill out of your vacation.
For my next few episodes, I will be again promoting our hometown and I am very much thrilled to share some of my experiences in one of the best Islands here in the country which is the one and only Surfing Capital of the Philippines, the Siargao Islands. Because of the pandemic, please be guided of the requirements needed and protocols to be followed when travelling to the Island. As far as I know, they are slowly reopening its borders for tourists from its neighboring islands and from other parts of the country but of course with some travel restrictions.
For today's episode, let me share you my unforgettable caving experience which I did only with the tour guide. I was really anxious when I decided to do it without my friends and I just had faith with my tour guide. Knowing that I had to go inside a dark cave, go with the deep flowing water and can barely see anything inside only a bit of flash light and I had to pay attention to the voice of my tour guide so that experience alone really developed my personality and skills to overcome some of my fears.
TAYANGBAN CAVE POOL lies comfortably within the municipality of Pilar, Siargao, a fun and thrilling caving activity and a nice spot to go swimming in a cave pool can be enjoyed by the locals and tourists. The place is only 15-20 minutes drive (depending on the motor speed) away from General Luna. There are actually motorbikes that can be rented from General Luna. The minimum price per day is 300.00 pesos. (6.00 US Dollar) but still negotiable depending on how good are you at bargaining. And there are also public motorbikes with a rate of 100.00 pesos - 150.000 (2-3 US dollar.) Just a heads up to always check the weather forecasts from time to time, it's better to go to the cave when it's sunny. The water is definitely clear when it's not raining. If it rains heavily the mud is washed away and goes into the water.
Finding this tourist attraction is no sweat. It's actually on the way going to Magpupungko Beach basically just 15 minutes away. You will find this banner and a SARI-SARI STORE along the road. There's an ENTRANCE FEE of 70.00 pesos (1.35114 US Dollar) per person and you go with the tourist guide. Normally you go inside the cave by batch however when I went there there were only few people and I decided to go caving myself and the tourist guide because it's truly more extreme and exciting. You just have to give any amount to the tourist guide in return of the service. The activity wasn't boring at all because the guide was very hilarious and has the same level of sense of humor as I do. I will give the contact details and information of this tour guide later.
Here's our entry point. It actually looks creepy because you can't see what's inside for it's too dark and narrow. I honestly had a second of thought of not pursuing the activity but I realized that my fears shouldn't be the one to dictate and control my life so I had to be brave in order to fight those battles inside me. I was wondering if there are wild creatures inside and I indeed asked the guide about that but he didn't say a thing so that left me worried the entire time haha.
You can see this freaky huge snake-like formed rock will scare the hell out of you as you enter the cave. Good thing about the tour guide they had some explanations about the cave and they're able to figure out the shapes of the rock formations and be able to communicate to the tourists. I had no complain with my tour guide because he's really talkative and he really took good care of me. I was in a very slow pace because I couldn't just keep moving since I couldn't see clearly and I only had to listen to his instructions carefully.
I assumed that everything is going to be the same as calm as I experienced in Puerto Princesa's underground river wherein I was also able to go inside the cave. It's really completely different. There is no longer a boat man, you have to trust yourself and the guide more, it's more thrilling because you have to cast the ninja out of you since you will be doing so much crawling, balancing in the rope, climbing rocks and avoiding the spiky ones. I was just very lucky to have a hilarious and experienced tour guide for he made the adventure pretty much easier and I felt so confident that nothing's gonna go wrong.
As a beginner, it was never easy for me to have experience this unexpected spelunking adventure. Exploring the dark cave with only head lights from my tour guide which leads us the way, a quite deep muddy water, very narrow passages and spiky rocks are the things that you have to endure in the adventure. Despite of everything, you will really still appreciate the wonderful formations of stalactites and stalagmites. The story goes that, this place used to be the rebels hideout way back in time.
The photo shows a glimpse of my struggles while getting through the adventure.
If you are wondering how we managed to take the photos inside, you can actually bring a camera but make sure not to be clumsy at all. You may bring it by yourself or let the tour guide hold and take all the photos for you. Honestly, I barely get through the journey for the water was so deep and cold with spiky rocks which gave me so much pain to my feet and legs on every step I make.
Just always bear in mind to always unleash the most responsible traveler in you wherever your adventures bring you. If you are gonna go caving to never tough these stalactites and stalagmites for it causes them to die. And one more common problem that every traveler must be aware of and should be changed is that throwing their garbage or trashes elsewhere near or in the area of the tourist attraction itself. I am just dismayed when I went there, there were were candy wrappers and other snacks being thrown away in the area. YOU ARE KILLING THE NATURE!
The struggles will surely fade away by the time you'll see the light and this beautiful exit point. I even become more prouder of myself knowing that I have finally made it and overcome the challenges inside the cave. It's nothing more satisfying to have finished such extreme and death defying experience. It implies that truly there's a rainbow after the rain. I have seen the most beautiful scenery after getting out of the dark. IT WAS INDEED EXTREME BUT FUN!.
It could have been more enchanting and magical if the weather was pretty much sunny. It's actually famous for cliff jumping and swimming in this hidden gem right after the cave. Swinging with these vines, cliff jumping and go directly into a deep cold hole in the water are used to be their activities when the sun shines at its shiniest and the water goes clearer and enticing. This actually ends the whole adventure in the Cave of Tayangban. Don't forgive to give your tour guide a tip which is any amount of your choice. In my case, I gave my tour guide, Ochoy, a 100.00 pesos. (2 US Dollar.) Whenever you happen to visit this place you may wanna contact him through this number: 09076286212.
That's basically it, if it happens that you have visited the place already, please care to share your experiences in the comment section below. Everyone's glad to hear the stories of yours! Just always remember that learning is a lifetime process. You can learn from your experiences, trips and from other people. The world is so vast. Explore and Learn! Traveling isn't is as expensive as you think! There's a so called travelling on a frugal way with a purpose! I will be posting the second part of my Singapore Trip as soon as possible. Stay tuned then.