Wednesday, January 30, 2013

cave tour and claustrophobia in the cave capital of Negros

I am drawn to head out to the direction of my fear--claustrophobia or fear of being closed in small spaces. The estimated 400 caves lying underneath Mabinay's rugged terrain are veritable playgrounds.

In the 80s, a Belgian-Dutch-Filipino expedition team explored 45 caves. One of their many surprising discoveries was Odloman Cave (8,870 meters or 5.5 miles)--by far the second longest cave system in the Philippines. Definitely not for the clumsy and faint-hearted!

The easiest and most accessible cave is Crystal Cave. Easy does it! Its 209 meters in length and 5 meters in height with lighting and walkway. Located just a few meters from the national road, its reception area that screams Bulwang Cave is hard to miss.

I've been to three other caves in Mabinay in the past: Panligawan, Pandalian and Mambajo caves. Mambajo remains my all-time extraordinary cave experience because it required rappelling to get to its bottom where a subterranean river flowed. Then blanketed in pitch darkness, my heartbeat racing, we waded through a crevice with waist-deep water (lighted only by our headlamps) with god-knows-what underwater critters just to reach the exit!

The guano deposits from bat droppings made the surface slippery, gooey and smelly.

Cave Tour Packages
  • Beginners Php 45.00/head/cave
  • Hard Php150.00/head/cave 
  • guide fee Php400.00 for every 7 visitors 

 Where to stay in Mabinay
  • Mabinay Spring Resort contact number 0906.868.1845
  • Relax Inn
  • GRV Lodging House
  • Travelers Inn
  • Highland Resort
  • Mountain Valley Guest Inn
  • Econotel
Other activities:
  • Ilog River P500.00/head
  • Spring Resort P50/head/hour
  • Guide's Fee P200/kayak
Rapelling, Rock Climbing and Ziplining

Mabinay Tourism Office contact number 0906.6581883
How to get there: Mabinay is a two-hour drive from Dumaguete City (87 km.) or 2.5 hrs from Bacolod (144 km). Ceres buses are the most reliable public transport from both cities.

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