Thursday, 8 September 2016

Spelunking in Sumaging Cave

As we are getting closer and closer to the mouth of the cave, I started to feel scared. The sight of dark abyss and the trail of uneven steps that lead underground is enough for you to weaken your spirit and back-out. The trail down the deep, dark and cold cave may be scary, but it is worth to give it a try.


Perhaps one of the reasons that compelled me as first-timer in caving despite the lack of experience is my thirst for seeing an unfamiliar environment and to experience its magnificent limestone formations. And the only way to satisfy me is to take the adventurous rugged trail down the BIG cave.

The guides started to prepare the lamps that will light us during the exploration. While preparing, the head guide gave us an orientation and the to-dos and not-to-dos. Yes, I can still remember ABC and DEF. ABC stands for Always Be Careful and DEF stands for Don’t Ever Fall. hmmm! Sounds "hugot" to me!

Our group is composed of 12 individuals with the age range from the mid-20s to early 60s. The guide told us to fall in line with the weakest link first.
The Sumaging Cave Adventure Team is brought to you by RedMark Travel and Tours

As we are about to enter the cave, the guide explained to us that there are 3 stages of caving.

Ang pagbaba!
To the bat cave! The path going down the cave was slippery. Holding the slime-covered rocks which you need to hold onto to attain balance is better than holding your boyfriend's hand. Ok, I admit! I pretended that the slime on my hands was just moss, but it was actually bat  poop and pee. Eeeeew!!! Now I know the use of the gloves  for sale at the souvenir shop near the registration area. I should have bought a pair.

The watery part
At this stage, the guide would ask the group to remove footwear. Walking barefoot allows you to have more balance and allows you to move freely without slipping. You can rinse your dirty hands and feet in the cold water.

"Ang Pulikat!" bow. Make sure makapag stretching ng unti para iwas pulikat

The buwis-buhay part
The buwis -buhay stage is where  your YOLO spirit will be put to test.  We slide, crawl and rappel to move from one place to another. In this stage also where the guides will show off their superman abilities. Guides will be  your human ladder to make the difficult phase less frightening. 

Expect to hear this kind of conversation during this stage:
      Guide : Ma’m kanang paa sa balikat ko, kaliwang paa sa binti ko.
     JLo     :  Hindi ko abot. Hindi abot ng paa ko yang shoulder mo.
     Guide  : Unti nalang mam 1 inch nalang.
    JLo     : maikli nga
    Guide   : slide pa ng unti
The more challenging it gets, the more you are excited to see the rock formations such as the King’s Curtain, Crocodile or Sharks head, the King and Queen and other marvelous limestone formations.



The King's Curtain

Going back  is also another challenge. It involves more rock climbing and rappelling that requires more flexibility. Despite of all the "buwis-buhay" stunts that we did for this tour, it is all worth it in the end. 



This experience made me realize that,  "It is truly not the destination, but the journey that matters."

Cheers!