Off to Brgy. Ipil
Potholing anyone? Marinduque is also the perfect place for you.
Day 3 on our itinerary was Spelunking..... Remembering my first spelunking experience was way back in college when I joined Nature's Crusaders of the Philippines Foundation and had my first cave at Initao National Park, Misamis Oriental. Crawling, Bat Noise, Pitch Black.
Located at Barangay Ipil, Sta Cruz Marinduque. The caves within the area are somewhat interconnected as per record there are 7 caves and 4 caves were explored so far.
First stop on our 4 Caves Series was the Lagoon Cave, the entrance was quite big so crawling was not a problem..... Unfortunately, my headlamp ran out of battery so I was not able to take a good look at the stone formations but with the lights coming from the other guys, there were chandelier-like stalactites.
The cave was called Lagoon Cave because there were mini lagoons found inside. We saw two lagoons however there were few more lagoons if your go farther.
Second stop was Bathala Cave (Church Cave), one has to crawl to a narrow path going upward to be able to reach the Huge Entrance of Bathala Cave.
It is called Church cave because it was said the house of Amang Bathala (Supreme God among the Tagalog Belief) According to locals, the cave has some mystical powers and housed to some Hermits way back.
If you still remember the news about a cult Kultong Gunaw who believed that the world will end in the year 2000, this was the cave they seek refuge with, brought the family and hid inside believing that the cave will save them because of its mystical powers.
Our third stop was the Python Cave, this cave requires much effort compared to the previous Caves. One has to scramble down to some rock formation with sharp edges before reaching the entrance. By the time we all reached the entrance, a snake... yes a Python (Rock Python to be exact) greeted us.
Just above the entrance, this snake slithered its way to the other side. On the lower side of the cave's wall, another python coiled in sleep. I looked at it and was amazed by its bluish-silvery color.
When the entrance was cleared, Sir Paul, our 2 guides, Kuya Driver and yours truly went inside the cave. We saw one more python coiled on one of the cracks found on the Cave's ceiling.
The team did not explore the deepest portion of the cave because it will consume more time if we took an exit from the opposite side. More pythons can be found inside the cave, according to our guide, these pythons harm no one as recorded, they are Bathala's pet.
Scrambling all the way up from Python Cave, we were then heading to the last cave, Secret Cave. Among the caves we explored, this cave housed thousands of bats...... and Bat guano? waaaaa.... ammonia like smell.... unbearable. Also, we saw a rock formation that looks like a Lion's Head... cool.
This cave was our last stop and the exit leads us to a well paved steps leading back to the Jump Off (where mam Katie was waiting)
Few things to consider when exploring the caves:
- Bring extra battery
2. Learn how to manipulate your camera if you are using MF
- We had a 101 tutorial inside the cave... hahaha..thanks Sir Paul
3. Bat poos
- First, the smell... bring mask or something that will cover your nose just incase you cannot bare the smell of it
- Yes, it will rain bat poos.
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