Things to Bring for Sagada Spelunking and What It is Like Inside the Sumaguing Cave Beginner's Trail!

It was my first time to do spelunking in Sagada and my first impulse was to bring everything that I might need in the trip. Good thing I thought of ways to protect my body, arms, legs and feet! Haha. You'll find that most of the shots here are from somebody else in our group. This is because I know a camera on my neck will only weigh me down. I knew I must focus my energy on caving (for the first time haha) and one small slip or mistake might lead to something serious. I also know that my camera can't handle super dark places and my hands are shaky especially after a workout. I might also bump it on a rock with icky bat poop or it might fall in the water. Plus, I don't have the skill yet and time to play with the manual setting like the professionals with me ;) Lastly, I just wanted to have fun and not thinking about it too much coz I had no clue on the details of the trail and the cave haha. The end result of thinking that ahead and knowing your limits was great!  It was one of my most memorable trips ever and it was just AMAZING inside. I got so close to the formations and even hang on some for my life haha. Just look at my pic below. I was psyching myself before I strategically climbed down a humongous wall of limestone hehehehe.

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Some Images from Kuya Boyd of ATI

1. Mojo Slippers / Anti-slip Footwear - My Mojo slippers were a bit big so all the dirt went to the extra space and protected my feet! Haha. It was a very nice spelunking slipper, not slippery. You can find the list of places to buy Mojo sandals here
2. Spaghetti Strap Inner Top - so you have an extra layer if you want to take off #3
3. Roxy Rashguard Zip-up Type (Dual-Purpose Jacket) / Tattoo Sleeves - to protect your elbows from scratches and body from the cold
4. Yvonne's Leggings / Easy-dry Fit Clothes / Long (Below-knees) Leggings to Protect the Knees - pullable up or down =)
5. Cotton Gloves / Worker's Gloves - guano everywhere (bat discard) so that hanging on to anything at the first dry part of the trail wouldn't be a problem
6. Water (optional) - you can all just share
7. Camera with flash (optional)
Left this at the car:
- Water
- P20 to pee in the Comfort Room / Also entrance fee if it's not included in your packaged tour and fare to your lodging
- Complete Set of Dry Clothes / Sarong / Big Plastic Bag (to sit on the car or just sit on the car floor like me LOL) - was wet from head to toe
- Camera (at your own risk or leave at the lodging)
Added Tip:
- Start stretching in your room before this activity! ;)
- Do not stare up the cave with your mouth open haha. Bats pee and poop ;)
Timestamp: 9:40 a.m. The Before Shot at the entrance haha.

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Images without Watermark from Kuya Ben of ATI

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10 a.m. All guides ready! Briefing check! Buddy system check! Last matinong pic! Hahaha. Time for some action!

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We were pretty much like this inside. 2 to 3 sources of light. Single-file. Weak and slow ones in front.

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We encountered traffic and others going to the other direction on some routes.

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Sometimes, hugging the rock is your best option. Cliff / point-of-no-return-for-an-amateur / long way down on the other side.

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10: 20 a.m. You would definitely use your hands and hang on to something solid.

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10:30 a.m. No playing around. Serious stuff.

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10:40 a.m. Water inside the cave! The rocks also change! Limestone!

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We left our slippers and my gloves here (came back for it later). Wouldn't be needing it.

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This limestone formation is pretty cool. If you look up, there's natural light coming in from a hole. One of my fav experiences! =)

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My fingers and toes also stuck well to the limestone (has lots of friction, not slippery). 

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Parang gecko / felt like Spiderman haha. Amazing!


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You may think I'm posing but well, this is the way down for me (stayed close to the ground and low) =)

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11 a.m. What an experience!

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At pababa lang nang pababa hehe. Kuya explained about the formation of limestone, black mix of limestone and carbon deposits, crystals and diamonds. If there weren't people going in and out here (heat), bet they'll be lots of that (diamonds) formed already here!!! There's a Crystal Cave trail also and a link to this cave somewhere.

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This was one of the harder parts.

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Prepared! My turn! Hahaha.

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Kuya: "Step on my foot then step on my other foot." x 20 people x lbs. O_O

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11:15 p.m. You'll get here - the first group photo opportunity. Haha. From this point on, the professionals already gave their cameras to the Kuyas (put in their backpacks for safekeeping) because you would be asked if you want to go into deeper (~chest-high) water. If not, lights out for you and you wait here haha.

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There was one tight situation where we had to crawl and rotate our bodies to get through the hole. Then the ground I was stepping on was soft but icky haha. The water is super clear from the natural filtration but I think there's bat poop mixed at the bottom haha.

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We came from that black hole below. There's rushing water below and we had to hang on to the rope and walk on the wall. The Kuyas had to help us cross it one by one! Upper body workout..

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I think this was the most difficult part for me because I couldn't reach the other side without help. It was also just a (regular) rope for support..

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It didn't help that there was gushing water and due to my height, I could drown if I don't hang on to somebody.

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Well, I got a bit scared and sorta wanted to go back already haha. Hope they could install something more professional and safer there.

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12:10 p.m. The worst part is over. Whew! All clothes wet at this point. 10 minutes rest! Haha.

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But wait! There's more! There was this walk sideways challenge that scared me too because it was slanted and we could fall face down into rocks.

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There was limited space up there too so we had to glue ourselves to the slanted wall.

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12:20 p.m. One of the last challenges was to climb up a rope to get to the pool where we were earlier!

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I was kinda woozy from that point and just kept on going back up until I saw the light outside hahahaha. Maybe took us around an hour more hehe. I couldn't find an after picture XD but 'twas super fun to realize that I can do this sort of thing. Haha. I just need to focus and to bring the right gear ;)

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Until the next adventure!

What to Bring for Sagada Spelunking? / What Is It Like Inside the Sumaguing Cave Beginner's Trail?

I'd love to hear from you below: Have you ever tried caving / spelunking? Which cave in the Philippines have you heard about or gone into? 

74 comments:

  1. i never tried caving / spelunking so i read your blog's about it, i want to try sumaguing cave like the 1 you posted here :)

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  2. I tried already caving/spelunking I really enjoy the formation of the different rocks, the stalagmites and stalactites. I gone to Mystical Cave. :)

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  3. I haven't tried to go any caves in the country D: I really would LOVE to and try SAGADA!!!!! TAAKKEEEE MEEE ;D

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  4. No I haven't tried it but I love to experience it...husband is so busy at work maybe I'll wait for a little time for my son to grow more to go in adventure like this... I like exploring the nature too.. back then when I was single pa.. ;)

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  5. Wow! Sagada is a Nice Place to Visit. The Cave is awesome. Hoping to visit soon the Sagada.

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  6. I haven't tried but I would love to experience it! I like these kind of adventure stuff and I really want to try it also in SAGADA, and there's also I want to try in Surigao del norte, the sohoton cove =) nice pics! makes me want to go there now haha

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  7. I never tried caving or spelunking but your visit at Sumaguing Cave seems to be a great experience but for now, I want to try PPUR first at Palawan in the future.

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  8. i never tried caving / spelunking so i read your blog's about it, i want to try sumaguing cave :)

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  9. I never tried caving/ spelunking yet but then I really love to try it coz im a nature lover and I love adventure...

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  10. I haven't tried caving/spelunking but i would love to try i am just afraid doing it. I love your adventure in sumaguing cave. The limestone fromation are awesome!!

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  11. I have tried Mystical caves in Antipolo a decade ago. The rock and mineral formations are interesting that each of them was given a name or title based on the closest thing or people they resemble to.

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  12. i havent tried I haven't tried caving or spelunking but im looking forward to try it .i heard caves in bicol are very nice to visit

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  13. I haven't tried yet caving/spelunking, but if given a chance I'd love to try :D I really love to experience and see the beautiful limestone formation. I'd love to experience the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan.

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  14. I haven't tried caving/spelunking. I am looking forward to try Callao Cave the limestone caves located in the Municipality of Peñablanca, Cagayan province.

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  15. never tried yet caving but I want to experience different place here like underground river your blog is very imformative.

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  16. Awesome adventure. I have be in a cave once, a long time ago but i got scared of the bats so i never tried it again. I forgot the name of the cave but last time i heard it was bought by the Riviera Golf club in Cavite.

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  17. i've gone inside crystal cave in baguio(not more than 30feet, haha), but did not go through it like what others did. scared to do what you narrated here. congrats on your bravery and stamina! :)

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  18. I haven't tried caving because I'm scared about the bats and I don't have the same bravery and stamina the same as yours! But I would love to go to sumaguing cave someday! :)

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  19. I have gone toTimobo cave in Camotes Island. But haven't into extremes such as the ones you and the rest of your friends did in the picture. The trail going inside is no longer as natural as it seems since the cave has already been commercialized.

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  20. I havent tried to go any cave Im scared. hihi

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  21. I haven't tried caving/spelunking yet, but I love to experience it. I want to try it at Puerto Princesa Underground River because it is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

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  22. I've gone inside the cave of Suhot Cave in Dumalag Capiz!
    The "Sa Piling ng Aswang" Movie of Mrs. Maricel Soriano was shoot in there. It's an amazing place to visit. :)

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  23. haven't tried going in a cave or spelunking but I've heard lots of good words for the underground river and the crystal cave in Baguio. I'm afraid to enter caves because its dark and quiet but maybe someday I will try it and have a good first experience hehe

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  24. I've never tried it, but if given the opportunity, why not? My friends and I are planning to have this kind of activity for the coming semester break. I would definitely encourage them to try Sumaguing Cave!

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  25. never been inside a cave as I am afraid of darkness and complete silence but have heard good reviews about the underground river. Maybe I'll try to do caving or spelunking in the future to combat my fears

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  26. I have gone into several caves in Baguio. But these were shallow caves. I am not sure if I would be able to go into really deep caves since I suffer from Claustrophobia. But if there is one cave system I want to explore that would be the Underground river system in Palawan.

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  27. I'd like to visit the Odloman Cave in Mabinay in Negros Oriental which is the 6th deepest in the country. I've seen pictures of it on the net and I'm mesmerized! The formations are amazing, this will surely give me a doze of thrill and excitement :)

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  28. I have'nt been able to do caving :(( , if i will be given the chance?! :) i would love to explore the cave of Palawan Underground River or St. Paul Subterranean River. As we all know its our country's pride that is chosen to be one of the new seven wonders of the world. I want to see it in person. I was so interested in this cave a long time ago. They said that the cave shows the history.

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  29. Been to China's cave, they have paved walkways, stairs, lights, quite easy compared to your adventure.

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  30. I haven't tried to do caving but I would love to experience and see the beautiful Sagada :D I heard so many positive comments about it :D

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  31. I haven't gone into any caves, but I've heard of the Sohoton cave in Samar and caves in Sagada. :) I would love to have a trip there with my hubby, :)

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  32. wow! you are such an adventurer! I wish i can go there someday too.

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  33. I haven't tried caving, but would like to if given the chance. Looks kind of scary but it would be an adventure

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  34. It was such an exciting experience to do caving, i haven't tried it but I'm very eager to see the caves in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

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  35. I haven't been tried caving but I'd love to. I've heard so much about the Palawan Underground River and Callao Cave in Cagayan. I really want to go to these two caves I mentioned. :)

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  36. Madlum Cave in Bulacan was the first cave I went to, the experience was unforgettable and i wanna go back there again maybe next year.:)

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  37. Iv tried spelunking in canlao cave, that was when i was a kid then, its the time when we travel to cagayan valley,

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  38. Haven't tried caving and/or spelunking before but I'm willing to try it soon. This blogpost makes me wanna try visiting Sumaguing Cave in Sagada.

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  39. I haven't tried caving/spelunking but I would love to try. If I would have the chance, I want to do it in Palawan :)

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  40. Have been to Baguio's Crystal cave & Malaysia's Batu Cave. Is the Underground River in Palawan acccepted? hehe. =)

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  41. Wow that was an awesome experience! I have only gone to Macahambus Cave...easy peasy! :)

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  42. I have tried the Odloman Cave in Negros Oriental. It is really nice there. You can really feel and appreciate nature. You guys should visit it too! :)

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  43. Me and my friends went to puerto gallera for some beach experience and we were surprised that a tourist guide guided us to a cave near the tamaraw falls. awesome!

    Anna Leah T. Dujali
    anna.dujali@hotmail.com

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  44. Honestly, I haven't tried caving/spelunking in my entire life but as far as I know, Puero Prinsesa Underground River is the best cave in the Philippines that will give you a best caving experience.

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  45. If you have been to Sumaguing Cave, PPC's Underground River will bored you out.Caving and spelunking is all about action and excitement which the latter doesnt have. I have been to Sumaguing, just a precaution, dont be noisy inside the cave, had a creepy experience the last time I went there.

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  46. I haven't tried caving/spelunking. In our province lot of caves most of them unexplored and yet to be named, some of them with mystical vibe. Some of Marinduques caves are featured in kapamilya/kapuso network. Explore it and might be named for you.

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  47. I haven't tried caving/spelunking yet but would love to someday. I just don't know if I could last that long, LOL!

    Odloman Cave looks interesting. :)

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  48. I been to MYSTICAL CAVE in antipolo, and the person who claims as the owner of this cave is my mom's friends, been wondering why where always there during my childhood days. Then just this last year I notice that she's like a faith healer. The stalagmites and stalactites has it's form of saints and stuff that's what makes it sacred even the water that come from that cave is used for cleansing! :)That's all :P

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  49. I haven't tried caving yet, but would be open to that idea since it seems to be interesting, and fun. It would be a good addition to my bucket list. :D Heard about Tabon Cave in Palawan would be an interesting location for caving, in my opinion.They said that the "Tabon" peoples' remain were buried there. :)

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  50. I haven't tried to go caving but i am planning to grab the opportunity when it knocks. i am planning, if God will let me, to do my first caving to Tabon cave where our said ancestors where first found.

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  51. I haven't tried spelunking yet but I heard that is one awesome activity to try! hihi. Cave? Well, every lent we visit Luyang Cave in Catanduanes. It has already been featured in EXTRA EXTRA before. I bet you'll definitely have fun if you try to visit the place. :)))

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  52. I haven't tried it yet.. but soon I will ! yay !

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  53. I have not yet tried caving/spelunking, but if given a chance I would like to go to Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan, my cousins told me that it was so beautiful when they went there it took them 30 to 40 minutes to see all; the underground river is the longest navigatable subterranean river in the world and included in the new list of 7 wonders of nature.

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  54. Never tried caving/ spelunking they say it's fun but i'm not a physical activity person :D I loved malling and browsing the net, as far as I know the deepest cave in the phil is in palawan :) I have relative there but seriously we never talk about it. I watched the THE DESCENT movie and that really scares me!

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  55. I've been to biak-na-bato for my school's field trip. It was quite fun and memorable since I get to experience and see the secret "hideout" of the group of Emilio Aguinaldo. Even though the caves looked dark and creepy, it was a joyful experience all through out because of the knowledge and happiness I recieved.

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  56. The only cave that I've been to was in Biak Na Bato National Park (San Miguel Bulacan) during an educational trip in college. I would love to experience the Underground River in Puerto Prinsesa though. :)

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  57. Never tried caving or spelunking but i know some caves in the philippines and it is sure fun to try it there. Some of them is the Puerto Princesa underground river in Palawan, of course. One of the new 7 wonders of the world and would definitely worth the trip. The other one is the cave connection in Sagada. Saw some photos and it is amazing!

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  58. Never tried spelunking!!
    I've been in Monte Cueva in Maasin City, Southern Leyte a church
    inside the cave!!

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  59. Yes I do. But it was not huge as that of Sagada. It's in Talisay here in Cebu and the cave has no specific name. I remember we had bouldering first after before we went spelunking. =) I wish I can try Sagada in the near future. It's in my bucket list. I really hope so! =)

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  60. Never tried it yet but if given the chance I would love to go to Sagada!

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  61. I haven't tried caving and spelunking. But been checking online and i think its fun. The one that I want to go to is in Cebu they called lantoy cave :)

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  62. I haven't tried but I'd love too! I want to visit the famous cave in Palawan.

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  63. Never tried caving and never will..that would put me to death..:-)

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  64. I've tried spelunking when I was still in high school and we had field trips wherein we explored caves and such. I've gone into Husgado Cave in Mt. Banahaw and Biak na Bato. Also, I've gone into the Palawan Underground River. :)

    kacm703@gmail.com

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  65. Have you ever tried caving / spelunking? Which cave in the Philippines have you heard about or gone into?

    Way back in highschool, we have this field trip called EOP or Educational Outbound Program (maybe, if your interested, you can visit their site, http://www.lakbaykalikasan.com/features.html ) :). We went to Biak na Bato (Bulacan) where there's a lot of cave and in Mt. Banahaw (Quezon Province). I enjoyed it. It was a great experience though we can't stay long enough in those caves because we have to follow the itinerary set by our facilitators.
    But, I have an interesting experience even though I got a friend who slipped and accidentally kicked me right in my head. Haha, it seriously hurts but thank God there's no blood. I think it is called, 'husgado' cave in Mt. Banahaw. It's one of the most memorable one and challenging for me.
    I want to visit Sagada, too. I heard some stories from my friends who've been there. I wish I'll have mine soon. ;)

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  66. we actually went here unprepared and not knowing what's in store for us. But Im really glad we tried it because it was a once in a lifetime experience- we were very tired but were happy and satisfied with the whole adventure

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  67. AS far as I could remember, we have gone to Biak na bato, the birthplace of the philippine republic. Pretty surreal and majestic view in there!

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  68. I never tried it before but I would really love to :)

    I heard about the Bito caves (1 & 2) in Capul, Northern Samar from my father who've been there when he was still living in NS.

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  69. i have not tried caving / spelunking but i'd like to try the one in sagada

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  70. I want to visit that awesome place! Maybe next year, my friends and I will go there. Thank you for the information about that place! :)

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  71. Have you ever tried caving / spelunking?
    I've tried caving in Puerto Galera! Its so beautiful and the clear blue water made the cave "not scary looking" :D

    Which cave in the Philippines have you heard about or gone into?
    Of course, the famous, one of the wonders of the world, the Palawan Underground River!

    cyronbpoblete@yahoo.com

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  72. Thanks for sharing this awesome experience! I can't wait to visit Sagada!

    Should we bring gloves? Wouldn't it be a safety problem?

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  73. We will be going to Sagada this weekend! I'm glad that I stumble across your blog. Now I know what to prepare for the caving. Thank you! ^^ Looking at your pictures made me super excited!

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Hi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you =)