Are you curious about caves but is somehow unsure of what you might feel when you actually get into one? If you answered yes, or is, again, unsure, then you need an introduction to cave exploration.
By introduction, I don’t mean a textbook discussion about caves and what might lurk in its nooks and cranies. I mean literally introducing oneself into a real cave that doesn’t have the usual scare factors, like the one I took just recently.
I haven’t ever been inside a cave before and in spite of my ‘adventurous’ nature, I really haven’t really challenged myself into going along with my more adventurous friends into adventures of these kinds while I was in high school or college.
Just a few weeks ago, several office mates suggested, and thereafter everybody decided, to spend a whole day visiting a few natural attractions in the city. There were several caves in our itinerary which we planned to visit. If it were reading, our aim was just to ‘browse’ through these caves. Going deep into them was not in our activity list. However, one cave got exempted from this rule. It’s called the Makahambus Cave. It’s roughly 30 minutes from the City of Golden Friendship. 🙂
I’d estimate it to be just 20 meters (possibly a lot less) from its entrance to its exit opening. I thought that a cave that shallow should be cool enough for first timers. And that’s how I got my introduction to cave exploration.
As you can see in the fuzzy picture here, although shallow, it has high-ceilinged parts and the inner portions are in utter darkness. We went through some small areas that require us to bend low to get through. Three seconds after our guide announced to bend and bow low to avoid bumping against low hanging stalactites, I promptly bumped my head right into one. Ouch!
In the middle parts, the guide pointed his torch upwards to give us a view of a few 10-inch lizards sticking in the ceiling.
The exit opening at the other end opens right into open space – a cliff, with the Cagayan river snaking along around 100 meters below it. A steel veranda has been built so that visitors can safely take a good look at the view below.
The cave was originally three times longer than it is now. The present road which was cut across the promontory area also cut the cave and broke away two-thirds of it.
After the tour, I searched for youtube videos about the Makahambus Cave. As shown in the video below, which was taken by some visitors 3 years ago, there was a nest of larger lizards the size of human legs. Our guide later told us he purposely left us out of that particular portion of the cave so as not to scare the others from going ahead with the exploration.
Pic of basic rafting guys zoomed in from above the cave mouth.
Monigue Cave. Another cave within a few kilometers radius of Makahambus.
Makahambus Cave Video
Video taken by some visitors way back in 2007