Isla Gigantes: Bakwitan Cave 

The tour guide told us a few rules before exploring the cave and the one that really stuck to my head was to be as quiet as possible because the Bakwitan Cave used to be an evacuation center during World War II from the Japanese soldiers hunting for Filipino soldiers and many of the Filipino soldiers, mostly wounded took shelter and had died inside the cave, the tour guide had warned us our noise might disrupt the ghosts from their rest and…well, let’s not dwell on that thought.

It was quite the sight inside the cave, lots of stalagmites and stalactites and bizarre jagged rock formations.

But that was only the start.
We faced obstacles before getting out of the cave. First; we have to crawl our way out for one meter-which might sound easy but there were small rocks here and there and the hole was so small I was lucky I could fit, and I’m a very small person mind you, and you shouldn’t look up because there are rocks-sorry, stalactites above ready to bump your head in one wrong move.

We slipped through narrow holes and ducked from several stalactites above as we went deeper into the dark cave.

After everyone got sorted, the tour guide offered us a choice, we can go back the way we started to get out of the cave the easy way-and by that I meant crawling out again or we continue our path and face another obstacle: Rock climbing.

Of course we picked the obstacle.

The tour guide aided us yet it still took us some time to get everyone up, there were seventeen of us in total. Seven adults, six teens, and four kids. We felt so sorry for the tour guide- especially since my dad, my younger brother and one of my aunts were heavyset people that we gave him a huge tip for his help.

We climbed our way up-one person at a time, with only rocks, the rope and the tour guide to help you along the way for five meters.

By the time the obstacle was done, relief washed over our crew but it was short-lived when the tour guide said we have to hike up about two hundred meters then down the mountain for another two hundred meters to where the exits is. Imagine my joy when he said that as I looked up and saw the high mountain full of jagged rocks.

There were times my legs would wobble during the arduous hike down and my foot nearly slipped, my heart lurching into my throat. The hiking took almost two hours to complete and boy, everyone was beyond exhausted. We were sweating so bad, our clothes are dirty from all that trek, our legs are sore and lungs thirsty as heck.

It was quite an adventure and I, unsurprisingly, enjoyed it. Because the important thing about adventures is not whether you got to the end, but how you did it.

We requested the tour guide to take a picture of us before exploring Bakwitan Cave.

Family Trip June 5, 2016


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