If you’ve been looking for alternative ways to explore the rich island of Palawan aside from visiting the already known islands of El Nido and Coron, or Puerto Princesa Underground River and the long lists of ‘no introduction needed’ tourist destinations, I have some good news.Hundred Caves is in Bgy. Tagabinet, Puerto Princesa City offers a one-of-a-kind spelunking adventure. This cave complex is only an hour and a half-drive from the city proper to the rural barangay of Buenavista, where you can stop by the viewdeck, and Bgy. Cabayugan, the home of the famous Underground River and Sabang Beach.
WHAT THE PLACE OFFERS
Arriving at the camp, cave volunteers will ask you to write your name on their log book. You can pay the cave fee for Php 400.00/pax. They will brief you on the history of the cave, what to do and what not to do. You can ask questions too if you have one in mind. It’s important to take heed of what the guide was saying. Let’s respect the cave rules as well.
The cave’s entrance is around eighty meters above sea level. You’ll have to hike under the canopy of trees towards the entrance. Be extra mindful about what you step on, as well as the branches you hold on to.
We explored the cave for approximately one to two hours. However, it depends on how appreciative you are and how many selfies you take with the rocks.
Walking around the cave, I am amazed how Mother Nature patiently shape and reshape its beauty. Close encounter with the rock formations is really an affirmation that great things take time.
Tagabinet Hundred Caves did not just satisfy my wanderlust, but taught me lessons as well.
HOW TO GET THERE
If you’re a solo traveler, you can ride along with fellow commuters in the different public transport services bound to Sabang. If you opt for more adventure, try taking the public jeepney (D’Christ) which leaves as early as 7 a.m. or the bus (Ryan) which leaves at 10:30 a.m. Just ask the driver to drop you at the highway with the signboard of Hundred Caves. There’s a feeder road and you must walk for about ten to fifteen minutes before you reach the base camp.
If you’re travelling with a group of friends, you can chip in to hire a van to transport you to the area. This would save you time waiting for a transport returning to the city.
WHAT TO BRING and WHAT TO WEAR
I suggest you bring packed lunch and water. You need to stay hydrated before you explore the inside of the cave. It’s also advisable to bring your own flash light so you can better enjoy your trek. They do provide headlights at the camp, but it’s practical to have your own. A sling bag to hold your camera or smart phones will also come handy.
Wearing a comfortable shirt (or a long-sleeved one) and shorts or leggings is a must. Your footwear should be comfortable too, either a hike sandals or a pair of sturdy shoes. Careful though, cave’s trail can sometimes be slippery.
About the Author: Bev is a contributing reflection writer for Didache Youth, a Catholic devotional for youth. She travels extensively throughout her college days as a youth leader in her lay community, allowing her to meet lots of people and discover new places. Her love for her province has been fortified when she became one of the 2014 Tubbataha Youth Ambassadors. This has awakened her interest in rediscovering Palawan’s beauty and protecting it. She writes her adventures and reflections on the road on her blog bevthepalawanderer.wordpress.com. You can also read her ruminations on her page, The Wandering Palawenya.
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