Have you tried crawling on sandy caves, smelled “guano” an excrement of bats? trekking underground river? Wheew! tiring but the fun and thrill are always there giving me the motivation to move on – for 5 hours wandering underground!
Last September 2 this year, we were invited by the Municipality of Monkayo to explore its Cave – known to locals as Combilan at Barangay Casoon, Monkayo, Compostela Valley.
We traveled afternoon from Davao City to Monkayo on September 1 and was welcomed by Municipal Tourism Officer of Monkayo waiting for us, we arrived at around 8 pm in the evening.
Going to Barangay Casoon is like a ride of you life! because you are riding with the famous habal habal (a motorcycle attached with a rack/seat on both sides and at the back) The driver will carry 6 to 9 persons and the ride is really really exiting – I mean risky and dangerous.
The road going to the cave is not that smooth so prepare for the ride of your lifetime, as what the habal-habal driver said to us, especially for the first timers ” sabay sabay lang sa flow sa dagan sa motor… padala lang sa liko liko…isipin nyo nalang na you were riding on a bus… ayaw pangusog..pama-ulan lang mo ana ” and all first timers are shouting when roads are going uphill or downhill… mud holes…
We walked from jump off site at around 9am for about 10 minutes .. until we reached the mouth of the cave… there are two entrance… first we moved to the big cave and explore for about 3 hrs… the cave has a broad mouth entrance and becomes progressively narrower inside. The first cave have a cathedral look inside with huge stalactites and stalagmites with different formations… calcium deposits that glows when hit by a light- spectacle view!. There is this part of the cave that let us crawl for up to a 18 inches of vertical clearance…. for about 150 meters! we exited on to another side of the mountain and walked back to jump off site to take our meal for lunch.
After lunch we returned to the site and started trekking… the second cave has a narrower entrance and we were trailing on a underground river… up to the other end… there are no huge cathedral like location inside second cave… we were just following the gushing flow of cold chilling water. At the end of the cave we decided to take a dip into this water hole since we are all muddy and drenched with water.
A person involved in spelunking has to have his own safety equipment, because a lot can go wrong while exploring a cave. There are caves that are narrow and then broaden at the interiors, and then there are caves that are broad at the mouth and get progressively narrower as you go in. A person spelunking has to be able to negotiate all these situations properly.
A standard safety gear is a must when spelunking and this include but not limited to helmets , torch lights or even halogen lamps, proper apparel to suit the activity of exploration, besides the standard safety kits like first aid, adequate rations, etc.
It’s worth it!
Thanks to the Municipal tourism officer of Monkayo for the warm welcome….
More images at my flickr site.