“I hate caves but I never stopped exploring one”.
I’m not kidding. The cuts and scars on my legs came mostly for the sharp edges of speleothems . That did not stop me from exploring caves however.
When Jun Rhey told me a cave was part of the island hopping tour, I got interested. There’s 70+ caves in Gigantes, mostly unexplored. This one cave though plays significant “role” for the people of Gigantes. The townsfolk of Islas Gigantes evacuate or take shelter in this cave during typhoons, like the recent Yolanda. Thus this cave was named “Bakwitan Cave“. “Bakwitan” is an Ilonggo word to describe a place where people take shelter or seek cover during calamities.
Bakwitan Cave is located on the northern part of Gigantes. You can ride a habal-habal to the foot of the hill where the jump off is located. Jun Rhey contacted another cave guide to accompany me. The cave guide brought only a flashlight. No headlamps nor helmets. Luckily, I brought my headlamp with me.
There were human skeletons near the entrance of the cave. Apart from sheltering people, Bakwitan cave also serve as a burial site in the past. Antique hunters use to excavate burial grounds in the hope of finding jars to sell. They left these human remains exposed.
Bakwitan’s cavern system is big enough to hold as many as 100 people inside. I saw a few stalagmites and stalactites but this cave is slowly dying or is dead already if you ask me. Just an uneasy feeling on my part.
The guide warned me the exit route will be a bit challenging. “You need to hurl up your body on a small hole that would squeeze obese persons”. He was obviously telling me I’m fat. In a nice way.
“I’m fat but I hurled my heavy ass in the few dreadful cave holes I been to”! I muttered. 🙂 Without much fanfare I threw my body up from a ledge and crawled that small hole like a pro. Profusely sweating, I mean 🙂 The exit didn’t hurt me alright, but my guide slipped and fell to the ground, hitting his butt on a rounded rock edge. He wasn’t hurt he said.
Fat dude. 🙂