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April 15, 2013 Comments (7) Caves, Featured, Hiker's Itch Recommends, Mindanao Places, News & Top Stories, Outdoor Spots, Popular Outdoor Places, Side Trips (Places to Visit), Sultan Kudarat, Top Stories

World class Lagbasan Cave of Sen. Ninoy Aquino Sultan Kudarat

There’s another reason why you should go to Sen. Ninoy Aquino (formerly Kulaman) of Sultan Kudarat. Apart from it being the coffee capital of the Philippines – SNA is home to a number of pristine, “world-class” caves or cavern system according to Glen Malliet of the United States Speleological Society.

There's another reason why you should go to Sen. Ninoy Aquino (formerly Kulaman) of Sultan Kudarat. Apart from it being the coffee capital of the Philippines - SNA is home to a number of pristine, "world-class" caves or cavern system

In 2008 the Philippine Speleological Society held the 3rd Mindanao Caving Forum at Sen. Ninoy Aquino in Sultan Kudarat. Cave explorations were made within Sultan Kudarat area and according to feedback we got, there’s more caves to be discovered.

Last week, I joined a team of eco tourism advocates that will go with DTI-SK and DOT-SK to explore Lagbasan Cave in Brgy. Kuden Sen. Ninoy Aquino Sultan Kudarat.

This author, almost white in exhaustion, panting losing balance while being photographed by Nanard Navarro of Sox. Ph


I thankfully glad I did.

Brgy Kuden is some 10km of rough mountain road away from Sen. Ninoy Aquino municipal hall. You have another 10km of this rough road from Bgry. Kuden hall to the jump off point for the trek to Lagbasan Cave entrance. The trek is about 45minutes to an hour through a mountainous trail of lush forest vegetation. The team guide is headed by no less than the discoverer of the cave  Mr. Santiago and the Brgy. Captain of Kuden  briefly oriented us at Kuden’s hall.

“Lagbasan” is a mountain pass used by indigenous people of Brgy. Kuden in Sen. Ninoy Aquino, to go to the town proper . Lagbasan Cave got its name from this pass, since it is located right beside it. Mr. Charito Santiago was the first person to “explore the cave” , after a farmer reported birds coming out of hole at the side of the mountain. The 2 x 4 feet cave entrance revealed a limestone cavern system the size of a gymnasium. 

The cave entrance is 3 x 6 feet wide from which only 1 person can crawl in and continue to the main chamber after 10 meters of descending trek.

Here’s the cave entrance with the DTI-SK provincial director Nelly Dillera about to crawl into. 🙂


This is part of the main chamber.

Part of the main chamber with the author and a guide. Photo by Nanardz Navaro


STALAGMITES

Lagbasan Cave have two huge cathedral-like chambers (one is estimated to be 300meters long and the other 500meters long)  filled with magnificent array of speleothems or cave formations like dripstones (stalactites and stalagmites), flowstone (drapery) and cave crystals.

GLASS2

CURTAIN

Normally only one of these 2 chambers is open for exploration and not everyone is allowed to enter yet the chambers because, not many of these chambers were explored fully. The team were divided into two, one team for each chamber to save time.

I joined the team headed by Mr. Charito and explored the chamber up to its known endpoint. I’m not an expert on speleothems but I took lots of photos so the experts can identify these and I can read about it later.


ORIGTEASER

I also drank water from this “cave pool”.


FOUNTAINYOUTH

(Please go to my flickr account here for the rest of my Lagbasan Cave photos. Sharing is encouraged. It should not be used on any media without my explicit permission.)

Observations:

  • I’ve been to several caves in the Philippines, but Lagbasan Cave is so far the most magnificent and well preserved cave I’ve been into.
  • The stalactites/stalagmites are glistening white, indicating it is “alive”, or actively forming into different speleothems.
  • The different speleothems is like a live lecture of the different kinds of stalactites or stalagmites. You have hundreds of it around you
  • Some of the rare forms of stalactites are found here.

I’m not sure when will  go back inside Lagbasan Cave because frankly, I got this fear for dark and enclosed spaces. Seeing the magnificent speleothems though is just too much tempatation to resist. I keep glued to so many cave forms inside Lagbasan that Manong Santiago and “Kap”  has to check on me always lest I go astray!

We should be aware though that there are conservation efforts to save these caves (inluding Lagbasan) in Sen. Ninoy Aquino from destruction. One of the caves with hundred of years old burial jars near the area were emptied by “antique poachers”. This is why the cave entrance is padlocked in reinforced steel often. DENR 12 led Regional Cave Management Committee with consultations with the various stakeholders -provincial and local LGUs is spearheading the conservation plan formulation and is strictly enforcing Republic Act No. 9072, or the National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act.

So if you’re going to come here, I advise you coordinate first with the provincial tourism office of Mr. Noel Insular, then SNA’s tourism office and then call up “kap” or Mr. Charito Santiago. I also suggest you get ready for some mountain trekking and bring along headlamps and cave helmets to protect yourself! Be careful with what you’re stepping or holding at inside . The rule is, never touch anything that is white or you’ll kill the cave!

Lastly, have fun exploring Lagbasan Cave of Sen. Ninoy Aquino!

 

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7 Responses to World class Lagbasan Cave of Sen. Ninoy Aquino Sultan Kudarat

  1. Wow a wow… may kontak po ba kau for guide?. Wanna see this myself.. thanks

  2. Kathleen says:

    super nice kaayo dok! 🙂 you really had taken your time taking photos! great shots

    • Remo Aguilar says:

      Yes Kathleen! Its even more nice if you can actually stare at it with your own eyes> I hope my picture could give justice to this one of a kind cave formations..

      • Kathleen says:

        im planning to visit Gen san sometime at the end of the year. I might visit this place if makaya 🙂 thanks for sharing the photos! they are very beautiful

  3. Tupe Diaz says:

    the cave is so awesome. great formations. i first saw it in a DTI publication. been dreaming to be enclosed in here since then.

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