Mt. Province | Sagada | TRAVEL

The 5 Spelunking Lessons of Sagada

March 31, 2016
β€œThe cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” 

Life is just like a lost treasure. Once you already left everything in the cavern, you still have the desire to dig it down, even your own fears will bring it back soon. And no matter how it’s hard to get back still it’s in your heart, wanting to face and holding it again. However, the feeling of difficulties might be your hurdle, but it would never be a reason to stop. That’s the essence of a lost treasure which became part of you, it’s hard to forget, yet it must never be left behind. Trust yourself to go beyond those limits and fears. Then you will see how far you can go.

Sagada’s extreme adventure: The cave connection 

SAGADA is the home of nature and known to be one of the most X factor spot in the country due to its incomparable natural beauty. It has an extreme adventure that would let your adrenaline boost to the highest level; not because it is located at the peak of Mt. Province and you need to travel 8 hours from Baguio City, but it’s due to its underground thrill that surely lead you to revisit the place again. It has an exciting cave connection activity through its prominent two big caves, the Sumaguing Cave (Big Cave) and Lumiang Burial Caves. The former is the biggest one with a lot of surprising rock formations. Over 100 coffins are placed at the entrance of  the Lumiang Burial Cave. It was about 500 years ago when the tradition started to pile a coffin with carved images of  lizards as a symbol of long life and fertility.

 It has been awhile when I first encountered an incredible adventure of Sagada. It took about 5 hours of trekking with a great deal of challenges. At the end, conquering fears inside the cave was all worth. There were so much to see and experience beneath a pit of rocks, yet so many things to learn. 

 Sagada’s spelunking activity: The 5 lessons learned

Caving is an art of exploring a large underground chamber with fascinating rock formations. It requires the spelunker to do rock climbing and crawling. A steep stone and high level of water are also parts of spelunking experience. In Sagada’s cave connection, you might undergo some painful caving challenges before the intersection of the two big caves from the beginning until you reach its superb forms of rocks. For those who are  first timer, here are the 5 lessons you might learn: 

1. Believe yourself  

Yourself is your greatest enemy for this challenge. Caving is a tough adventure in Sagada. If you give up in the middle of the challenge, you would be a loser in your own way. Courage, determination and happy spirit are the few things you must have before you start the spelunking activity. And at the end, the only way to know yourself better is finding your own strengths beneath the weakness you have. Believe yourself that you can keep going long after you can’t. 

2. Trust and listen carefully

“One word is enough for a wise man” 
This is the first thing you must put in your mind and heart. Doing the caving challenges is risky and highly a breathtaking activity. You are beneath the rocks, mud and soil for too long and the only way for you to survive is  to “TRUST AND LISTEN” to your tour guide. They know the place better than you are. Sagada’s caves are different from the others. Even one mistake might lead you to an accident. Just have faith and enjoy the moment inside the cave.

Thanks to Kuya Joseph and Kuya Joel, our humble tour guides.

3. Wear comfortable clothes and footwear

 Our tour guide reminded us to wear something light and comfortable. A cotton shorts, loose T-shirt and a “spartan slipper” are much better.  A trekking sandal is just an optional, but please tight it properly before you start your journey. For woman, tights are better than shorts because of the temperature inside the cave is lower than the outside and to avoid legs scratches. For man, just a simple shirt and loose pants/shorts will do. And if you choose a connecting cave, be surprised… your clothes will be ripped!!! 

4. Leave your things behind

A plead guilty… my phone, soaked in the water when I forgot to put inside the bag of our tour guide and too hassle for him because I always asked to hand my phone back to take some photographs. Just bring few important things in the cave such as camera, biscuits, and bottle of  water. Don’t bring your phone if you don’t have a waterproof case bag or just wrap it with a plastic bag. Amaze yourself of the some parts of the cave which like a jungle of rocks and river pool. Don’t wear any accessories or you might lose it. Then, all those stuffs must be in one small backpack. You need to use both your hands in doing some caving activities, the more you touch and feel the breeze inside the cave, the more you appreciate its beauty. So, leave your things behind.

5. Never say “NO”

 Sagada’s caverns are tough. There is no chance of going back from where you have started, it would me more difficult to do so. And never say “NO” for every spelunking challenge, besides, there’s a painful reward after you witness the enchanting rock formations… 
A big “WOW”.

Last entrance to the cave: 4:00 PM
Guide Fee: Php. 800 for 2 visitors or less
                  + Php. 400 each additional visitor
Optional:  Two way transportation from the town proper 
                  to the Lumiang Burial Cave: Php. 400
Fare (in vise versa): 
Manila to Baguio- Php. 455 (bus)
Baguio to Sabangan- Php. 188 (bus)
Sabangan to Sagada- Php. 60 (van)
Sagada to Sabangan- Php. 60 (jeepney)

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  1. Hi, Andy

    Thanks for dropping by. πŸ™‚ I spent more or less Php. 3,500 for my Sagada trip from Manila. Tour guide, transportation services, and souvenirs were a little bit pricey. For meals, you can buy in a low-priced.

  2. Thank you so much, Mr. Jason. It was too tough for a woman like me, and definitely I enjoyed a lot. It's worth to go back again. πŸ™‚

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