MABINAY CAVES, NEGROS ORIENTAL TRAVEL GUIDE
Are you one of those people who merely love exploring different caves? Well, this might not be the hobby of many but believe me, you have to try for at least once in your lifetime. Though doing it frequently will also be fun, starting out with your first ever cave adventure would surely be a blast if you happen to choose the perfect place to do it. One of the famous caves in the country is located in the Province of Negros Oriental, specifically in the Municipality of Mabinay, the famous “cave-town.” With the locals claiming that there are over 400 caves located in the entire municipality, it is impossible that you won’t find any that you’ll surely enjoy. Out of these 400, there are about 100 known caves, and the 50 of those were identified by some foreign team twenty-five years ago.
Out of the fifty discovered caves, there are only seven Mabinay Caves that you are allowed actually to visit. Three are easy to access and are perfect for beginners whereas the remaining four caves are more challenging than the others and entail a lot of experience and training before attempting to visit these caves. Why? It involves swimming and traveling underground for some time before being able to enter the cave finally. Challenging if I must say. There is no specific time of the year for you to have this activity, caving is available all-year-round, and you have to choose whatever schedule fits you. Varied tour-operators are ready to provide you tour packages, and you have to decide which package you are going to avail meticulously.
The author with Jo-Joy, The Traveling Mask inside Bulwang Cave ( Mabinay Caves )
One of three easy to explore caves in the place is the Bulwang Cave, located in the Barangay Bulwang. If you’re wondering how to get here, you have to take a 20-minute tricycle ride from the Mabinay bus terminal and head directly here. If you are coming from Dumaguete, inform the driver that you will be going here and he will drop you off precisely at the entrance of this place. The Bulwang Cave is the easiest cave to visit, seniors citizens can even visit this place for as long as they are capable of walking down rough stairs going to the cave. Metal walkways were installed inside the caves so, tourist can visit the place without touching the rock formation inside the cave.
The Panligawan Cave or also known as the Courting Cave is also an easy-access cave because there are stone steps provided for the visitors to enter the cave. The Pandalihan Cave or Marriage Cave is another easy-access cave that allows visitors to enter even without the actual caving equipment. You have to note that there are real bird nests and millipedes in the cave, so you always have to be careful. The Crystal Cave or known as the Honeymoon Cave is considered as the most beautiful out of the seven caves. The local government did some area renovation to make it even more attractive. The stalagmites and stalactites inside the cave will surely leave you in awe. Just be careful though because of the tailless scorpions, bats, and frogs inside the cave.
The two out of four challenging to enter Mabinay Caves now are the Odloman Cave and Cayaso Cave. The place is not a hundred percent safe for beginners that is why authorities are also suggesting that you should only try these if you already have enough experience in caving and if you are wearing and bringing the appropriate gears. Caving is an activity that will inevitably measure your physical and mental abilities. So be sure that you get yourself fully ready before going into this adventure.
Appropriate shoes and clothes are a must when visiting the caves.
If you are sensitive of any insect bites, you may use some insect repellant lotion. During our visit, I didn’t experience any bites though.
Bring drinking water, but make sure not to throw away any empty containers at the place.
Don’t forget to bring your camera of course.
It would be best to bring extra clothes for you to change after your adventure.
HOW TO GET TO MABINAY, NEGROS ORIENTAL
You can reach Municipality of Mabinay from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental or from Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental through a public bus or private vehicle.
From Bacolod City
If you are coming from Bacolod City and taking the Ceres Bus, the bus definitely stops in Mabinay for a short break. From Mabinay terminal, take a tricycle to the Bulwang Cave. At Brgy Bulwang where the Bulwang Cave (Mabinay Caves) is located. The tricycle driver will bring you to the Tourism Office who manages the caves. This is a place where you will be assigned a guide for your trip. Alternatively, you need not take a tricycle, rather you may continue riding the bus and instruct the driver to drop you at the entrance of the Tourism Office (Bulwang Cave).
From Dumaguete City
If you are coming from Dumaguete City, take a Ceres Bus bound for Bacolod City-Via Mabinay. Inform the driver to drop you at Bulwang Caves. The Tourism Office is right beside the highway.
If you bring your car just ask around the moment you arrive Mabinay. Signages along the road are also visible so it is easy to find the place.
For more information, you may contact, Mabinay Tourism – 0916-1497616 (Mabinay Caves)
with my fellow teachers at La Consolacion College- Bacolod at Bulwang Cave (Mabinay Caves). Thank you Dean Ditas Joson, for making us part of this educational trip
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