The weather was my greatest foe the night before. Thunder rumbled and lightning flashed across the wind-swept sky. Heavy rains darkened my mood as it continued tapping against my windowpane, prompting me to wonder if our exploration the next day would push through. I finally drifted off to slumber in the wee hours of the morning.
June 20 marked yet another expedition to nature’s hidden crevasses. Some twenty adventure seekers embarked on another challenging yet equally fulfilling venture – caving in Balcon Maravilla, Guimaras Island.
Guimaras is an island situated across iridescent sapphire waters of Negros and is home to hundreds of scenic sites. It was converted into a regular province on May 22nd, 1992 after a plebiscite conducted pursuant to Section 462 of RA 7160. It boasts of exotic beaches, sweet mangoes and darkly forbidding caves. Balcon Maravilla alone in fact, boasts of four caves, three of which we were lucky to explore – Buho-Ansoy, Boknoy, and Kapitubwan.
The sun was amazingly radiant – a boon after a night of rain showers but the cave was so forbidding, so dark that I could feel my insides churning. The water was well above our knees so we had to leave our bags at the mouth of the cave. Buho-Ansoy was the first cave we entered. The entrance was so narrow we had to bend over lest we bump on the hundreds of stalactites hanging overhead like arrowheads on the cave’s ceiling. After an hour of exploring its chamber and laving in its dark waters, we proceeded to the next cave – Boknoy.
Boknoy cave loomed in the distance. It was far grimmer than the last but we had to go on. If Buho-Ansoy gave us a few bumps, Boknoy did us far more damage. This time we were submerged all the way. How could we not when the passages were so low we were almost crawling. Worse, our flashlights and headlamps were at death’s door. Oxygen was scarce that somewhere in the middle I found myself grasping for air.
Kapitubwan cave overlooks an azure sky and shimmering cerulean waters, but the trail was so slippery and steep, the entrance so dark that I could almost feel my spine tingle with fear. We never finished exploring the cave because it was too dark and obscure; water drips from the ceiling, bats fly all over and mosses cover its floor.
Hastily but carefully, we exited and bade farewell to Mother Nature.
This sojourn though quite dangerous was worth it. I would be more than happy to bring those who want to see its hidden beauty firsthand.