Minglanilla is a laid back southern town 15 kilometres from Cebu City and after Talisay City and is also where I currently live. The Town of Minglanilla is known for it's religious festival called the "Kabanhawan" (Bisaya for "Resurrection") fest which is basically the re-enactment of "Sugat" (means "Meeting") of the risen Christ and his mother. But did you know aside from that, Minglanilla has a secret adventurous side?
The Seven Caves of Minglanilla are renowned for their challenging traverses, spectacular rock formations, treacherous inner cliffs, and quartz crystals. All seven caves are located in Barangay Camp 7 (Kampo Siete Caves), the town’s mountainous boundary with Toledo City. the White Cave is the largest of the seven. Some of the caves are "Dead" already (the ecosystem inside the cave is gone and the formations no longer "growing"), while the ones we were not allowed to go into was very much alive since Snakes were known frequent it.
My last exploration of the highlands of Minglanilla was due to Runilla Running Event.
|My co-adventurers for this caving exploration. Noe, Fritxie, Me, and Jobim at the White Cave Mouth|
|Stretching - you don't want to get cramps inside a dark and enclosed space|
|Walking, Hiking, Trekking in the forest - That's a huge tree right there!|
From the barangay proper, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to reach Cave 1 and is fairly a quick and short trek in which you will have to go through the cave (for about 50 meters) to exit. Cave 1’s smooth interior walls and floor are in stark contrast to its rocky surface outside. The inside was quite eerie and silent, no fancy rock formations as well -- this can be considered a dead small cave (but who knows if creatures lurk on the inner small chambers as well as under the ground we were stepping on).
|Swallows glide into and out of the cave entrance. Bats hang high in the cave’s inner chamber. This is also a protected area since the swallows are endangered of being hunted for their bird's nest.|
|Chill2 inside the cave pag may time|
|That's my view - crawling to the exit one at a time|
|A very difficult pose or basically - no choice pose|
|Quartz - Sparkling|
|Ancestral Fools who vandalized the caves Circa 1961-75|
|Another groufie view|
|White Cave inner entrance|
|White Cave entrance|
|White Cave lower entrance view from the top mouth - that's how big it is!!|
|Here's another view of the White Cave mouth and Facade|
|Around the inner-center part of the white cave - Photo from Gamayng Paraiso Tours|
Safety and Stewardship First
Even if you're exploring at least four of the seven caves, you're not sure to emerge from the bowels of the earth unscathed. It is recommended to get local guiding services (support the locals and their economy!).
- -Respect Mother Nature and do not touch anywhere or chip off any rocks to bring home as souvenirs. Low impact exploration/travelling!
- -It takes millennia for the rocks inside the caves to shape, so don't destroy or vandalize the place. Let other spelunkers enjoy the beauty of nature too!
- -Listen to your guide. Even if you're an experienced spelunker, the area may be new to you and surprises may be in store.
- -Always be aware of your surroundings and stay safe even with the guides.
- -What to bring: Head lamps/helmets, flashlight, water booties or trekking shoes, extra clothes, first-aid kit, and action/adventure camera.
|End of the Adventure!|
|Recovering inside the house of the guides!|
Minglanilla's old name is Buat or Buwat, because fisher folk used to set aside part of their day's catch for drying under the sun. This is the 'Buad' or 'buwad' from the town are sold in public markets and supermarkets and is still in practice today!.