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Time to go spelunking
« on: April 27, 2013, 09:07:08 AM »
By Karla Rey for Yahoo! Southeast Asia – Wed, Apr 24, 2013


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Twelve to 15 hours by bus from Manila, Sagada is one of the municipalities of the Mountain Province that possess many hidden wonders. Particularly in its caves. Aside from giving visitors a taste of rural life, with little access to modern conveniences, amidst rice terraces, valleys, mountains, waterfalls, and the occasional hanging coffins, many will attest, that essential to the Sagada experience is going spelunking.

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hubag bohol

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Re: Time to go spelunking
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2013, 09:07:48 AM »
Spelunking, we will go!

While spending your days hiking to the nearby rice terraces, having coffee and lemon pie for hours, trawling the Saturday morning street market, or just enjoying the slow pace of small town life, is a respectable way to spend your vacation in Sagada, spelunking is what put this mountain town on the tourism map. 

Adventurous types who have no problems finding themselves in small, confined spaces and who are eager to bring home tales of their bold cave exploits (or at least how they almost slipped in one of the trails) should definitely sign up for spelunking.

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hubag bohol

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Re: Time to go spelunking
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2013, 09:09:12 AM »

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Re: Time to go spelunking
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2013, 09:10:28 AM »
Spelunking or caving in Sagada can be done in the prominent Sumaguing-Lapitan-Lumiang-Loko-ong (Crystal) cave system near the town proper.

For spelunking newbies, opt to go to Sumaguing cave or Big Cave. It takes about two hours to explore and most of the notable formations are found here.

There are ropes to hold on to in some parts of the cave while spelunking
You start with a 30-minute hike from the town hall into the cave entrance. From there, you trek down a slippery trail and immerse waist-deep into underground streams and cold natural pools. By then, you can ooh and aah over the stalactites and stalagmites that have been nicknamed according to what they look like—Mickey Mouse, King and Queen’s curtains, and Dancing Hall, among others.

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Re: Time to go spelunking
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2013, 09:11:21 AM »

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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2013, 09:11:41 AM »

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Re: Time to go spelunking
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2013, 09:13:33 AM »
If spelunking in the Big Cave leaves you wanting to explore more caves, the Lumiang-Lapitan-Sumaguing cave connection or the more daring reverse should be on your spelunking itinerary. Prepare to be challenged as this difficult route will likely take three to four hours, depending on how you’re able to weave through the tight tunnels and caverns. And how long you stop for pictures. (Just remember to waterproof your gadgets.)

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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2013, 09:14:49 AM »

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Before or after caving, you can hike to the Hanging Coffins, a traditional way of burying the dead.

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Re: Time to go spelunking
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2013, 09:15:39 AM »
Insider caving tips

Now whichever cave you prefer to explore, it’s a must that you hire a guide. Angel Juarez, founder of award-wining blog, www.lakwatsero.com, and who’s gone to Sagada several times, shares that the guide to guest ratio for Lumiang-Sumaguing cave connection is one guide for a maximum of three guests. For Sumaguing, it’s one guide to a maximum of four visitors.

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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2013, 09:16:37 AM »

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Re: Time to go spelunking
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2013, 09:17:32 AM »
Whether solo or in group, spelunking in Sagada can be arranged with Sagada Genuine Guide Association (SAGGA) or Sagada Environmental Guides Association (SEGA). Rates are pretty standard, with the general rule that the more people there are in a group, the cheaper it will be. If you’re flying solo, Juarez recommends joining a group to save on cost.

Finally, to raise the comfort level of your spelunking adventure, be sure to wear appropriate clothing: preferably tight-fitting top and walking shorts with inner leggings to protect you from scrape and cuts specially if you are doing the cave connection. Juarez adds, “As much as possible, keep your hands free from unnecessary stuff. And do not rely on your guide's lamp alone, bring your own headlight or backup flashlight.” All that and you’re ready to have fun! No previous spelunking experience required.


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Re: Time to go spelunking
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2013, 06:00:31 PM »
Di ikatingala kon naay ukoy diri...

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