Wanna escape from the energetic confusion of work-life? Want to discover something new? Something different from the beach or mountain? Try spelunking in Negros.
Caves are somewhat different- instead of enjoying the sun and water- you wanna try to enjoy darkness and the unknown- the thrill of not knowing what lies ahead of you, and the feeling of squeezing yourself in manholes that make your lips kiss the wet rocks.
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”
Traveling is one of the most delightful parts in everyone’s life, but traveling towards the unknown would tell us a rather different story.
Most of the people would picture a cave as a seemingly bottomless and huge hole while other would view as a magnificent creation of God with all its formation shaped stones.
Well, on our part, we experienced a fun-filled adventure as we trod last October 1, 2016 to the unknown realm of Magballo, a small barangay and a part of Kabankalan’s archipelago.
The length of our journey inside the cave(s) made us ask: “When is this gonna end?”
Few kilometers from the city proper, Magballo offers the perfect environment for spelunkers who are up for a real adventure and would take a rewarding challenge of cave exploration.
The magnificent cave exploration experience starts from a 30-minute drive from Kabankalan City to Magballo where you can behold the astonishing view of hills, green meadows and highland mountains along the way.
And the quest for the real challenge begins from a step on a riverbank and eventually crosses through the whooshing knee- leveled water of the river.
By then, adventure of trekking will follow along with its breath-taking experience –a walk through the muddy path and scrubland barefooted. As you walk through the muck, expect a difficult turtle walk since your feet will be soaked through the mire with a bunch of mud added to your feet giving you an additional weight.
Slow, heavy steps will not only end there, you will also hike; pull yourself up as you climb to a not-so-quite steep part of the mountain where drenched leaves slap your face and dried figs grab your hair. Moving towards the mouth of the cave, you will then get ready to feel the sharp rocks on your feet and unveil the magnificent beauty of Magballo cave.
After a 35- minute walk, you can see a large rock which serves as an entrance of the cave. As you enter the tunnel cave you will feel the cave’s cold damp climate and a musty smell. Though the entrance hole may not that big, yet the cavern inside is surprisingly spacious.
“After the darkness, light” -Martin Luther’s Reformation
As expected, darkness envelopes and presses the whole cave, where you will experience how to be blind for few minutes. But then as your eyes adjust to the place you will witness an astounding and magnificent rock walls colored with sparkling light like little stars in the dark night.
These rock formations called speleothems droop from the ceilings like icicles and draperies. The icicle-shaped formations called stalactites are formed as water drips from the cave roof.
These magical columns are like cascaded sheets on the cave walls and floor. In addition, the stalagmites that grow up from the floor are like stumbling block which made cave exploration more challenging.
Furthermore, the constant enchanted sound of bats will make you feel creepy yet thrilled to see what’s more beyond the cave.
As you will move towards the end of the cave, the twisty shapes called helictites warp in all directions from the ceilings, walls, and floor which will certainly amaze you and will surely lead to conclude your whole cave exploration with a blast.
At the end of the first cave is an opening towards a river. We then went down to go to the next cave. And yes, there are other caves in the town- I saw one cave area which is vertical in nature and leads you to see other towns.
The exquisiteness of the cave truly leaves a remarkable experience for spelunkers. The Magballo cave is a must-written place on one’s bucket list, a once in a life time journey on the hidden treasure of the City.
Truly, it’s more fun in Kabankalan for it offers a diverse and profound beauty of culture and places around the realm.
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Unbold words are written by Christea Dormentes and Arah Katrin Candiasan. Posted with Permission.