We took our lunch in a restaurant nearby and the weather was really not cooperating with us. (Check : Day Trip To Tanay : Regina RICA) We actually thought that the rain finally stopped but no. We already know that the next destination is the Calinawan Cave but we’re not really sure if the plan to enter the cave will push through because if the rain will continue to fall, it will not be safe to enter the cave at all. It also saddened me because I will not be able to appreciate the beauty of Daranak Falls as well. Luckily, the rain stopped and we headed to our next destination, the Calinawan Cave of Tanay.I actually don’t know what to expect when we get there. I have never tried exploring any cave before (well not unless we are talking about Minecraft). This however, is a real thing! I am finally entering a real cave for the first time and I just can’t hide my excitement and fear at the same time.Calinawan Cave is situated in Barangay Tandyang Kutyo in Tanay and I can tell you that it is going to be a rough journey going there. Expect to encounter a rocky or worst, muddy terrain. We saw houses along the way as well. I was informed that you can also reach the site by riding a Tricycle which can cost you more or less Php30-50 per head.When you reached the site, you will find a couple of houses and a sari-sari store nearby. Here, you have to coordinate first with the people who are in charge with the cave. You have to pay for an entrance fee of Php20 (yes, the cave can also be explored by kids) and also a Tour Guide fee of Php200 (good for ten pax).The fee comes up with a free usage of their safety helmet. It is very important to equip yourself with this to prevent any injury while exploring the cave. It is also advisable to bring flashlights because there are parts in the cave where visibility are limited.Several rock formation can be seen outside the cave. This small passage is actually one of the entrances to the cave. I actually thought that we will just go inside and take a quick peek to whenever it has within but little did I know, we actually have a route to follow. I was shocked that this small passage will lead us to an enormous cave system inside. The Calinawan cave is actually composed of numerous chambers and there are five layers to be explored. The first and second layers were easy and good for beginners but the third to fifth is quite a challenge as it requires passing through small holes and requires crawling as well.Aside from being an art of nature, Calinawan Cave actually has a huge historical significance. The cave has become a stronghold of the Filipinos in the Revolution against Spain and in the Filipino-American War in April–May 1900. It also housed the towns people during the Second World War, beginning the Invasion of Tanay in March, 1945 from the Filipino soldiers and recognized guerrillas against the Japanese Imperial forces. With that, you can tell that this cave have witnessed so many events in history and don’t you think it makes the place a little creepy too? I have heard of many paranormal activities in this place too! Yikes! Anyway, you’re probably wondering where did the term “Calinawan” came from. According to our tour guide, this cave has become a hideout of some Filipinos especially during the Japanese invasion. This is where their sense of nationalism were ignited and made them realized that they should start fighting for our freedom, hence the name “Kalinawan” which eventually became known as “Calinawan”.This is the first scenic view that welcomed us upon entering the cave. This huge hole is providing a natural light inside the cave. The first layer is actually very easy. The trail is merely visible even without the flash light.The rock formation and the stalagmites inside the cave are truly magnificent and stunning. It’s funny to note that they have given terms in some spots in the cave based on how they looked like.The rock formation inside the cave are truly something marvel but I discovered something that really upset me. Not everything you can find in this cave are natural. The cave has become a popular shooting site for movies and tv series. So some areas were now artificially created. The photo above for an instance shows a cemented rock formation with some paint stains too. It was really depressing indeed!Here, we have reached the area that is called “The Column” simply because of this magnificent stalactite formation. The stalactite from the ground has merged with the descending stalactites, thus forming a column-like formation.The ColumnAnother notable spot in the cave is the so-called “Grotto“. As you can see on the right side, it resembles an image of a lady in veil kneeling and seemingly praying. On the left side, you’ll also find a rock formation that resembles an image of a T-rex.Another stunning stalactite formation that naturally glittersThe Way towards the Level 2 which is considered the longest trail in the cave. It is also dark so we were advised to turn our flash lights on.The entrance to the second layer , however is not really that easy and we need to be flexible most of the time. A very stiff path of Layer 2As I said, wearing safety helmets is really important. I bumped into these sharp rock many times during our exploration hahaIn this part, we were asked if we want to take the harder levels. There are two possible ways to get out of this cave from level 2. First is the long yet easy path and the other one is a quick yet hard path. If we picked the hard part, we must crawl down this small hole. Since not all of us are physically fit for the challenge, we chose the easy and long path instead. This area is called the “Heart” and i guess the picture above explains why.We were also asked to refrain ourselves from touching any rock formation inside the cave. The acid produced by our body through set may leave damage to their structure (at least that’s what our tour guide told us)They said that it takes hundred years for a stalactite to grow and build such stunning formation.Funny but this area is called “Arthritis“because we really have to bend our body and express the best of our flexibility in order to pass through.We spotted another stunning stalactite formation that naturally glitters. What a wonderful work of nature indeed!Another artificial props spotted in the cave. Sigh!This area is called “Sexy” because it features a small and stiff passage and we were challenged to pass through it without touching the walls. Whoever made it without touching the wall is considered sexy. Just the tour guide’s way to entertain us.Finally, we saw the way out!It was really an awesome experience for me. It was my first caving experience and I promise myself that this will not be the last. It’s just sad that the cave is no longer 100% natural because of those stupid people who ruined the cave by placing their artificial props inside. Did you know that we didn’t spot any bats inside? Yes, the cave used to be their habitat but according to the tour guide, the bats abandoned the place as it is now being exposed to many explorers.
Things You should know and consider before going to Calinawan Cave
►The Calinawan Cave can be accessed through Daranak Fall.
►The entrance fee to Calinawan Cave is only Php20 per head
►Tour Guide fee for Calinawan Cave is Php200 which is good for Ten Pax
►A Safety helmet is included in the package
►Bring a bottle of water with you as some trails can be very exhausting
►It is very ideal to wear rubber shoes or trekking shoes as some trails are muddy and sleepery
►Never forget to bring your flashlight because most areas are dark and visibility are limited.
►Never leave trash or litter and do not ever attempt to vandalize.
►A Sari Sari Store can be found nearby.
How To Get to Calinawan Cave via Public transport
►From Starmall, you can ride a van that is bound to Tanay. They will drop you off to Tanay Market. From there, you can ride a Trike going to Calinawan Cave. Like in Regina RICA, it would be ideal to deal with the trike driver so they can pick you up afterwards. Or better yet, you can walk all the way to Daranak Falls for a side trip.
After that awesome spelunking adventure in Calinawan Cave, we headed to our last destination in Tanay, the Daranak Falls!
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Here are the links to the rest of my Tanay escapade: Feel free to visit the links below
► Pililla Wind Farm
► Tanay Church (San Ildefonso de Toledo Parish)
► The Parola of Tanay
► Regina RICA
► The Calinawan Cave
► The Daranak Falls
► The Batlag Falls