Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hinagdanan Cave, Another Must-see in Bohol

Hinagdanan Cave is an attraction found in the town of Dauis, the first of two towns in Panglao Island coming from the mainland of Bohol. It is usually included in Panglao Island tours. On our end, I made the itinerary and had included this in our whole day Countryside tour.

This is the last we visited and to my regret, we should have dropped by this place right after Dauis Church to have more time appreciating the place and taking decent photos as well. There's a pool of brackish and greenish clear water inside the cave where swimming is allowed as advised by the volunteer tour guide.  Having mentioned that this is a karst cave, I'm not really sure if it's safe to swim. If we happened to arrive earlier, I wouldn't care about my uncertainty though and just take a dip even for just few minutes. He also mentioned about the varying levels of the water depending on the tide which goes as high as 8-10 feet during high tide.

The cave has a main entrance which is about 3 feet in diameter.  Stone stairs and metal railings were set up so tourists can navigate the area safer since the floor is very slippery. It wouldn't take long before you reach the end of the cave as it is a small one but the stalactites and stalagmites around is simply worth the time for someone getting to this place. At the end, two small holes on the upper part of the cave are visible, partly illuminating the chamber of the cave. Those are the same holes instrumental to the discovery of the cave.

The guide explained that before the cave was discovered, the area was covered by thick vegetation. As the owner cleared the area so he can plant crops during the 16th century, he discovered two adjacent holes and got curious as to how deep the holes are. He threw a stone and was utterly surprised that he heard a splash, a hint that the stone dropped in a water's surface. Later that year, a tree standing in the vicinity died and the trunk had rotten, exposing another hole, bigger this time. The owner set up a ladder to check what's inside the opening and was amazed that a cave is actually under his land. The cave was named Hinagdanan, attributed to the ladder (called hagdan in local dialect) used to explore the cave. This information is also written on the sign post displayed right before heading to the opening of the cave.

Equally refreshing to the cave with a lagoon experience is Samboy who assisted us and fed us information about the cave. He is one of the volunteer guides (Yes, they are not being paid for what they are doing) that truly revitalized us from feeling so tired for the whole day tour by his comical comments and his very fun way of discussing quick facts about the cave. Having taught by an Italian tourist who is a photographer by profession, (along with other volunteers) he knows his way of effectively using a camera too. Next time you're there and found your guide doing a really great job, please don't hesitate to give a tip. They would really appreciate it. :)

How to go to Hinagdanan Cave

I won't be able to share how to go to this place via commute since this and all the other attractions I've visited in Bohol is a part of the itinerary for the whole day countryside tour I designed. We rented a vehicle with a driver that served as our tour guide as well. This is a a family get-away and not my typical backpacking trip so comfort is one of my top priorities arranging this trip. If you need information on who you can contact for renting vehicles, please check this link: Cars/Vans for Hire in Bohol.

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