One of the most visited tourist attraction and activity in Sagada is the Cave Connection. The great caves are connected within. Lumiang Burial Cave and Sumaguing Cave is like a work of art hidden underground. Various of rock formations that depicts humans and things alike can be found here. You only need to widen your imaginations.
Most people who just wanted to view the cave can go directly to the mouth of Sumaguing Cave. If you’re looking for more adventure and wanted to experience cave connection, you better start at Lumiang Burial Cave.
The Cave Connection starts at Lumiang Cave, a burial site where hundreds of coffins are stacked as part of the local tradition.
At the mouth of Lumiang, My guide briefed me on what to expect inside and how to make my spelunking easy, enjoyable, and above all, safe.
Lumaing Burial Cave was a sacred ground for the Filipino Ancestors living in Sagada a hundred years back. Their ancestors came to this cave to bury their dead. At the mouth of Lumiang Cave, you’ll see hundreds of old coffins with human remains still inside.
Lumiang cave is quite a difficult trail, since most of the passage ways here are very narrow. Too narrow that only one slim person can fit. So start your diet before coming here, the guide may not allow you to venture the cave. Some passage ways are just holes in between stones. Too small that you need the lift your arms before passing through in order to fit.
After lighting the lamps, my guide asked if I wanted to hand over my camera to him so he could take me a pictures as we crawled, climbed, rappelled and squeezed our way through the crevices and gaps between the rocks
The first few minutes were easy. But it was the only easy time in the whole spelunking. I found myself facing a big rock with a tiny, tiny hole, and I was told I would need to go through it.
There were number of descents and ascents, climbing and rappelling, crawling and scooting, gripping on my guide’s shoulder and stepping on his knee, cursing and praying, and more! There was even a part where I had to brave an eight-meter pool filled with cold, cold, COLD water! But it was all fun. After all, I was taken good care of by my inspiring guide!
A few meters from the cave pool, you’ll reach the Lumiang Burial Caving – Sumaguing Cave border. From this point forward, expand your imagination because here lies most of the natural rock formations.
Some Useful Tips
Planning to take the Cave Connection Spelunking Tour, too? Let me share with you some tips that you might want to consider.
1.Wear a sturdy pair of sandals with a good grip. While shoes make perfect sense in many trekking tours, a pair of sandals with straps around the ankles and feet will work best (I think). Although many visitors who wear flip-flops complete the tour scratch-free, I do not recommend this to everyone because it tends to slide everywhere especially on wet areas of the cave. There are slippery parts so make sure your footwear has good grip.
2.Bring a flashlight. Get the type that you can strap around your head. Your guide will bring a powerful lamp (sounds magical, huh?) but it pays to have a light source that you can control so you can see more and better.
3.Wear light clothes. You WILL get wet and dirty. There are pools (and they are really cold) inside and you will have to dip in them in the course of the tour. There are shower rooms at the store near the mouth of Sumaguing Cave. Should you wish to take a shower, you may use them for a minimal fee.
4.Bring a waterproof, shockproof camera. You can still use an ordinary camera and let one of the guides hold it for you, though. They really have this Spiderman-like balance-thing going on about them that they seem to not slide or fall or whatever. But to be on the safe side, just bring a water-proof, shock-proof camera.
5.Implement a buddy system especially if you’re a big group. The guides always check if the group is complete. You can make it easier for them if you do a buddy system.
6.Listen to your tour guide. They go in, around, and out of this cave more often than you can imagine. They know what they’re talking about. Listen to them. It’s for your own safety and pleasure.
And of course:
7. Wear a pair of durable shorts. Your flexibility will be tested here and the last thing you want is to unintentionally show your *woohoo* while trying to go down and everyone is looking up.
While it was one of the most physically challenging activities I had tried while traveling, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I came out of that cave totally spent, exhausted, and unbelievably hungry. However, there was a great deal of satisfaction, fulfillment, and yes, pride after finishing it. Will I do it again? Probably not. But who knows?
Cave Connection Tour Rates
Here are the rates as of April 2019.
P1000 (good for 1-2 pax).
P500 per additional person
Two-way transportation (optional):
If you have any questions, comments and suggestions please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. 🙂
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