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Bulacan | Spelunking at Bayukbok Cave, a fun-filled yet life-threatening, extreme adventure

As I wrote in my previous post (Conquering Mt. Manalmon), I am not an active type of person; not into sports, not into any exercise regimen except for a short walk from my office in Ayala Avenue to MRT station (Ayala-EDSA), which of course is hardly strenuous.  But would you believe that I went through (unexpectedly, that is) an extreme, life-threatening adventure during our spelunking at Bayukbok cave?

The Pinay Wanderer, on a cliff inside Bayukbok cave
Bayukbok Cave is actually a series of caves.  It is composed of eight caves; the first six of which are connected on a single trail and are commonly explored by spelunkers, while the 7th to 8th caves on a separate trail. It is within the territory of Biak na Bato National Park, the location where our Katipuneros camped out during the revolutionary times.  It is located in Barangay Sibul in San Miguel, Bulacan.  Spelunking the caves in Biak na Bato especially the Bayukbok Cave is usually a twin adventure of trekking Mt. Manalmon.

Our adventure in Bayukbok Cave starts with an uphill trek on a jagged rocky hill going to the entrance of the cave.  The jagged trail to the Bayukbok Cave, being a prelude to our adventure, should have given me a hint as to how hard this spelunking adventure would be (at least, for couch potato like me) but as first-timer, I just go with the flow; wherever my friends are going, I go (feeling adventurous din eh... :P).

uphill trek to Bayukbok Cave
TPW having a hard time going thru the jagged trail to Bayukbok Cave :D
When we reached the cave, we saw that the entrance is a narrow passageway where you have to go sideways in order to pass through.  I jokingly asked our guides if I could pass through it and they said that a lot bigger spelunkers went through it without any problem (am encouraged! hehe).  But the real adventure began when we go down the cave.  We have to rappel down the 14-feet high cave entrance without any safety gears.  Before we go rappelling, we have to carefully go down the jagged cliff with just our hands and feet. With this, I got nervous; really, really nervous. I haven't done any rappelling before; not on the mall, not anywhere.  But I still went through it, as everyone is going through it. And that is when the most life-threatening extreme adventure I've done in my life began.  Out of fear, I can't force myself to go rappelling so the guide has to help me go through it.  After reaching the bottom of the cave, I cried. I cried out of exhaustion, out of fear, out of joy; glad that I made it down safe and sound. Thank God!

the narrow entrance to the Bayukbok Cave
a friend rappelling the 14-feet high cave entrance
Our adventure continued by sliding down, crawling and going on with our hands and feet.  And then here comes the next big challenge, climbing a makeshift ladder made up of rope and bamboos.  Climbing this ladder was really a big challenge; it is not stable, it swings with your body every time you step on it.  It requires upper body strength and firm grip (which I don't have) to go through it. Thank God and thanks to the guides, I made it.

TPW climbing the makeshift ladder
the muddy and slippery flooring of Bayukbok Cave
After the swinging ladder, we continued exploring the caves, again on our hands and feet.  The cave's flooring is muddy and a bit slippery so we have to be very careful. And then afterwards, we got to a chamber where we saw amazing rock formations, sparkling stalactites and stalagmites.  There is also this chamber in the cave that the locals call the music room.  When the guide hits the rock wall of the cave, different sounds could be heard resembling that of a music sound.  It's all amazing, really beautiful, worth all the hardships and body aches that we went through (but still not worth our lives hehe).

sparkling stalactites and stalagmites inside the Bayukbok Cave, photo by Mobius
Bayukbok Cave ceiling
rock formations inside Bayukbok Cave
After this chamber, a grueling and more difficult trek continued. We rock climbed; we went through several narrow passageways; and we have to bend, and crawl and flex our body to pass through.  And there is this too narrow a space where I have to flatten my body and then flex it upward and then push myself up so I could pass.  It felt as if I am snake crawling through a narrow space. Whoa, it's hard, really really hard!

And then the most dangerous and most fearful part of this adventure; seeing that we are on a cliff where we have to cross to go to the other side. One wrong move or a sudden slip and we're dead.  I always say to our guide then that I couldn't do it; that I can't make it; that I am afraid. But they would always encourage me, assure me that they were there to guide and help and protect me. And there is no turning back, anyway. They call this cave a traverse cave, you came on one end and out the other end, so I can't just stay and wait for them till they come back.

one of the guides performing a dangerous stunt :P
At last we came to the end. Supposed to just slide down and then go swing a vine like Tarzan and then that's it, we're done.  But maybe because of exhaustion and fear, I again can't force myself to slide down.  The guide has to carry me on his back at the next step and then told me to grab the vine and step down. Thank God it's done. Thank God I'm alive. Thank God I'm out the cave safe. Thank God we're all safe.

Exploring this cave is difficult; it's physically taxing, it's dangerous, and it's not recommended for first-timers (unless you're looking for really extreme adventures)!

a friend posing on the Bayukbok Cave exit where we have to slide down
a friend, about to perform her Tarzan swing :D

~oo00oo~

Before this, I thought caving is just going through narrow spaces, bending and probably crawling but I never expected to rappel, to climb a makeshift ladder, to rock-climb, to cross a dangerous cliff where if you happen to step  on a wrong foothold or if you suddenly slip, you'll fall into a 14-feet deep ravine.  Really, I find this adventure too dangerous!

Am I glad I didn't know anything about this cave? I don't know, I am not sure.  All I know is that if I knew beforehand that exploring this cave is too dangerous, I would probably  not go through it.

Am I traumatized then? Not really; it's just that maybe I really am not that adventurous, extreme adventures are not for me, period...hehe!

~oo00oo~

A big thanks to our guides who were so kind and patient to us all but most especially to me, for helping us in every step of the way and for bringing us back to civilization.  I really couldn't make it out of Bayukbok Cave if not for them. Thank you very much. And thank God for guiding us and protecting us all the way. Thank you LORD!

~oo00oo~

Note: It's not my intention to discourage anyone in exploring Bayukbok Cave.  As I wrote it in my intro, I am not an active type of person and I am not an extreme adventurer. If you find this post a little discouraging, it's because I'm not used to extreme adventures such as this. However, I'm still recommending this adventure to everyone BUT be very careful and prepare yourself first -- exercise, undergo physical training, read and research a lot. It would help if you're mentally and physically prepared. Equip yourself then go spelunking at Bayukbok Cave, it's beautiful, it's fun, it's full of adventures, it's an experience of a lifetime!! Good luck! ;)

~oo00oo~

Bayukbok Cave
Brgy. Sibul, San Miguel, Bulacan
Date of Visit: January 22, 201

31 comments:

  1. Hanga namn ako sayo kinaya mo yan! Gusto ko i try mag spelunking sa sagada bago manghina mga buto buto ko. lol!

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    1. Go go go Anney! Gusto ko rin marating Sagada, sobrang natakot ako sa adventure na 'to pero parang gusto ko pa rin ma-try ang Sagada, bahala na...hahah!

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  2. wow! gusto ko din mag-spelunking at mag-rappel! i'm putting this in my bucket list :)

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    1. Looking for extreme adventures huh KM...hehe! Sige, try mo 'to Bayukbok Cave, adventure of a lifetime talaga, at least that's how I feel now. Good luck! :)

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  3. Bravo! Extreme adventure talaga ang peg mo dito, walang-wala ang helmet diving ko hahaha! more extremes in the future ;) good luck girl!

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    1. Hay naku girl, kalokang adventure 'to, sobrang nakakatakot pero na-realize ko lang yun after...haysss, pero enjoy naman kahit pano. Try mo 'to kapag umuwi ka dito Pinas. :)

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  4. This is action-packed! Wagi ang Pinay!

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    1. Action-packed indeed! 'Yong wagi, hmmm, siguro...hahah! Try spelunking at Bayukbok Cave Edmaration, it's really exciting, my friends love it, enjoy silang lahat, ako lang ata natakot...haha!

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  5. wow wonderful
    do you have hobby like that?

    please reply to my blog :)
    http://abadiorkes.blogspot.com/

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  6. nice activity sis.. i want to try spelunking too.. :)

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    1. Hi Rhainnes! Yes, try spelunking, and try it in Bayukbok Cave too. :)

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  7. wow...extreme talaga! so awesome that you got to experience it! same here, am not really an overly adventurous/physical type of person (i get my high just by taking pictures and walking around, lol) so i just might pass on this one. :)

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    1. Hi Maiylah! Hahah, medyo extreme, couch potato lang eh...hehe! Next time, I'll just take pictures too. :)

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  8. Have you tried spelunking in Sagada? as in cave connection? ibang level!

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    1. Yeah, connected caves, that's how the locals described it. Haven't tried Sagada yet but I'd love to. Wish ko lang it's not as extreme as this one...hehe!

      Thanks for visiting Donnie! :)

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  9. This looks like fun and adventurous! Glad to meet you here!...Christine

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    1. Yes, it's fun and extreme adventure...hehe! Thanks for visiting Christine. :)

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  10. I love your adventure.I didn't do spelunking yet, medyo takot ako, extreme na masyado,hehehe.I do visit some caverns, my ganyan silang tour kaya lang di ko pa nasubukan, mostly historical tour yong ginagawa namin, hehehe., thanks for dropping by: I will add you in my blog lists, so I can visit you often..i like your blog. here's my blog about the cavern, you can check if you have time...http://www.travelentz.com/search/label/Caverns

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    1. Checked your post Mhie, and I agree, exploring caves here are more extreme. But I guess that's where the fun is, at least for my friends here who are with me in this adventure. :)

      Thanks for adding me on your blog list, yours is added to mine (in badges & links) too. :)

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  11. Beautiful photos. I haven't tried spelunking yet. Maybe someday.

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    1. Hi Eden! Yes, try it one day, it's fun and full of adventure. :)

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  12. I hope to explore a cave this summer. I'm going to my home province and visit one!

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    1. Hi Mrs. Kolca, exploring caves is fun! I'll be looking forward to your post about your up-coming cave adventure this summer. :)

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  13. hi..
    mahilig din ako sa adventure at napapasama rin sa mga hiking kapag may pagkakataon. tulad ng karanasan mo, mahirap...nakakapagod at minsan hindi ka pa sigurado kung ano yong dadatnan mo sa lugar na pupuntahan. pero kapag nalampasan mo lahat yun..kakaiba ang pakiramdam. ang sarap!

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    1. Hello Busyok! Sarap ng feeling, oo, pero di ko maiwasang matakot. Sugod na lang kase ako ng sugod without knowing kung ano ang madaratnan, minsan kasubuan na lang, bahala na, 'tas sa huli, ma-realize ko na delikado pala ginawa ko. I'm just thankful na okay naman lagi ang ending. :)

      Salamat sa pagdalaw, dadalawin ko rin ang lungga mo maya-maya lang. :)

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  14. Kailangan mong bumalik dyan! Dahil sasamahan mo ako hehe

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    1. Wahahah, natawa talaga ko sa comment mo! Ako pa talaga sinama mo eh ayoko na nga ma-experience ulit ang ganyan, hindi ako para sa mga extreme adventures eh. :D Pero wish ko makarating ng Abu Dhabi at ma-experience yun fastest roller coaster ride...hehe! Thanks for visiting Mar. :)

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  15. Wow! Reading this makes me want to try spelunking too! Glad that you made it! I heard Sagada's a good place din for spelunking :)

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    1. I heard it from friends too, haven't been to Sagada though. Tara, let's go to Sagada with Ysay...hehe!

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  16. wow ang galing! nabilib ako sa iyo knowing you don't do things like this. scary yung cave! hehe i don't think i can do it..

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    1. Hi Violy, thank you for visiting! Spelunking, specifically this cave, is really hard, dangerous too. But with proper training and enough preparation, you can do it. I'm not prepared ng ginawa namin 'tong adventure na 'to kaya mapi-feel mo sa post na 'to ang hirap at takot ko, and hindi talaga ko extreme adventurer, napapasubo lang kung minsan, hehe.

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