Wednesday, September 20, 2017

My Vertical Caving Experience at Central Cave, Catbalogan Samar



huawei p10, central cave, catbalogan samar, trexplore, travel ph, adventure


Central cave is not just a beautiful paradise but is also an exciting cave that every ‘explorer’ should visit. Among the other caves in the Philippines, this one is more special because the only way to enter is to conquer your fear of heights and rappel an 18-meter vertical drop down to the main chamber. It’s like a huge mansion (height of a 5 storey building) without any doors or windows except for one small hole in the ceiling! Exciting isn't it?!




From 8AM, we started our adventure by trekking 3 long hours going to the entrance of the cave. On our way, we passed by the beautiful Bangon Falls, several amazing sceneries and . . . and a SNAKE! According to the porters, the snake won’t harm you unless you provoke them so we just kept calm and moved on. Whew! After finally arriving at the entrance, we ate our lunch first and had a quick rest before donning our harness and started the live action!


central cave, catbalogan samar, ph adventure, when in samar, san andres catbalogan

 


Breathe in, breathe out. Run!
Lai was the first tribute to descend 😀

Basically, you will have to rely all your weight onto a single rope while descending. It’s called SRT or Single Rope Technique. The right hand holds the lower part of the rope (serves as a break once held tightly) and the left controls the speed of your descent by maneuvering the descender. ‘What if the rope breaks?’ ‘What if I lose control of the descender?’ ‘What if I fall?’ ‘I still don’t have any life insurance!’ So many things could come up to your mind and you might just have a panic attack. You just need to be calm and trust the gears. Another rope will be fastened to your harness as a backup and the main rope will be attached to two different anchor points so if the primary anchor loosens, the backup anchor will catch you when you fall. Also, the descender gear has an auto-lock feature so even if you let go of your hands, it will not move unless you press the red handle. This should be pressed slowly if you don’t want to descend so fast (that would be pretty scary).


That's me descending! This called vertical caving. Thanks to Jon Piczon for this photo.
Since I was the last guest to descend, I told the porter to take a really good shot of me. Uhmmnn, this was the result. haha. koyaaa!

Inside the cave is a majestic paradise full of exquisite stalagmites, stalactites and the most beautiful of all cave formations - cave crystals. I was not able to take a good photo of it but it's on my video down below (watch in HD).  My favorite is when these formations are shining and glittering! I've seen these in Sohoton and Langun-Gobingob caves but I think the one with many dazzling formations are here in Central Cave. It's a good thing that it's not easily accessible by the public so as to preserve its natural, beautiful and pure form.


The 'Cavern Queen' 😃

Beautiful Stalagmites an Stalactites and crystal formations with natural shining shimmering effects! (photo taken by Joni Abesamis | Model: Gly)


This is called a 'Cave Bacon'. I want to eat it but it looks like a bacon full of fats! (photo taken by Joni Abesamis | Model: Gly)

Vanilla ice cream anyone?

How about onions? 😂😃😁

 Here are some photos I took using my Huawei P10 on night mode and with a stable tripod.

central cave catbalogan samar

central cave catbalogan samar

central cave catbalogan samar

central cave catbalogan samar


After 3 hours of exploring the cave, it's time to go back to civilization. Our way to exit is to either fly like batman or use an ascender gear with a foot loop (attached to the rope) to pull ourselves up. The challenge here is the exhaustion pulling yourself up. But no need to worry, you can take a rest anytime because the ascender has an auto-lock feature as well.

The night before our adventure, we did some practice first. It was very helpful!


LPE ready to ascend! I love this pair of shoes I bought from 'UK Philippines' for only 150 pesos! After a total of 6 hours trek and 3 hours spelunking, it's still in good condition!

From the exit, we had to trek another 3 hours to be back to Brgy. San Andres. It was raining so the trek was a bit challenging with many slippery pathways and river trekking. We used our headlamps because it was getting dark already. Finally at around 7PM we arrived at Trexplore house and we rewarded ourselves with an appetizing heavy dinner! It was the first time I ate so much rice for dinner! 😂


It was definitely a physically tiring and mind-boggling adventure but being able to witness the beauty inside the cave and the thrilling vertical caving experience is something that I will always remember and cherish. Central cave is just like love, it is risky, it is not easy but it's all worth the fight! 💗

Thanks to these amazing bloggers Lai, Gly and Jon! HASHTAG NewFoundFriends 😁

 I recommend this to anyone physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually fit! If you want to try this, you may contact Trexplore the Adventures (contact details below) headed by Sir Joni Abesamis, the Cave Hokage Master. The cost is P3,500 each (minimum of 2 persons). That includes everything from complete set caving gears to food, water, permits, porters, transportation and photo/video documentations (just bring your usb flash drive). This is my second time joining Sir Joni's adventures and I can really observe his cave expertise and professionalism. For more information about the itinerary and what to bring, you can check this site --> Trexplore Central Cave.

The Central Cave team

If coming from Tacloban, the earliest trip to Catbalogan is at exactly 5AM at Grand Tours Terminal (at the back of Savemore). Fare is P120. Trexplore house would be a good choice for your accommodation - for as low as P200/pax (backpackers room) to P1000 for the room with AC and CR (good for 4pax).

Thanks to my new found (blogger) friends Lai (www.thelittlelai.com), Gly (www.chasingpotatoes.com) and Jon (www.laypiskolorpul.blogspot.com). Check out their sites!



TREXPLORE THE ADVENTURES
CAVE MASTER: JONI A. BONIFACIO
ABESAMIS STORE ALLEN AVE. CATBALOGAN CITY,SAMAR PHILIPPINES


TEL: 055-2512301 / 5438550
CELL: (SMART) +639192943865 / (GLOBE) +639276750062

EMAIL: info@trexplore.ph, samar@trexplore.ph, trexploresamar@gmail.com, cavinginsamar@yahoo.com

WEBSITE: www.trexplore.ph, www.trexplore.blogspot.com, www.trexplore.webs.com, www.trexplore.weebly.com

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2 comments:

  1. i am an adventurous person and i love going on such trips and caves. by looking at the pictures i am over whelmed and i wil surely go for this experience with my friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Thanks for your comment. You should really try it with friends. It's fun and exciting! 😁

      Delete

My Vertical Caving Experience at Central Cave, Catbalogan Samar

Central cave is not just a beautiful paradise but is also an exciting cave that every ‘explorer’ should visit. Among the other cav...