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Exploring A Cave To Find A Black Pearl
Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, was exiled in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte for four years before his death on December 30, 1896 in Bagumbayan, now Luneta Park. He collated interesting data about the flora and fauna of the place, but he didn't have an account that black pearls are discovered in the cave near the city.
Cave pearls are rare and it took millions of years or centuries to produce it. Because of running water and minerals that abound inside a cave, it cause the formation of the black pearls.
Cave Pearls in Zamboanga del Norte
Spelunkers or cave experts will give first a short briefing on safety when entering the Libuton cave, especially if you want to find the rare cave pearls.
The cave at Zamboanga del Norte had been found by adventurers to have the elusive cave pearls. Spelunkers along with the Red Cross personnel or First Aid Team will accompany you to the spot.
The opening of the cave will require you to rappel the descent about 40 feet below. There are many chambers of the cave that you'll experience the muddy, slimy part, the bat chamber before reaching the center of the cave where the cave pearls are found.
When television personnel went there, they've witnessed the amazing formation of stalactites (upper part mineral formation of the cave) and stalagmites (the lower part). Spelunkers cautioned them not to touch it to avoid contamination from our hands (which are often oily).
Dr. Carlo Arcilla, Head of Geological Science department of UP (University of the Philippines), said that cave pearls are "rare and incredibly unique." It is more valuable that the cultured ones because it is developed inside a cave for about a century and million years. There is a national legislation that prohibits the harvesting or stealing of this kind of pearl.
Dr. Arcilla, further said that "its value is only understood once you found it at the exact location", which is the cave.
Cave pearls are usually black but become crystallized as the process continue for about million years. So in order to preserve it, so that next generation will appreciate it, better leave it there and just tell what happened inside the cave. You can take a picture of it but you must not bring it outside the premises.