Trip to the Philippines: Cavinti Underground River and Caves Complex
Cavinti is another town of Laguna at the Eastern side of the province. It has 20 barangays and covers approximately land area of 25,770.10 hectares (wikipedia).
Based from the town's website (www.cavinti.com), the name Cavinti came from the Tagalog expression, "kabit sa binti". The Aetas, the early dwellers of the land, performed a wedding ritual in which the groom chases his bride to the riverbank. The groom will try to capture his bride by her legs ("binti"), with the witnesses shouting, "Kabit sa binti, kabit sa binti!" This phrase later became "Kabinti"; hence the name."
Like most areas in the province of Laguna, the climate of Cavinti is characterized by two pronounced seasons: dry from March to May and wet during the rest of the year.
Important Note: NO PERMIT NO ENTRY!
Before going straight to the place, make sure to have the permit first. Permit can be acquired personally in the municipal office of Cavinti. If you're traveling in group (which is advisable), even one person can get it ahead.
Unfortunately online reservation is not yet available but you can check their facebook page for updates.
How to get there?
Location: Sitio Lalangawan, Brgy Paowin, Cavinti, Laguna-- Philippines
1. From Calamba, ride the Sta. Cruz route jeepney then get off at the front of Mercury drugstore in between Footstepz and BPI. Fare: Php40.00 (~$0.91)
2. Get a ride going to Lumot. Fare: Php37.00 (~$.91) Better to just ask the driver to drop you off at the barangay where it is located. From there, jeeneys and 4x4 vehicle for hire are available for Php2500 and Php1500 respectively. Just ask the officers assigned for help.
Meeting the Target
Based from my limited view (small window of the vehicle), mostly the locals have simple way of living as can be seen in their houses and clothing.
As for the town itself, it is such a quiet place with bucolic surroundings however there are certain areas where evidences of "kaingin" or slash-and-burn system of clearing can be seen.
Luckily, a good weather embraced us all when we visited the place, though with lots of dust covering our clothes (from the "reddish brown soil road"), still we really had fun and it's nothing after a bath inside the cave's falls (yes, there's a falls inside the cave).
Exploring the Newfound Treasure
According to the municipal officer in-charged in protecting the area, the Cavinti cave falls in class II category so visitors with tour guides can enter but out of 13 chambers of the cave, only 2 are open for tourists.
So what are class II caves?
Cave classification is being done by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and based on Memorandum Circular No. 2007-04, caves are classified into three categories, namely Class I, Class II, and Class III.
Classes of Caves:
Class I caves are those with archeological findings and are for scientific and educational purposes only. These caves can also be utilized for exploration, mapping and photography.
Class II are caves with wildlife that cannot be disturbed. Visitors, with cave guides, are allowed only to a certain point of the cave. The cave falls into this category
Class III covers caves where the whole part is allowed for spelunking provided that they are accompanied by cave guides.
View Outside the Cave
Photos Inside the Cavinti Cave
Waterfalls inside the cave!
Waterfalls can be found inside the cave and taking a shower/bath was one of the best experience in my opinion.
1. Bring water and food.
2. Prepare to get wet so bring extra clothes.
3. Bring heavy duty flashlights or you can't see anything.
4. As much as possible better to wear aqua shoes or sandals and avoid slippers. It's wet and slippery inside.
5. Make sure to bring waterproof bags for your cellphone and camera's protection if they are not waterproof.
6. Don't forget to ENJOY GOD'S CREATION! ^_^