Crystal Cave (Part 3 of 3)

The third cave we visited is aptly named Crystal Cave due to the glittering and shimmering stalactites and stalagmites all around us. The cave is 157 meters long by 12 meters. Our guide told us that this cave used to be difficult to explore but a metal walkway was installed which made exploring the cave so much easier.

Some of the display that nature has to offer

 

This cave has many formations and different minerals inside

 

These formations are called –couples corner, can you guess why?

 

A user friendly cave with a walkway installed which makes it easier to go deeper inside the cave

 

Some related post about Dumaguete:

3 Enchanting Caves in Mabinay, Negros Oriental (Part 1 of 3)
Panligawan and Pandalihan Caves (Part 2 of 3)
Crystal Cave (Part 3 of 3) —> You are here

Text & Photos by Alicia Davis

Panligawan and Pandalihan Caves (Part 2 of 3)

After sorting out how to get there and where to find the caves in the map which was part 1 of this series, let me tell you about the caves.

 

Panligawan Cave

This cave is a dead cave, meaning the stalactites and stalagmites are not growing anymore as the roof of the chamber collapsed, apparently in the 1960s. It’s an easy cave to get to. We just descended a few steps and we can see the huge chamber of the cave.

The descent to the chamber is easy enough with steps and a side railing with ropes to hold on to

 

A look at the huge chamber viewed from the entrance of the cave

 

The area where the roof collapse in the middle of the cavern left a huge gaping hole

 

The entrance of Panligawan cave viewed inside the chamber

 

Interestingly, the name Panligawan originates from the world “ligaw” meaning to court. Our guide told us that the locals bring the girls they are wooing in the cave hence the name.

 

Pandalihan Cave

As we again descended a few steps to the second cave, our guide pointed to big geckos on the side.

The entrance to the second cave

Similar to Panligawan, it is huge and the area exposed to the elements is dead. We were exploring what we thought was the end of the chamber when the guide pointed to an almost hidden opening. As we each entered one after the other as the opening only allows one person at a time, we were greeted with darkness except for the light that we have attached to our helmets. Inside we saw different formations and some stalactites that seemed to sparkle when we shine our light to it. This is due to the minerals in it.

The live cavern of Pandalihan cave

An unforgettable experience for me was when the guide asked all of us to turn off our lights while we were inside the live cavern. It was absolute darkness. As in I put my hand like an inch in front of my face and I can’t even see it. Even when I touched my face I still can’t see it, I only know that my hand is right in front because I can feel it. I am not afraid of the dark but it made me realized that I don’t like that feeling of being in total darkness.

 

Some related post about Dumaguete:

3 Enchanting Caves in Mabinay, Negros Oriental (Part 1 of 3)
Panligawan and Pandalihan Caves (Part 2 of 3) —> You are here
Crystal Cave (Part 3 of 3)

Text & Photos by Alicia Davis

3 Enchanting Caves in Mabinay, Negros Oriental (Part 1 of 3)

As I was planning our trip to Dumaguete, while researching for places to go I saw a photo of a cave in the images in Google. It caught my eye and I began looking in earnest about a place called Mabinay. Although “Mabinay Caves” is mentioned a lot in the net, the caves are actually NOT at Mabinay town proper but in a place called Bulwang. As shown in the map below, the red circle is Bulwang, before Mabinay town which I highlighted in yellow, if you are travelling from Dumaguete.  I want to emphasize this for those of you who may travel there in the future.

 

Part of the Map of Negros Oriental

The photos I saw were really beautiful and my desire to see the place was getting stronger the more I read about it. But I was also apprehensive because some mentioned about spelunking. I had to look up the word in the dictionary. Spelunking means “the sport or practice of exploring or studying caves”.  I breathed a sigh of relief. I had images of myself tangled in ropes with a bewildered look in my face as I don’t know what to do. There is actually a word of what I was thinking about, it’s called rappelling.  Let me dispel those thoughts of despair from you, the caves we are going to look at are okay for beginners.

Mabinay has over 100 caves, I think about 70 had been explored but the 3 caves good for beginners are Panligawan, Pandalihan, and Crystal Cave.

 

Getting there

Mabinay is about 2 hours away from Dumaguete City, where the airport is located that caters to domestic flights (e.g. from Manila). There are Ceres buses that go to Bacolod City that pass by Mabinay. The place we stayed also had car rentals so we hired a car with a driver, which was much easier for us. As there were 5 of us, we hired the Toyota Innova. The rates are just for the car and driver. We had to pay for the gas or diesel, which costs about Php700 for the day trip as the car uses diesel fuel which was cheaper than the unleaded petrol that other cars use.

The Toyota Innova that we hired for the trip

Hassaram Courtyard Car rental rates
Contact Nos: +63 917 302 5488/ +63 917 627 6741
Toyota Vios Php1250.00/day + driver 350.00 (4 passengers + Driver)
Honda CRV SUV Php1500.00/day + driver 350.00 (5 passengers + Driver)
Toyota Innova Php Php2000.00/day + Driver Php350.00 (7 passengers + Driver)

Costs

Car hire (Innova) with driver = Php2350

Diesel fuel = Php700

Cave guided tour for 5 persons = Php400

Entrance fee for each cave per person = Php15

Rent for headlamps/ person = Php50

This is us still fresh and excited to go in

 

Some related post about Dumaguete:

3 Enchanting Caves in Mabinay, Negros Oriental (Part 1 of 3) –> You are here
Panligawan and Pandalihan Caves (Part 2 of 3)
Crystal Cave (Part 3 of 3)
 

Text & Photos by Alicia Davis