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.
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.
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.
As we again descended a few steps to the second cave, our guide pointed to big geckos on the side.
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.
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:
Text & Photos by Alicia Davis