Saturday, May 7, 2016

Rediscovering Tanay, Rizal: Calinawan Cave

      When we had our roadtrip to Tanay, we made sure not to miss the famous Calinawan Cave. And the thought that we've never tried spelunking before just made us even more excited. Calinawan cave is found in Brgy. Tandang, Kutyo, Tanay Rizal. According to our tour guide Lloyd,  its name came from the historical events that happened there where Filipino settled and agreed on their disputes between Spanish colonizers, the agreement promises "linaw" a Filipino word for clarity, hence the word Calinawan. According to him, the cave is composed of five layers but only two were open as the others are not yet explored. Calinawan Cave dates back during the World War 2 as this was said to had been used by the Guerrilla warriors as hospital and hideout against their enemy, the Japanese. The cave is 20-minutes drive from Daranak Falls or Batlag Falls.

Entrance to the Calinawan Cave
       The entrance fee to the cave is PHP20.00 but a tour guide is required for PHP200.00. The price is fair enough since the cave has complex passages and dead ends and we don't want to get lost inside. Also the tour guide will discuss its history so you'll get out of the cave with an added knowledge.

       Based on the Cave Conservation Code Republic Act 9072, below are the do's and dont's:
  • Do not touch formations
  • Leave no litter
  • Do not smoke underground
  • Do not write on cave walls
  • Follow indicated trails
  • Do no disturb cave life
  • Move slowly and carefully
  • Keep parties at a manageable size (10 persons per group)

        As soon as we enter the cave, we were overwhelmed by its astonishing cave formations: stalagmites, stalactites, helectites and speleothem(column).

       The cave was discovered in 1901 and was opened to public in 1980. Since then, it attracted local and foreign tourists. It became more popular due to social media.

       The cave had been a favorite filming location for both movies and television dramas. Some scenes of the the movie Dyesebel by Vilma Santos and Alice Dixon was filmed here. Television soap operas like Ang Probinsyano and Encantadia had some of its scenes shot inside the cave.

Optical Illusions
       The photo above are some of the optical illusions as what our guide said. My favorite was the T-Rex. If you can name the other illusions, let me know.

Japanese Altar
       My favorite spot of the cave would be the Japanese Altar. This is where people who used to lived here pray. The elevated rock in the middle and the sun rays from the small hole from above is just so dramatic that one will never pass by without taking a picture.

       At long last, we conquered the cave and we called ourselves spelunkers. The tour lasts about 30 minutes but this will be depending on how many photos you will take inside.

Exit to the cave
       The experience was so far unforgettable. I could still remember the cave formations, the tight passages, the crawling we've done to get into another layer, the serenity of the place, and the rich history of it. We're glad we had experienced this attraction that Tanay is surely proud of. This place is recommended for adventure seekers or even those who've never been to a cave before.

How to get there?
       We've never been to Rizal so let me share how did we get there instead. Ride an FX at Starmall EDSA bound to Tanay, Rizal and drop off at either Jollibee or the Tanay Market. The fare is PHP70.00. Tricycles are all over the place and there are some drivers who will approach you as soon as you get off the van offering their service since they already have an idea where you want to go to. Then tell the driver to bring you to the Calinawan Cave and the fare is PHP50.00 each. We are a group of five so this rate may change.

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