Sumalsag Cave is counted as one of the 5 recognized caves in Palaopao Range in the municipalities of Manolo Fortich and Sumilao in Bukidnon. Sumalsag Cave stretches to 1.04km long. Its usual caving route starts from Sitio Kilabong, Vista Villa, Sumilao and exits to Sitio Diamante, Dalirig, Manolo Fortich.
|The sign board leading to the cave|
|Cassava is one of the major crops of the locals|
We trekked through the fields.
The ascent is too gentle to make me pant.
After a kilometer trek, the cave entrance awakened my spirit.
We descended down stepping on some guano.
I got more excited when we turned our back from the natural light. The astonishing pillars and formations came into view.
In no time, we heard a gushing water. The guide said we have to tread along the waterbed up to the exit point. Thanks to the water for the trail. So it's gonna be a wet spelunking the whole time!
Some spots are too low and narrow to pass through. So we had to crawl.
It's not only spelunking, it's also a river trekking.
Wet and cold, we had to crawl. We had to fit our bodies through the narrow track. Sideways, upside down and all the positions you can ever imagine avoiding the sharp rocks.
After a narrow and shallow portions, the deep portions took their turn.
Some areas are deep enough to drown humans. A dry bag can also be used as floater.
Here are the narrow portions again... AND WE WALKED LIKE A DUCK for a very long time. Water and sweat (and piss) met.
We carefully and slowly swam in the water, carefully avoiding the sharp formations that might scratch our heads and faces.
What a relief to get to a portion where our bodies can stand straight.
WE ALSO ROCK CLIMBED...
We continued treading through the deep water, shallow water, wide and narrow trail.
Though very cold, some portions are so tempting to bathe in.
The deepest (and a bit creepy) part of the underground river is so challenging.
The well carved pools are so refreshing.
Moving out of the cave without plunging in its chilling water might be disappointing. So I took time to swim until I shivered.
And later, we saw light from a distance.
We headed to the exit point of the cave with a very narrow opening. Fishes tickled my skin.
And there's no other way out but to submerge once again.
I was really awed looking back at the exit. Really wonderful. Had I not known of the adventure-filled crevice inside, this narrow opening might not catch my interest.
We exited in Sitio Diamante, Dalirig. While departing the place I could never really imagine that this narrow spring leads to a no-joke, extreme cave.
HOW TO GET THERE:
From CDO- Take a rural transit bus bound for Valencia or other southern routes (Kibawe, Wao, Banisilan, Kadingilan, Davao, Tacurong and Gensan). Drop off at Dalirig. Travel time takes around 1hour and 20minutes. Take a habalhabal to Sitio Kilabong. Trek for 1km to the cave entrance.
From Malaybalay- Take a bus bound for CDO. Drop off at Dalirig. Travel time takes around 1hour. Take a habalhabal to Sitio Kilabong. Trek for 1km to the cave entrance.
FEES and EXPENSES:
Bus Fare from Malaybalay: P45.00
Habalhabal Fare: 30 each for 2; 50 for solo
Entrance Fee: P25.00
Guide Fee: P250.00 per trip
A dry bag is so essential.
Headlamp is a must.
Bring helmet for added protection.
You may contact Kagawad Veronica Nisnisan for the booking of the guide.