I was excited when an LGU employee in one of the municipalities of Bukidnon brought me to a cave he described as tourism potential in their town, which I prefer not to name.
When I dismounted from habal-habal and took a short trek to the cave's entrance, I got more and more excited. We passed by few houses getting to it.
Getting awed is normal reaction to a first timer so I was so thrilled while getting in through its narrow opening.
It was a small cave. Wet ground, formations and view of real stalactites and stalagmites really amazed me. It was indeed real and alive!
The guide proudly led me to a chamber which he described the most beautiful part of the cave. While we are heading to it, I started to observe things unpleasant.
The chamber was indeed beautiful! It really wowed me. But looking at it's ceilings frustrated me. People are harvesting stalactites which take years to form.
Negligence, greed, carelessness, irresponsibility or simply ignorance drive them to pluck and cut out the cave's natural formations.
My heart bled in frustration when we moved out. The cave is dying real soon when not given attention.
As an ordinary tourist, not an environmental expert, I left my host with simple suggestions on preserving the cave.