Sumaguing Cave – There are numerous caves in Sagada great for spelunking. Caves play an important part in Igorot’s culture since burial traditions are being held mostly in caves. In fact, hundreds of coffins were stacked in the entrance of Lumiang Burial Cave, a few kilometers away from the Sumaguing Cave. As per our guide, the oldest coffin in Lumiang Cave is believed that it has been there for about 500 years. The dead body inside the cave was in a fetal position and images of lizards were carved in their coffins symbolizing the long life and fertility.
Today in our generation by the influence of western culture, this burial tradition is barely done anymore. Lumiang Cave is also the jump-off point if you want to decide to take the challenging “Cave connection”. It’s a 4-5 hour of spelunking starting from Lumiang Cave and will end to Sumaguing Cave. Yup, that’s a creepy experience entering a cave surrounded by a decade old coffins.
Most of the visitors opt for the Sumaguing Cave since it will only take 2 hours to finish the cave. I have been to many caves and mountains before but Sumaging cave is really tough and challenging. The cave is in totally dark without the lamp of our guides and a lot of bats gather together in the ceiling of the cave.
As we enter into the deeper part of Sumaguing Cave, worry start to arise as I think different tragedy that may possibly happen when we are inside the Cave. At first, I thought that was an easy and common activity where we just go through the cave tunnel from one point to another. In Sumaguing Cave, you can experience stamina requiring activity such as rappelling, climbing, trekking, and rolling.
Watch our Sumaguing Cave Experience below
Limestones and rock formation slowly shaped by nature for a million of years can be found inside the cave. These rock formations mimic bear, banana, elephants, and even a private part of a woman. Sumaguing cave also has the biggest chamber among the other caves in Sagada. We were in the cave for more than an hour entering a needle hole tunnels.
It was a great adventure and experience indeed. Another thing that amazed me was when I found out that Sumaguing Cave is the deepest cave in the Philippines with a depth of more than 500 ft. Every time I see gigantic stalactite, stalagmite and jaw-dropping rock formations inside, I wonder how many years did it takes to form such amazing structures inside Sumaguing Cave. We all know the answer – A million years! So we must preserve and protect nature.
SUMAGUING CAVE SPELUNKING TIPS
- SHORT PANTS/ Leggings – this is to reduce the additional weight carried when soaked with water inside the cave and for easier movement.
- RUBBER SLIPPERS – actually, any type of footwear you would use will be useless against the slippery terrain of the cave. Hiking shoes or Sandals as many people think is the best gear for spelunking but it is not. Slippers still are so far the best.
What NOT TO bring when inside:
- A LARGE AMOUNT OF WATER – Just get the smallest amount to reduce weight you will be carrying.
- JACKET – The cave is cold and freezing alright, but you won’t feel that when you are inside, you will be perspiring when you get there anyway.
- HAND-HELD FLASHLIGHT – The guides have enough light to brighten your path, you won’t need one because you need both hands to make your way in and out of the cavern.
- LARGE or HEAVY BACKPACK – this limits your movement and further gives additional weight for you to carry.
- No MAONG pants when going inside the cave.
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