If spelunking is your type of adventure then Mabinay is just the right town to visit. Located 87 kilometers northwest of Dumaguete City, Mabinay is mainly an upland town and is the second to the last town before reaching the province of Negros Occidental.
The interior of the land is primarily bounded with mountains and getting there is a bumpy uphill ride requiring two hours of travel time from Dumaguete City. On both sides of the road one gets a good view of the surrounding hills with oddly placed trees on the inclines and some clusters of lush vegetation. It is the province’s second largest town.
Second Longest Cave System in the Philippines
Mabinay holds some of the country’s most fascinating caves. The Odloman cave is 8,870 meters long and has a vertical range of 82 meters. As per the record, it is the second longest cave system in the Philippines. Meanwhile, Odloman Cave has large galleries, many small corridors, active streams and interesting obstacles. Cayaso Cave has a subterranean river flowing beneath its main chamber. It measures 2,222 meters long and ranks as the 9th longest cave in the Philippines.
Panligawan Cave has a big gaping hole upfront and requires a descent. It is a short one but has a skylight in the middle. The nearby Pandalian Cave is physically similar to Panligawan Cave – short but cavernous. Then there is the Crystal Cave, so called because of the many stalactites and stalagmites stuffing the place. Some of these have formed into pillars or columns, some into draperies that appear to shroud some sections. The Crystal Cave has a length of 209 meters and a depth of 5 meters.
Exploring caves can be a very thrilling experience. For beginners, it is necessary to have a knowledgeable and trustworthy guide. It could be just a simple trekking and climbing but could also entail squeezing into tight crevices, crawling, or swimming in the underground rivers.
How to get to Mabinay Caves
Arranged package tours are offered by several linked associations like the Dumaguete Outdoors and the South Negros Speleo. Rates for a one day activity include P1600 (minimum for the required two cave guides), P150 for each person’s transportation cost round trip, P170 for breakfast and lunch, and P5 for the cave entrance fee. Rentals of certain equipment, safety helmet with headlamp, batteries and belt bags cost around P75. Booking ahead for a well planned trip is advisable.
Dumaguete Outdoors (035) 226-2110
South Negros Speleo 09207009698, 09189227391 and 09174855894