Habhaban Cave and Underground Waterfalls
The idea of walking kilometers uphill and crawling through small cracks, crevices and in neck deep waters inside a pitch-dark cave was certainly not on my bucket list. Yet, as we were enjoying our cocktails by the beautiful Pandan Beach in Bayawan last Holy Thursday our gracious host, Tita Lilian, told our group that she has contacted the City Tourism Office to spearhead an activity for us the following day. A day trip to waterfalls would be fine, but caving? I felt my hair stand as images in my mind flashed insects, bats, and rats and perhaps snakes that could inhabit the cave, and it completely terrified me. I was silent during the deliberation but spelunking thrilled the group. So that was it, it was agreed, 7 am on Good Friday we will head off to Habhaban Cave together with the Search and Rescue Team of the city.
Habhaban Cave is settled about two kilometers from Barangay Malabugas in Bayawan. The challenging trip to get to the cave is certainly not for the fainthearted. We huffed, and we puffed, trekking uphill was not an easy feat! Climbing up took forever and it was quite dangerous too as we had to climb over slippery rocks and water while we only had weeds and weak branches to hold on to on our way up. Half an hour later, we reached the mouth of the cave.
First challenge was to get inside. One must be guided by the Search and Rescue team men to get through a small crevice, floating head up and that was a stretch of about five meters. I almost decided to stay outside with our companions who were adamant on getting inside but it took the better of me to be persuaded. The cave was pitch dark and we only had flashlights to illuminate our way but what greeted us was an awe-inspiring, magnificent creation of God! It was simply beautiful! I had no regrets and quickly, I overcame my fear.
Our guides led us inside and about 45 minutes of walking and wading through waters, we reached another magnificent spot- subterranean 30 ft. high waterfalls. This is considered a landmark that is not found elsewhere in the island of Negros or perhaps the rest of the Philippines, a beautiful wonder indeed! That made my short Holy Week quite enjoyable and very unforgettable. Despite the darkness and the cold water. I was happy because I got to experience one of the most famous caves here in our Province. And at the same time, I had the chance to spend it with my family. So, if you are venturesome, pack your stuff and discover Habhaban Cave in Bayawan, Negros Oriental!
More about Habhaban Cave: Habhaban Cave and Underwater Waterfalls is located in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental. To get to Bayawan City from Manila, one must take an inbound flight to Dumaguete City which is approximately one hour. From Cebu, it is 30 minutes via plane to Dumaguete or one can take a Ceres Bus which will be a six to eight hour ride. From Dumaguete City you can reach Bayawan via Ceres Bus or by vans-for-hire, both leaving on one hour intervals. The drive between Dumaguete and Bayawan will take about 2 hours.