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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrAside from Bohol being a popular summer destination in the Philippines, the province is also popular for historic and underground caves. One of the most interesting caves in the area is the Hinagdanan Cave. It is a naturally lighted cavern in Barangay Bingag, Dauis in the island of Panglao. It is also one of most popular natural attractions in the entire Bohol province, next to the Chocolate Hills. Aside from the distinct rock formations, it also has a fresh water lagoon about 33-39 feet deep at the center of the cave. The beauty and structure of Hinagdanan Cave is attributed by the island’s rich karst or limestone formations. Many other ravines, sinkholes, and caverns exists within the province of Bohol, some are yet to be explored.
HistoryDuring the 16th century, early settlers of Panglao had begun removing thick vegetation around the island to make way for their homes. In Bingag, one of the locals was clearing his land of old trunks of trees and decaying branches when he discovered two holes on the ground situated right next to each other. He was curious about the holes in his land so he dropped a few rocks on it and heard a water splash. The locals eventually explored the unknown area below the ground using a ladder, discovering a cavern with a deep catch basin at the center. The cave became popular all over the island and the owner started to develop the place. It quickly became a bathing area and main source of fresh water for locals.
The name of the cave was derived from the local word “hagdan” or ladder, because a ladder was used to explore the cave without slipping through the wet limestones.
VisitingThe first entrance to the main area is a man-made stone gate where visitors need to pay a ₱25 ($0.55) entrance fee to get inside. The Hinagdanan Cave’s entrance is merely one meter wide in diameter, and the descent to the cave is paved with cement. Inside the cave are plenty of stalactites hanging at the ceiling and stalagmites protruding on the ground, some limestone columns can also be seen. The pathway to the main chamber is a bit dark and slippery, but tour guides will assist tourists along the way with their flashlights.
Hinagdanan Cave is made mostly of limestones and the main chamber is lit by sunlight passing through the holes at its ceiling. The clear lagoon is ideal for bathing and swimming, so a lot of locals and foreigners go there to have a dip in the fresh water pool. The water level varies during high tide and low tide, and the taste of the cool spring water turns salty during high tide (since the lagoon is a mixture of both sea water and spring water).
The cave also has plenty of photo opportunities for tourists, the scenery is so uniquely alluring that it has become one of the favorite subjects of international photographers.
Getting ThereThe Hinagdanan Cave is located 1.6 miles from Dauis and about 9 miles from downtown Tagbilaran . People from Cebu who are interested in visiting the cave can easily get there in just a few hours of travel time.
Starting from Cebu City, you can take either a taxi or jeepney ride to Pier 1 or Pier 4. Upon arriving in the port, take a fast ferry (Ocean Jet or SuperCat) ride to Tagbilaran City in Bohol. The fare costs around ₱800 ($18) for tourist class accommodation.
From Tagbilaran City, tourists can take a tricyle ride directly to Hinagdanan Cave for only ₱150 ($3.30) to ₱200 ($4.40). If you are already around Panglao or situated in Alona Beach, you can take a habal-habal or motorbike ride to the cave for only ₱50 ($1.10). For tourists who are planning to visit this amazing tourist attraction including all the other landmarks in Bohol and its neighboring islands, it is recommended that you book a day tour of the province. The Hinagdanan Cave is mostly included in all tours.
ShoppingSince there are a lot of tourists visiting the cave every day, several souvenir shops and local vendors have convened outside the natural attraction to sell their merchandise. Aside from printed shirts and native handicrafts, several other souvenirs are also available such as authentic pearl necklaces, summer hats, beaded accessories, and even snacks and assorted fruit refreshments.
Travel Tips• Bringing home local delicacies as gifts from a trip is a popular Filipino tradition known as “Pasalubong.” The souvenir shops outside the cave has several Boholano delicacies which are great for giving out as gifts, like Peanut Kisses and Calamay (Sweet Sticky Rice).
• The tour guides in Hinagdanan Cave are all volunteers so if they made you smile and were extremely helpful to you, don’t forget to give a tip.
• Bring the best camera you have. Taking a picture with a sloppy camera in a dark environment can ruin a great moment.
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Author: bonz_jade. Last updated: Apr 24, 2015