Ok, before I get into the specifics of the trip, I have to say: IT WAS AWESOME. I think EVERY Pinoy should take the trip out to Biak-na-Bato and visit history and nature. Awesome place.
So some history: Gen Emilio Aguinaldo escaped from Batangas to Biak-na-Bato and created our first Republic. It was short-lived as there came a truce a month after, and Aguinaldo went into exile in Hong Kong. But Biak-na-Bato was their hideout for a time, and there was a cave to accept volunteers, caves for supplies and a medical cave. Cool beans.
The whole National Park has 100 caves. 50 are open to the public. And they said it would take 4 full days + one overnight stay to visit all 50 caves… why would you do that? Anyway, for our day trip, we went in 5 caves and saw another one from afar.
We got there almost 12 noon coming from Manila. We decided to go to the first area that all tourists go to. The main attraction. So we walked a bit and saw the place where the Republic was announced:
Across this you can see Aguinaldo cave. But it is across a river, and we didn’t want to get wet that early. So we just saw it from afar. If you want to go to Paniki (bat) Cave, it’s a few more hundred steps away. And we went there next. WORTH IT. Here’s the view from the deck across the cave:
We walked INTO it after! Side story: we saw a hanging vine, and my brother Joshua and brother in law Carlo swung on it and it looked fun. So I tried it. After two swings…. it broke and I landed on my butt and back. I am fine. Just hurt my pride.
The cave is HUGE. And there are bats flying overhead. Water is still rushing through the cave, and during storms, it even goes up to two storeys high. They don’t allow people in the cave during storms, obviously. I took crazy pictures and you can see them on Facebook.
We got back to the entrance past 1PM and had lunch nearby. One of the carinderias. There are no restaurants, so if you go, bring lunch. Or call ahead and have them prepare food. I don’t know how you can call them there, as only Globe has a decent signal as of this writing.
Then we went to the other fun caves. The guide said that there is another area, accessible by car, that we can go to. 4 more caves. One even in pitch black darkness. That’s where the medical area was, the food storage area and the greeting area during Aguinaldo’s time. You can also get there coming from the entrance of the park, but it would take about an hour walk. By car, it is 15 minutes away.
So we went! And here is the pitch black darkness cave entrance:
We had flashlights and all that. And at one point, dad had everyone turn off all the flashlights and we sat in darkness. In total silence. Even with my eyes open, it was total darkness. Nothingness. It was awesome.
A lot of climbing jagged rocks. Slipping and sticking on mud. Descending and ascending tunnels. Lots of low hanging rocks and pointed stalactites and stalagmites. So much that my back, butt (from my fall) and now my legs are killing me. But so worth it.
It took as about 5 hours to go through everything. And you don’t even take note of the time. You sweat buckets. And body aches. But hey, it is history and nature in one place! It is good to read up on history before you go though. The guides are helpful, but always good to have extra knowledge.
Dad, the brother and the brothers in law took a dip in the river after. Which I skipped. Killjoy, yes. And no extra clothes. Bring extra clothes so you can swim.
It was a good day 🙂 And I really encourage everyone to visit. I never imagined there would be such a place in the Philippines. Even in Bulacan! But there it was. And majestic caves. Beautiful place.
Plan your trip now.
[From NLex take the Sta Rita or Baliuag exit. Then make your way towards San Miguel. Biak-na-Bato National Park is there. Get ready to ask for clarification regarding directions along the way because the signs aren’t that good. Google Maps it before you go. It’s about an hour from Sta Rita exit. Definitely worth it.]