Thursday, April 24, 2014

Adventure in Sagada: Spelunking Lumiang and Sumaguing Cave Connection

On our second day at Sagada we decided to go to spelunking at the famous Lumiang and Sumaguing cave connection which is a very popular activity in Sagada. Our tour guide Kuya Mark waited us in-front of Lemon Pie House then we head straight to Lumiang Cave, a 30 minute walk from Sagada but since we had a car it only took as 15 minutes going there. On our way to Lumiang we passed by Dokiw Hanging Coffins viewpoint. In Sagada mostly mountains with this kind of rock formation has hanging coffins. Hanging coffins at Dokiw were not limited to those on Echo Valley. They are so rampant everywhere that we just have to have an eye to spot them in many tall rock formation as we stopped by.

At Dokiw pointing one Hanging Coffin on the rocks. 

Our spelunking tour will start at Lumiang and ends in Sumaguing Cave. While waiting for our guide to park our vehicle we saw this big hole and wonder what it is. Kuya Mark our guide told us that it was a graveyard and only pregnant women are allowed to be buried in that hole from before. When I took a closer look, I saw coffins on the ground.
As you could see there are coffins downstairs.

In every Tourist spots in Sagada there are local tourism official to check your entry. So make sure you always bring your environmental registration receipt where ever you go in Sagada.
My friend Edz, Me, Bhem and Kuya Mark our tour guide waiting for our O.R. check by local tourism official.

We continued to walk going to the entrance of Lumiang Cave. Our Spelunking Cave connection begins....
beautiful view near the entrance of Lumiang Cave. 

But we reach to the entrance of the cave I was surprised to find it out that Lumiang Cave is also a burial place of Igorot's from before. The cave entrance is surrounded by hanging coffins with hundred-year-old bones encased within. Honestly I was feeling creepy. Kuya Mark our guide was telling us story about those coffins. He said that each burial sights in Sagada has different kinds of deaths. This one in Lumiang cave are the remains of those who died in old age. Those who died in diseases are in different burial site. Infants are buried in their own homes because it was believed by there ancestors that the little ones still needs to be taken care of by their families. This coffins in Lumaing cave are 300-400 years old.
Entrance to Lumiang Cave 

Even if were allowed I won't bothered to get some. Yay!!! 

Behind me are piles of coffins on the wall of the cave. Look at my creepy face. Lol 

Along the path you'd walk along some opened coffins with some bones sticking out and some clothes of the dead. The coffins with gecko design means abundance and good-luck. Some coffins on the cliff where falling and you can see its remains on your way down to the cave. This piles of century-old coffins, carved out of timber guard the entrance of the Lumiang Cave. At first glance I thought the coffins looked like rocks, just as they seem to be naturally part of the cave, because green moss have conspicuously thriven the moist stuff. Obviously, the sizes of coffins are relatively small, because according to ancestral burial tradition, the dead were positioned inside the coffin just like a baby in a mother's womb. Though the sight is very unfamiliar and uncanny, I have the impression that this old tradition of the Sagada ancestors could simply reflect the intimate spiritual understanding and prime respect to God and nature. Sagada natives don't practice the tradition anymore instead they now follow the modern way of burying the dead. This is now part of a historical or cultural site in Sagada and one of the most visited areas in town.
Gecko Coffin

These hanging coffins were made of carved-woods. 

Before our spelunking begin Kuya Mark briefed us on what to expect inside the cave, the things that are expected from us to do, and taught us some skills for our safety. Sagada's cave connection tour is definitely isn't for the fainted hearted adventurer, because you need to be relatively fit and unafraid of being trapped miles underground in confined spaces wading through water which at times reaches as high as your chest, or might be beaten by a snake. It's too dark and the hole entrance going to the cave are very small. When I saw how small the way going down the cave I was doubtful If I would fit on it, because holes were very very small. I remember our guide Kuya Mark told us that the reason Igorot's fit on that whole, because they are very small. So my friend and I were telling ourselves we are Igorot too, just to keep us motivated ha!ha!ha!. Plus we get to see a 10 year-old kid spelunking on the cave so that made us motivated even more.
Our Tour Guide Kuya Mark fixing the lamp to guide our way down the cave.

Our guide Kuya Mark squeezing through a tight hole.

You really have to be focused on where you're stepping, crawling and holding because one slip and it could mean a fall to the waiting jagged rocks.
I was having hard time climbing up and this position is so wrong, please don't follow. The one my friend did is right. Safety first! :)

Our guide showing us how to climb up using this rope. The 10 year old kid and me crawling.

This activity may be fun but it can be a little risky too. You really need to be extra careful, obey your tour guides, trust them feel free to ask if you're not sure what to do. And most of all don't forget to ask guidance and protection from the Lord. And if you can't reach some foot landings, ask for your guides to assist you. After an hour of rock-climbing, and sliding we finally reach Sumaguing cave, where all limestone rock formation and icy pools can be found.
Sliding down limestone.

Left: Stalactite Rock Formation. Right: Flying "Shokoy" or Merfolk.

Behind me is a big Broccoli Vegetable Rock formation. 

Frog Rock Formation

On our way down to see more amazing rock formation.

Indoor Pool. The water is icy but so clear, it provides us an excellent opportunity to cool off :)

More indoor pool inside the cave. Feeling mermaid kami :)

Behind me is a Turtle Rock Formation.

Chocolate Marble Cake rock formation. 

Kings Curtain

Giant Pincers! 

Did you know that Sumaguing Cave is also known as the Porn Cave? Yup! You read it right, I have no idea it was known as Porn Cave as well until our tour guide show us the amazing rock formation that explains why. The rock formations inside is a resemblance of some private parts of humans. hehehe. Kuya Mark our guide has a good sense of humor in presenting all the rock formations that made us had a good time exploring the caves.




behind me is a Pregnant Women or the Queen rock formation

The King. German size as per our guide. LOL

The Prince

The Princess

The entire Lumiang-Sumaguing Cave Connection spelunking took us almost three hours to complete. We finally see the daylight signalling us to the caves exit. If your spelunking the cave connection, it usually start in Lumiang cave and exit through Sumaguing Cave. It was a great spelunking experience for all of us. It was our first time, feeling relieved, exhilarated and exhausted, we survived our underground adventure in Sagada.
I can see finally see the caves exit.

For some people who successfully conquered the Cave Connection would normally tell you its difficult. But as for me, I would rather call it challenging. Because some parts of the cave are manageable, but there were really some parts that required much caution, especially in Lumiang Cave, were in you have to climb rocks, go through very small holes, swimming in ice-cold water, going up and down via ropes, sliding down limestones, and soaking wet with shaking muscles. But nevertheless to say, we had an amazing experience and we absolutely loved it. And I would definitely recommend Sagada's Cave Connection to you, just make sure your ready to experience the fun, exciting yet deadly adventure of your life.
I survived Lumiang and Sumaguing Cave Connection.

Here are my five personal tips in your Cave Connection adventure.

1.) Wear shorts or leggings.

2.) Wear your slippers. No wearing of rubber shoes. Because most of the time you have to walk barefoot in this adventure.

3.) Put your important things like camera's, cellphone, wallet, etc. in a zip-lock or plastic to avoid getting it wet.

4.) Bring extra pair of t-shirt because you'll definitely get wet and so cold once you get out from the caves.

5.) Bring small bottle of drinking water or mineral water. Don't bring big bottle because it would be heavy for you to carry.

Thanks for reading.

All the best,
Tine ♥

My Spelunking Lumiang and Sumaguing Cave Connection in Sagada was featured in GMA, News as Youscooper ng Bayan for Summer Gimmick of Filipino.

TV Features : 

Unang Balita is the news segment of GMA Network's daily morning program, Unang Hirit. It's anchored by Rhea Santos and Arnold Clavio, and airs on GMA-7 Mondays to Fridays at 5:15 AM (PHL Time). 


News to Go is the daily morning newscast of GMA News TV, anchored by Howie Severino and Kara David. It airs Mondays to Fridays at 9:00 AM (PHL Time) on GMA News TV Channel 11.


Balitanghali is the daily noontime newscast of GMA News TV anchored by Raffy Tima and Pia Arcangel. It airs Mondays to Fridays at 11:30 AM (PHL Time).

Other related blog article about Sagada:

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  1. looks like it's a great and adventurous experience!

  2. I have certainly enjoyed your post girl. Thank you so much for sharing with us your experience and adventure. I am all of a sudden really interested. Maybe someday when we go back to Pinas, but I am claustrophobic and scared of the tight entry to the cave. Although, I have only been to a cave once and glad I didn't have any kind of panic attack. Anyway, it so fun watching the other shapes and forms. LOL! And my heavens, it is kind of creepy seeing all those coffins laying around like that. Such history in this area.

    1. Thanks girl, im glad u enjoyed reading :) You should try it super worth the risk ha!ha!.

  3. Hi ask ko lang if meron kang contact number nung tour guide mo sa cave (Kuya Mark) thanks

    1. Hi Jennefer Colada, Yeah I do. Here is his number +63947-475-2872. Good luck! :)