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Tayangban Cave Pool: Spelunking in Siargao

Tayangban Cave is a twin cave situated right off the Siargao Circumferential Road in Pilar, Surigao Del Norte. The cave, formerly called Kantoloi Twin Cenotes, was named after Siargao’s famous cave diver Bartolome “Toloi” Daclan. Now dubbed Tayangban Cave, only a little sign on the side of the road leads tourists to this hideout.

October 18, 2017 – After our relaxing time at Magpupungko Rock Pools and Pacifico Beach, my friend and I intentionally drove down the circumferential road in search of Tayangban Cave Pool.

 

 

We left our scooter at the hut along the road. It served as parking space for the vehicles of Tayangban Cave Pool goers. When entering, a group of men sitting on the bench greeted us and asked if we were to take a tour. The day tour to Tayangban Cave Pool costs ₱70.00 per head and we paid the fees at the sari-sari store where we also registered our names. Normally, it takes less than an hour for the tour to finish, but in our case, we finished it in an hour and 5 minutes. Not bad.

We were advised by the tour operators to leave our things behind because our bags will definitely get wet. However, we were carrying with us gadgets and equipment that are difficult to simply pick up later. My friend and I decided to hire two tour guides and entrust to them our precious belongings. It was the best decision we’ve made that day.

 

 

We haven’t even gone far, yet we could already see the cave pool by the entrance. With a height of 30 feet from jump-off to landing, thrill seekers could swing down or cliff dive. Although known for its clear turquoise waters, it’s such a shame that we visited the cave pool on a high tide season when the waters weren’t crystal clear.

 

 

We started our trail dipping into the waist-high waters as we navigate through the narrow run of limestones. It was hard to determine where to step next, but with the help of our tour guides, we were able to smoothly move around the steep path.

 

 

The depth of trail varied as we explored the cave deeper. There was a point where the only thing that helped us move forward was a bamboo stick. By this time we were already swimming, the waters reaching the chest.

 

 

Unlike other often visited caves, the Tayangban Cave seems to still have that natural sparkle from its untouched stalactites and stalagmites. Since it was just opened in 2015, I suppose that the attraction hasn’t gotten damaged by intrusive tourists yet. My only hope is that it maintains to be preserved, not exploited like what happened to Calinawan Cave, which already lost its natural glow because of frequent media shooting and vandalism by visitors.

 

 

There are various rock formations that one would witness upon getting further inside the cave. Many of those were the jellyfish-shaped rocks hanging from the ceiling.

 

Tayangban Cave Siargao

Tayangban Cave Siargao

 

We also spotted some bats in slumber, few of them busting out of their sleep as we approached.

 

Tayangban Cave Siargao

 

Finally, we were told by our guides that we have reached half of the caving experience. Far from what we know as a cave, the Tayangban Cave is actually a cenote. A cenote is a natural cavity, or sinkhole, emerging from the collapse of limestone bedrock that reveals the groundwater underneath.

 

Tayangban Cave (10)

Tayangban Cave (10)

 

This round opening indicates the end of the first cenote, leading the tourists to the opening of the other cenote.

 

 

Our tour guide asked us to have a photo taken with the famous twin limestone opening of Tayangban Cave. The second cave led us back to the starting point of the tour.

 

Tayangban Cave Siargao

 

Big thanks to our 19-year-old tour guide Jay-r who gave us helpful tips during the spelunking and the 21-year-old Jun who thoughtfully carried our heavy bag containing all our gadgets.

 

Tayangban Cave (10)

Tayangban Cave Siargao

 

 

 

Guide to Tayangban Cave

    • Waterproof your things! Make sure to gear up for the waist-high cave pool.
    • Bring a flashlight. It’s really dark inside!
    • Careful in touching the stalactites and stalagmites.
    • Do not vandalize!

 

Itinerary and Budget

October 18, 2017 6:00 AM ETD from Malinao View Beach Resort to Magpupungko Beach ₱450/scooter (Rental Fee); ₱350/motorcycle (Rental Fee)
6:45 AM ETA Magpupungko Beach / free time ₱20/parking space (parking fee); ₱50/head (entrance fee)
9:00 AM Breakfast ₱40/head (Lucky Me noodles LOL)
9:30 AM Swim
11:30 AM ETA Pacifico Beach
12:05 PM ETD from Pacifico Beach to Tayangban Cave
12:55 PM ETA Tayangban Cave / Start tour ₱70/head (Entrance Fee)
1:50 PM Finish Tour ₱150/tour guide (Guide Fee)
1:45 PM ETD to Malinao View Beach Resort
2:45 PM ETA Malinao View Beach Resort / Rest / Wash Up
4:30 PM ETD Malinao View Beach Resort to Kermit Siargao
4:40 PM ETA Kermit Siargao / Dinner ₱450/head (Average Meal Cost)
TOTAL EXPENSES ₱1,080 / head

 

 

How To Get There

From Manila to Siargao Island

Make sure to catch the fastest flight from Manila directly to Siargao Island via SkyJet Airlines. They offer low-fares for as low as ₱4,000 if you’re patient enough to wait for their promo. The 90-minute flight was smooth and comfy, all because of the spacious legroom and peaceful jet travel.

 

From General Luna to Sitio Tayangban, Pilar

Using the Siargao Circumferential Road, take a drive to Pilar. Be sure to be attentive with the sign on the road that points to Tayangban Cave Pool. It’s only a few meters away from the Paghungawan Marsh where endangered Philippine freshwater crocodiles dwell.

Note: DO NOT TRUST WAZE! Ask around and locals will help you out!

 

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