Puerto Princesa Underground River – A Natural World Heritage Site

Jul 26

OK, let us continue our journey in Philippines.

The reasons why I wanted to visit this place is because it is listed in UNESCO World Heritage list (it has been nominated for the “New Seven Wonders of Nature” competition)  and the terms underground river sound like full of adventure (think Journey to the Center of the Earth). However it was not like that at all. It was actually a cave submerge in the water and the river does not flow like most rivers. The entrance to the cave is from the sea near Sabang town. 9 of us were stuffed into a small motor-powered bangka. As the bangka slowly chugged into the dark cave, the smell of guano became stronger. After few minutes in the cave, I got immune to the smell. Unlike thousands of swiftlets flying all over us in every directions with madness of chirps, the bats were seen hanging quietly on the stalactites, walls and ceiling oblivious to our presence. Our boatman would then direct Justin who sat at the front of the bangka (the boatman is at the back) to point the boat’s spotlight at weird rock formations that resembled animals, Jesus Christ and Mary even though I couldn’t make out some of them. I guess my imagination is as good as my believe. Mind you, Filipinos are predominantly Catholics. We have seen only the first 1.5 km of the cave even though it is navigable up to 8.2 km. Other than the cave, I also enjoyed the view in our 2 hours journey from Puerto Princesa to Sabang.

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