Continuing on the Sagada narrative. Sorry for the delay. I’ve got the katams sickness again.
You have not experienced Sagada fully if you did not go through the harrowing journey through their caves. Out of the 3 pre-set cave tours, the Sumgaging Cave tour is the “easiest.” When I say easiest, it’s only relative to the Crystal Cave and Cave Connection tours. It’s incredibly challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally. That’s why it’s recommended that you experience Sagada while you are still young and able to go through all the adventures that await you.
We hired a guide from SAGGAS (Sagada Genuine Guides Association). It’s mandatory for the cave tours because at least you have the greater chance of coming out alive. Go through their site http://www.saggas.net/ to know what to bring and what to expect.
The entrance to Sumaging Cave is impressive. The mouth is a massive whole that’s scary dark and mysterious. At the entrance, someone actually backed out because she remembered the traumatizing experience of going inside, the first time. That definitely didn’t do anything to steady my nerves. But being frugal and as we already hired the guide, the two of us remaining had no choice but to enter the cave of dooooooom!
What made the matter worse was that we were the only group there that day. As the rains were pouring, I don’t think the other tourists thought it was a good idea. Here were the famous Sumaging cave formations we found. Most of it have sexual references but I think that’s just because we Pinoys have dirrrrrty mind! Hehe
On the tour, you can expect to say this to your guide, “Manong, ok ka lang?,” “Di nga?,” “Nag-joke ka, manong?,” “Ha? Imposible naman yan, Manong?,” “Weh, di nga?,” “Malayo pa po ba?,” “Niloloko mo naman ako, manong!,” “Gitna na ba, manong?,” “Ano ‘ka mo, manong?”
The rapeling, I thought would be easy as I already had a death-defying experience with that one. But it turns out rapeling down with complete safety gear from a hundred feet story dam is better than rapeling up 20 feet of rock without safety harnesses is a bit worse. Especially if you’re overweight with no upper body strength to speak of.
Nevertheless, we came out alive with hardly a scratch. We were covered in bat shit and mud but at least we conquered the cave in less than the average time. It usually takes 2 hours for Sumaging Cave tour but we finished it in 1 hour and 30 mins. Not bad, considering we were stopping every so often to catch our breaths and I was seriously overweight. Sumaging Cave, done! Cave Connection, here we … NO!