It was with great trepidation as I stepped inside the cool chamber of Pinagrealan Cave. It was the first destination for Lakbay Norte’s eight-day jaunt through the northern parts of Luzon and the only preparation I did for this caving activity was to bring a flashlight.
The Pinagrealan Cave is a kilometer long cavern in Bulacan used by Filipino Revolutionaries during the Spanish and American uprising in the country. According to the books, even the great Emilio Aguinaldo hanged out at this cave.
The morning was just waking when we stepped off our Lakbay Norte bus. Golden rays were blooming up through the far horizon and the air was still crisp from the previous night. Still hazy from our short bus nap, we meandered groggily through the dirt path towards the Pinagrealan Cave.
A marching band greeted us upon arrival and with them a pre-breakfast kakanin meals, yummm! A perfect way to rouse our spirits for the walk ahead.
After welcoming talks from the local government and our caving guide, it was time to go. We trooped to the cave mouth and let its darkness swallow each one of us. I steadily went inside, checking steps after steps. My one and only lifeline, my flashlight, died after a minute inside. Stupid me forgot to charge the batteries!
So there I was, inching my way through the uneven grounds in total darkness, relying on my companion’s flashlights for clues on what’s ahead.
The first part of the walk was pretty easy, with the ground mostly flat. Passing sparkling crystal walls and pillars, the we encountered water. These spots are easily passed without getting wet though, but about halfway in, we were unable to keep dry anymore as we assaulted some knee-deep cold waters. We would be unable to move forward without wading through.
The width of the cave averages to about three meters, but there were a few times that we have to squeeze through narrow openings, one of which with waist-deep waters. The roof of the cave has some interesting shallow holes; I’m not sure what they’re all about though.
We waded through tummy-deep waters before reaching the far end of the Pinagrealan Cave. A small grotto-like pond terminates at the end of the chamber where according to our guide traverses to an inner chamber if one has the gut to dive through it.
Well, who says we don’t have the guts to dive? The only thing was we have no proper equipment for diving and besides, the water’s real cold and it’s dark too, so even if we were rarin’ to go further, we must turn back hehehe. It took the team exactly one hour and forty two minutes to get in and out of the cave, with the marching band kicking up a tune as we one by one went out into the light.
I dunked my useless flashlight twice in the water, almost losing it the last time I did but I didn’t slip nor tripped nor cramped even once! I consider my first spelunking adventure at the Pinagrealan Cave to be a major success! It may not be an epic Sagada-like cave, but it is still a longish cave nonetheless! And there’s no better way to celebrate my small victory by having Crispy Pata for breakfast! Yummm!!
Click to View Location on Google Maps
Entrance Fee: Php 10.00 (No Guide)
Contact: Bulacan Provincial Youth, Sports, Employment, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office (PYSEACTO)
firstname.lastname@example.org | (044) 791-6604
How to Get to Pinagrealan Cave: Catch a Barangay Bigte jeep from Norzagaray town proper and ask the driver
to drop you at the rotunda. From there, board a motorcycle straight to the cave starting point.
LAKBAY NORTE IS AN ANNUAL MEDIA FAMILIARIZATION TOUR AROUND NORTH LUZON
ORGANIZED BY NORTH PHILIPPINES VISITORS BUREAU