Several months ago, a friend invited me to cover her event in Camotes. She needed someone to document her activity which was part of her social work. She also promised that we would explore the islands if we had time. So, since the last time (and the very first time) that I visited Camotes was back in 2010, I naturally said yes. I mean, who could say no to Camotes?
We arrived in San Francisco, Camotes from Danao City at around 7 in the morning. From the port, we traveled for more than an hour to reach the town of Poro where the activity was going to take place. Travel to Poro was long but I didn’t remember most of it because I was asleep. By the time we were nearing Poro, however, I felt that the quick nap had fully re-energized me. And thankfully it did because it was going to be a very long day.
By noon, we were all set for the event. And just after lunch, the participants started to arrive. We managed to begin the activity at exactly 1:00 pm. And because Camotesanons are polite, friendly, and just plain awesome, we completed the activity without any hitch by 5:00 pm. If there had been issues raised or things that needed to be fixed, we would have returned the next day. Which also meant no more time to explore. But since everything was done at the end of day one, you all know what happened next! 🙂
The next day, we got up early so that we had plenty of time to roam around. The family who welcomed us in Poro had agreed to let us borrow their motorbike so that we could move from place to place with ease. Lovely, right?
After asking around, we finally decided to first set our eyes on Giwanon Cave in Barangay Cagcagan. Since data was out and getting a signal was as difficult as drawing a straight line at the back of a moving tricycle, we knew that there was a chance that we could end up not finding the places on time or at all. And of course, being extremely disappointed.
Around 15 minutes later, we reached Cagcagan – a seaside barangay with an amazing public beach. Although we were not really sure about our location, we just decided to follow the dirt road and see where it leads. And this is where the road took us – a beautiful secluded and quiet beach.
When we arrived there was no one around. So we decided to walk around hoping we’d find someone who could point us in the right direction.
But, alas! After 10 minutes there was still no one around. No one emerged from one of the houses nearby. What we saw instead was a bunch of dogs just enjoying the white powdery sand. This was honestly the biggest dog convention I’d ever seen.
A walk on the beach gave us a quick look at the coastal terrain of Cagcagan.
Rocky cliffs with mudflats for days? Just my type.
A few minutes later, when we were almost ready to turn back and leave, a lady emerged from one of the nearby homes. We grabbed this opportunity to ask her where Giwanon was. And without hesitation, she asked us to follow her. She was going to take us there herself!
Less than 2 minutes later, we finally saw this sign. We made it! Now, if only we had Php20 each! (Kidding!)
After paying the entrance fee, we were led down a path that obviously led to a nice and photogenic watering hole.
I also saw a statue of the Virgin Mary standing among the rocks.
Not sure what the story behind this is, but in the Philippines, it’s quite common to see a shrine or an altar in rocky areas.
And there you have it. Check out this very first look at the Giwanon Cave in Cagcagan, Pilar, Camotes.
Giwanon is pretty small. However, since the mouth of the cave is gigantic, you’d actually think that the cave is massive!
Several minutes later, a few local kids descended towards the water and started swimming. Seeing this, my friend quickly climbed down to experience the water as well.
Here’s another look at the beauty of the half-open Giwanon Cave in Poro, Camotes.
Hanging from the ceiling of the cave is one of the biggest stalactites in the area.
Take a look at the view from the bottom of the cave. The foliage and the huge boulder help keep the cave hidden from view and from the heat of the sun.
In this photo, two local toddlers observe the activities in the water from a safe platform near the top.
We stayed for a couple of minutes before it was finally time to visit other popular spots in Poro.
So, there you have it! The gorgeous Giwanon Cave in Barangay Cagcagan, Poro, Camotes.
We didn’t expect to see it up close and in person. But it definitely was a fun, timely, and lovely surprise that presented itself.
Not everyone gets to have this opportunity. It only makes sense to grab it! 🙂
Stay tuned for my next Camotes adventure!