Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Inland Tour at Gigantes North: The Lighthouse and Bakwitan Cave

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If you happen to read my blog post about our island hopping at Islas de Gigantes, I mentioned on it that we had an inland tour at Gigantes North (Norte). And as promised, here's my detailed entry about it. The inland tour isn't that grand compared to the island hopping but it was a good trip incase you still have some spare time to spent. The whole tour took us 4 hours including photo op which covers a visit to Gigantes North Island Lighthouse and Bakwitan Cave.

How did I got there?
Well Gigantes North is usually part of the island hopping tour at Islas de Gigantes. This is where most of the resorts are located so basically locals are familiar to the island. Kindly refer to this [link] to know more on how we got to Gigantes North. So to cut the story short, the resort we stayed-in was located at Gigantes North and we discovered about the inland tour of Norte from Kuya Kim which happens to be our island hopping tour guide. His brother, Kuya Glenn, offers tourists inland tour which costs 200 Pesos per head which in includes transportation by means of riding a habal-habal (motorcycle).

North Gigantes Island Lighthouse

We started our inland tour at six in the morning. Kuya Glenn picked us up at the resort along with his habal habal drivers. We got ecstatic when we saw them because each one of us had our own habal-habal and a driver. We were 9 in the group therefore we also have 9 motorcycles for this trip. How cool was that?

Off to the lighthouse

Our first destination was the lighthouse. Gigantes North is still not that civilized so the road going to the lighthouse is pretty rough and bumpy. It also rained the day before our inland tour so most part of the road was still muddy. Although it was like a roller coaster ride, I was able to enjoy our way to the lighthouse. I was able to witness how simple the villagers lived here and how much this island is blessed with natural resources.

Entrance of the lighthouse

The place is ideal for sun rise viewing. Unfortunately, we reached the area around 6:30 am and the sun has already set itself high. Based on our guide, if we really want to witness the sunrise we should have been there around 5-5:30 in the morning. Despite missing the scene, our group still enjoyed exploring the site. The area isn't that big but I find it visually attractive specially the ruins part of the lighthouse. I simply love its old structure and how picturesque it is.

Love the rustic vibe of this place
Aim and pose!
Just a random shot

The gate of the lighthouse was locked during our visit so we weren't able to climb up. Nonetheless, you can still able to see the breathtaking view from the foot of the lighthouse and that was enough for us.

The view at the foot of the lighthouse

Bakwitan Cave

From the lighthouse, it took us almost half an hour before we reached the jump off point of Bakwitan Cave. Have those feet ready and stretched out as you need to trek in order to make it on the mouth of Bakwitan Cave. It was a challenging trek to some of us as not all of my buddies are used to trekking and the trail is so muddy because it rained the day before we went there. The trail was so steep and muddy that it requires us to use our hands and sometimes slide-in in order to pushed through. As we reach the entrance of the cave, we are pretty much pumped up and just a bit covered with mud. Haha.

Our habal habal drivers are also the one who assisted us on our to Bakwitan Cave

Before we get inside of Bakwitan Cave, Kuya Glenn orient us the DOs and DON'Ts while inside of it. The photo below summarized the orientation and I suggest to everyone who will visit the cave to follow these rules to maintain orderliness:

Obey these simple rules

Just like any other cave, Bakwitan has stalagmites and stalactites formations scattered on different parts of the cave. We were also able to see how those things started as we saw small ones which about 5 inches tall. As per our guide, it will take hundreds of years to actually form so locals surround the small stalagmites with stones so visitors will not step and crash on it. That simple act is really admirable as I really saw how these people protect their own natural resources. Another highlight of the tour inside Bakwitan cave are the images formed in its walls and ceiling. All you have to do is use your imagination.

What makes Bakwitan Cave special are the stories which formed during the years. Bakwitan derived from the word "evacuate" to "refuge". This cave serves as a hiding place for Filipinos during the Japanese colony to escape from slavery. And up until now, this place acts as an evacuation site for the residents of Gigantes North every time a strong typhoon hits the area.

At the mouth of Bakwitan Cave
The cave was so dark and I don't have the right tools with me that day. So I have no decent photos inside the cave. :| Shame...

Entrance of Bakwitan Cave

The two sites were pretty simple compared to the other sites surrounding Islas de Gigantes. Yet, I still recommend these to everyone to include them on your itinerary when visiting Gigantes. This tour thought me (even just a little information) about Gigantes and its people. It is also nice to know that it is not just about island hopping but they also have inland tours at Gigantes.

If you also want to avail Kuya Glenn's service, you may reach him at 09124567959. I don't know if he can still remember me/us but if you can, please say hi for me!

Breakdown of Expenses: 
Inland tour - 200 Pesos per head
Donation at Bakwitan Cave - **.**

3 comments:

  1. This is a heaven for me. Motorcycle riding, cave, trekking and swimming. Will definitely visit gigantes on summer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is paradise. I hope I can go there soon

    ReplyDelete

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