Bukilat Cave

Hole in the ground: Camotes’s Bukilat Cave

Inside Bukilat Cave with its pool

Cement steps from up

I held on to the motorcycle driver as he sped along the lonely road in Poro Island in Camotes, across nondescript houses, coconut groves and into the rolling countryside. I like the Camotes environment. Bucolic and simple with life just slowing down. Unhurried.

In less than 30 minutes, I was already at the entrance to the property where the cave was supposed to be. But there was no protrusion or rock wall that sort of surprised me. Only a rocky terrain with shrubs and trees. Where? I asked. And I was pointed to a hole in the ground.

A hole in the ground

It was a gaping maw, dark inside with cement steps. Stalactites at the holes edges look like bared fangs. The sight of it can send shivers down the spine. But I just want to enter and discover for myself.

Going down into the cave, the coolness of the ground can already be felt. My eyes adjusted to the darkness and, boom! its a different environment! With a very cool pool, stalagmites and overhangs.

Another view of the cave

Stalagmites that were man-altered

But evidence of a man altered environment is everywhere: pooled in water, a path around the cave, and a praying hand, sort of, intentionally done on one stalagmite near the center. Around the cave, one can see graffiti on the walls amongst moss covered stone.

Is it a great cave experience? Well, Bukilat Cave has already been altered too much. It doesn’t have the massiveness of Callao Cave but for just a cool bath inside a cave and a short roundabout can also be a worthwhile experience and something to do while in Camotes. Its also a good and people friendly introduction to caves.

Bukilat Cave is very much accessible as it is a popular destination for locals. The easiest to do is just hire a habalhabal (motorcycle) which is the main mode of transport here. However, you have to haggle and perhaps work out that the driver will wait for you or your group.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.


  1. Reydan Duldulao
    September 21, 2012 @ 14:31

    Wow!!! Breathtaking… Hanep!

  2. estancabigas
    September 21, 2012 @ 15:10

    thanx! 🙂

  3. Elmer
    October 7, 2012 @ 20:44

    Nice shots! I’ve been here just last September too but and my shots are not as good as yours. Hahahhaha

  4. estancabigas
    October 7, 2012 @ 20:47

    Okay lang yan bai, at least you’ve been there too 🙂

  5. Elmer A. Sia
    October 11, 2012 @ 18:07

    Tama ka nga dun sa man-altered na description sa Bukilat Cave. Hinde k nga namalayan o naisip yan. Obvious na obvious yung stairs.

    Sa Tumibo Cave pumunta ka din?

  6. estancabigas
    October 11, 2012 @ 18:25

    Hi Elmer, haven’t been to the other cave. Just this one.

  7. Elmer A. Sia
    October 11, 2012 @ 19:34

    Tumibo is nice but Bukilat is way better. Forgot the number of holes above the cave where light passes through though.

  8. estancabigas
    October 11, 2012 @ 23:26

    will try to check Tumibo when I will get to visit Camotes again. thanx elmer 🙂

  9. Elmer A. Sia
    October 12, 2012 @ 6:02

    keep them coming estan 🙂 thanx

  10. Carlo Aces
    October 18, 2012 @ 17:04

    Honestly I’m not a cave person kaya you won’t see any posts on my blog about caves. As a matter of fact, I stay away from one even if the itinerary allows me to visit it. I find it revisiting scary nightmares as a kid kasi. Also, I find it not appealing to takes pictures of because I’m only using a digital cam LOL. However, the lighting and the shapes inside Bukilat Cave seem to be friendly to the eyes. Plus, I guess you have good camera eyes for shadow and light.

  11. estancabigas
    October 18, 2012 @ 17:26

    I had a tripod and the photo is a haphazard attempt at HDR. hehehe

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