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.
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.
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.