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Meet Tita Myrna and Tito Raul, she’s 52, he’s 53. A social worker in Bulacan and a tennis instructor in Abu Dhabi. They’re two of the most adventurous couples that I met during a trip in Sagada last March. They joined us in surviving the Cave Connection activity in this part of the Mountain Province.

March 4, 2011
Spelunking at the Cave Connection in Sagada

sagada cave connection
Tita Myrna & Tito Raul in action at the Cave Connection in Sagada, Mountain Province

After eating lunch, we proceeded to the entrance in Lumiang Cave to start our spelunking adventure. The Cave Connection in Sagada is one of the popular activities that one must undertake if ever you want to try exploring a cave.

Lumiang Cave

Entering from the Burial or Lumiang Cave and exiting at the Sumaging Cave, the whole duration would take at least four hours of trekking, climbing, sliding and crawling. All the while, you will be assisted with professional guides to also teach you a couple of things about the cave and some bits of information along the way.

lumiang cave
spelunking in Sagada

We wasted no time as this was going to be a long exercise. Contacting the Sagada Genuine Guides Association (SAGGAS), Andrew became our lead guide as he gave tips during the trek.

“Fall in line, fastest one will be at the last.” – this was to ensure that we would leave no one behind.

trek sagada
hike

The guides carried lamps and we were tasked to remove our shoes to get a better grip of the rocks and avoid slipping. You can just lend your camera, point and shoot or DSLR to them too. They know how to handle these gadgets so it won’t be difficult for you to get a number of photos in action.

sagada cave connection adventure
water

127 Hours Reference

One of the highlights that really sparked my interest during the trip was jumping on a natural pool that was freakishly cold. Around 5 degrees Celsius, a few companions and I took a dip in the water and the coldness hurt a little until my body got used to the temperature. This reminded me of the movie with James Franco playing Aron Ralston in 127 Hours.

127 hours sagada
Sagada Trip and the Movies

With all the rock formations inside, I simply had to insert my arm in one of the holes, pretending to be trapped. Don’t get me wrong though, I love the movie and found it very inspiring. Despite the guy cutting his arm, he still pursued his passion for exploring.

sagada poolpool party

Stalactites & Stalagmites

The caves are filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and as a lesson on responsible tourism, these stalagmites should not be touched because these usually takes thousands or millions of years to form. Our skin acts like an acid which hinders the growth of these rocks when touched. – see more info here: Wikipedia – Stalagmite.

dark cave connection
dark

Getting Dirty

We climbed, we slipped, we fell, we we slid, all the time, Tita Myrna & Tito Raul also climbed, slipped, fell and slid.  We passed through narrow holes and we also got wet in the process.

As a tip, wear clothes that you don’t want to bother showing off. You’ll get wet and dirty along the way that vanity should be the least of your concern. One needs to be careful and follow the guides to ensure safety. The SAGGAS were very professional with how they handled the tour and it showed that they really knew what they were doing.

slide sagada
slide

It’s a shame if one of us complained when you couldn’t hear a single remark from the couple saying they were tired. They had fun and the best thing was that they were game enough to smile for photos when I took their shots.

sagada cave
Tita
 Myrna in Sagada

raul sagada
Tito Raul

We came in at 3pm and got out to the other side at 7:30pm, it took us 4.5 hours which wasn’t so bad with all the photo ops along the way. I know we were going to be sore the next morning but I couldn’t rant. We had these folks joining us who were also happy to survive this Cave Connection adventure.

sagada cakefamous cake-like spot

It just goes to show that you can never be too old to go on a travel adventure. If this couple was able to do it, then so can you.

6 Months After…

Luckily saving her number on my phone, I called Tita Myrna 6 months after our Sagada adventure and had a quick interview. She warmly remembers me when I explained who I was and sends her regards to the rest of our companions. It turns out that Tito Raul is in the United Arab Emirates but he’ll be back some time this year, just in time for the late holidays. I grinned at the thought that I discovered when I asked a little further…myrna and raul
*Conversation translated to English

Me: So Tita. What prompted you to go to Sagada?
Tita Myrna: Nothing really, while having breakfast in Banaue, we overheard a conversation that it’s a nice to place to visit.
Me: So you never planned it at all?
Tita Myrna: No, we didn’t even have extra clothes. All I had with me was my make-up!
Me: What did you do there?
Tita Myrna: My husband and I just decided to go there.
Me: So you went out for a date?
Tita Myrna: Umm, yeah. You can call it that.

A decision out of curiosity and the desire to spend time together. With no plan, no itinerary, no idea even, on what to expect there. They went to Sagada just for a date.

 

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blogcarnival

 

 

This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Blogger’s Blog Carnival themed Unforgettable Human Encounters on the Road which is hosted by Marky of Nomadic Experiences. Click on the Blog Carnival Logo on the left to see more interesting posts and topics.

 

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Useful Tips:
You can check out VisitSagada.com for directions to Sagada.
Also, visit the SAGGAS – Sagada Genuine Guides – Cave Connection.

Check out my other blog articles about my Sagada adventure trip here:


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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.


24 comments… add one
  • Ayun! I was looking around for any holiday references akala ko wala. Lol.
    I tried spelunking once in Sumaguing, will not do it again. Haggardo Versoza lang. Wiz ko bet itiz talaga. It was fun doing it once, but my body really can't tolerate freezing water.

  • AJ

    I wish my lover and I would still be as adventurous and spontaneous as them when we hit our golden years. 🙂 Lovely spin to the story, Ed!

  • Nice post! Very interesting article. I will bookmark this =P

  • And now I wonder when this 50 something will visit Sagada! Hint: I'm older than your Tita Myrna. Ha ha ha.  Adventure!

  • huwah! kakapraning talaga ang cave connection! sobrang ganda, sobrang saya pero di ko na uulitin maybe next lifetime hahahah naks!

  • Wow! I love this post Ed, I hope pg-50ish na ako ganto pa din ako k-spontaneous! Kudoz to Tita and Tito! 😀 At bigla ako nainggit, dahil nde pa ako nkkpg-Sagada.

  • @robbie: malapit na kasi holidays. hehehe. kaya yan. ikaw kaya ang diyosa.hehe

    @AJ: kaya yan AJ. You're already doing great with all your travels. Thanks! 😀

    @micamyx: spammer! calling Akismet. lol

    @tita lili: soon yan tita! and do the cave connection din, that will be a story to tell! 😀

    @supertikoy: haha. ako gusto kong ulitin. hehehe. kahit yung pakay ko lang ay yung pool 😀

    @tinathefrustratedtraveler: thanks tina! more power to you can carlo. for sure mas marami pa yan sa inyo! punta kayo sagada on summer. 😀

  • Ada

    Hindi ko alam kung bakit ako laging nageenjoy sa post mo haha! Natawa ako ng malakas dun sa part na nagpretend ka na natrap hehe!! Nice experience though. Sometimes, it's not just the place that's interesting, but the random people you encounter. 

  • I love Sagada! Hindi ako nagsasawang magbasa ng mga Sagada posts! 🙂

  • @ada: haha, kasi kulit ka rin katulad ko, Ada! hahaha.

    @marx: will be writing more entries about the place! watch out. hehe. 😀

  • angswet! hihihi!  same with the other comments.. sabi ko nun ayoko ng bumalik. tama na ng minsang pinahirapan ako ng mga kweba na yan. Pero nagdadalawang isip na ko ngayon. hahah! Yung picture na may caption Spelunking in Sagada.. hindi ko makakalimutan ang part na yan. Sabi nung guide "wag na wag po kayong bibitaw kung hindi ka sigurado sa kinakapitan at tinatapakan mo." Hindi nakatulong.. nanginig ang tuhod ko. hahaha!

  • This post reminded me that it's not yet too late to have fun even if my parents are approaching the retiring stage… I will show this to them and encourage them as well to travel for their own enjoyment and never be guilty na maiiwan kaming mga anak nila. 😀

  • Another nice story for this month's blog carnival… Wow that 4.5 hours of caving is long!

  • i was impressed when you mentioned about this last saturday. kakaiba nga sina tita myrna and tito raul. im hoping to meet them or at least someone like them.

  • @kura: hahaha. kakatakot nga pala yung cave connection. ngayon ko lang narealize na matagal na pala ang 4.5 hours na pagspelunking. hehe.

    @byron: wow, thanks for sharing this to your parents. definitely hope to encourage more people to travel. kelangan din naman ng ating mga magulang ng time alone. 😀

    @ian: haha, thanks ian! 😀

    @dong ho: marami din akong natutunan dahil sa adventure na ito. thanks for also sharing how important it is to meet people when we travel!

  • I first commented on your blog upon reading your Sagada post (I can't remember the exact date). And now, Sagada entry again, however, different story. Cave connection is really a must in Sagada. This is more fun and adventurous compared to 127hrs. I found the movie boring, though inspiring. 🙂
    More travels, Ed!

  • Magandang idea ito.. Magdate sa sagada.. 🙂
    Nice…

  • I missed cave connection when I went to Sagada
    Sad… I enjoyed Sumaging though!!!

  • @roman leo reyman: wow, maybe something about Sagada, huh? hehe. Will be posting more stories about this trip! Haha, I can relate with the movie being long? But yeah truly inspiring, loved the ending part there! Thanks Roman! 😀

    @Tripper10: haha, di ba? malamig dun eh. hehe

    @simurgh: More reason to go back! Thanks for dropping by my blog! 🙂

  • am excited.. ill be staying in sagada for 5 days this coming October 🙂
     

  • I can still clearly remember the feeling of dipping in that freakishly cold natural pool. Good thing your guide didn't mind much the constant taking of photos, ours was a bit in a hurry and was quite annoyed when in fact we made it out of the cave in just 3 hours.

  • @mich: wow, 5 days din ah… lapit na! 😀

    @lakwatsera de primera: haha, lamig talaga di ba? bilis ng 3 hours ah! it helped that they were the ones who took the photos. 😀

  • Rachelle

    OMG! i wish i could go to sagada 🙂 i wanna experience that famous cake-like spot too! im so envious 🙁 i love caves too! we visited some caves in camotes islands and in samar . it was extremely fun and adventurous!

  • gareth

    @lakwatsera: sa municipyo siguro kayo kumuha ng guide..

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