This is a story about friends who will try spelunking together for the very first time … What do you do when your friends had never tried anything like that before and if they’re not properly equipped for caving? Witness the discovery of an amazing friendship, wittiness, epic failures and the beauty of feet spelunking.
Happy Chinese New Year! Welcome to the Horse Year! It’s the first day of the Chinese Calendar and yes, we are no Chinese! The only thing we celebrated it for is that we do not have classes on holidays (the perks of being a teacher and we are paid). That gives us a day to get together and plan a simple house global warming at Lein’s crib and do some adventure!
This is just amazing! Being friends with Lein, Mai and Pao for quite some time now, but after so many chances of inviting them for an adventure… this is really is it!
It started first with a (Global) House Warming the evening of the 30th (January). It was our first time to visit Lein’s house at at San Jose Bulacan and she’s our host for the night. What a better way to celebrate holidays is to have good foods, awesome friends and fantabolous drinks. Lein and Mai prepared all the foods while Pao & Violet had bought few drinks: the Bar Apple and the pretty much Antonov (red). We had dinner first, and later, the drinks. We do have chips, too. What completed the night was when we played lucky 9. Loser will end up with lipstick marks on the face. But when we are done with the “Bar Apple,” we tried the Antonov and much to our surprise – it’s 80% alcohol. It felt like drinking acetone! And who would want that? That gives us no choice but to play it with cards. Card Game: Lucky 9. Drunk & Bloated. Winners will be spared for the drink, the unlucky one will drink a full cap and full cup of water as chaser, though. That’s pretty much it.
As Beyonce said: “Who run the world? Girls!” Girls had won the night! Pao ended with a bloated tummy and he’s out of the house. LOL!
MORNING. What time is it? It’s adventure time. Yet pretty much we had our fair share of dizziness, thanks to Antonov, so we had breakfast first, bathe and STAND STILL MOMENTS. We left the house around 9:00 AM. Went to an ATM machine and went to Pao’s house to drop our extra baggage and tag along his borther – Gab. I think it was past 10:00 AM, we ascend to Norzagaray and explore the Pinagrealan Cave.
At Bigte, we hired 2 tricycles to take us to the cave, 20 pesos/each for the ride. We are then assisted by kids who are actually the guides and we signed on the few waivers and paid 50 pesos for the entrance. They provided helmets and small flashlights. Then, off we go!
- FOOTWEAR. You don’t trust what you’re stepping at. The cave is bit treacherous. You don’t want to end up with cuts and bruises especially in the feet. Use slippers, hike shoes or wet shoes but rubber shoes? I guess, No. A bit heavy specially if walking into the water.
- CAMERA AND LENSES. You can bring your camera. Digicam is good but for DSLR, essential question is where will you get the light to make it focus? Small flashlights can do no good. Bring headlamps or better Coleman. Violet’s 18-55mm is better but Pao’s 55 – 200mm, terrible. It zooms only see an entire chubby cheek and sweaty face, and if t’s too far from the light source it won’t took a photo.
- TRIPOD & REMOTE. To take a good group photo, this is why Pao brought it. But too much for a surprise, we don’t have the enough source of light, there’s no flat surface, and to affix it and fold it again, is such a time-waster. And the remote is not a good idea since there’s no dry are to put the camera down.
- CELLPHONES. This is no safe zone for cell phones and gadgets. There are waist-deep waters to be crossed, you don’t see anything below the waters and Galaxy Note 2 is bigger than a palm. Violet ended up raising her arms to savage her cell phone and camera. Way to go, girl!
- BEING THE PHOTOGRAPHER. You brought the camera to photograph events and to have a little souvenir photo of you, too. You ended up photographing awesome shots but “NO YOU” in it. Huhuhu!
- CABBAGE. Wear comfy shirts but cover the cabbages, too. LOL! Nobody said you’ll be bending a lot on the edges and corners of the cave.
- ASSES. The photographer goes last but make sure you are ready for stolen shots.
- SWIMMING LESSONS. Keep calm and keep swimming. Caves have water and not all clean water.
Since Violet cannot photograph herself due to the lack of light source, she used her headlight to just photograph her feet and the feet of her companions.
Pinagrealan Cave at Norzagaray Bulacan had exceeded my expectations. I was thinking it was just a boring cave due to lack of good photos over the internet, I was so wrong. It’s not as grand as the Sumaging-Lumiang cave connections in Sagada but definitely, its worth a visit. Be amazed with the basins, clear water, living creatures in the caverns and waters, and beautiful rock formations. Enjoy the rest of the shots in and out of the cave.
Pinagrealan Cave Photos