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Caving / Potholing Mawab Compostela Valley


Class 2 Philippine Caving / Potholing Destination

The cave systems around Mawab are many but only a small selection have been surveyed by speleologists and only a few have so far been opened for general access. However, those that are open offer good adventure for caving / potholing enthusiasts.

Caving / Potholing Locations Around Mawab

The most acclaimed cave system in Mawab is that of the Mahayahay Cave, in barangay Tuboran. The Mahayahay Cave extends for 2Km and is classified into two course levels: Class A for novice caver; and, Class B for the more extreme adventure caver / potholer, who will take the route that requires jumping into and swimming across a large pool (about 20ft deep), in order to enjoy the full Mahayahay experience.

Apart from some stunning and unique stalactite and stalagmite formations, Mahayahay cave is also home to the “Kabyaw” and cave fish.

The Kabyaw is a specie of small fruit bat that is essential for pollinating fruit tress in the vicinity. The bat guano tumbles into the stream that flows through Mahayahay Cave and this in turn provides nutrition for a specie of totally blind cave fish.

Regrettably, every year the numbers of cave fish are reduced because of two acts of Man: the area of land that provides the watershed that feeds the streams is being deforested for agriculture, this causes much larger water flows through the cave streams during the rainy season as less rainwater is retained in the rainforest reservoir above; and, the bat guano is commercially harvested for use as fertilizer, the harvesting disturbs the bats so they are fewer in number as many have left and found roosts in other, more remote, caves. These acts of Man affect most caves systems throughout Mindanao to some extent, especially where the caves are not specifically protected.

To get to Mahayahay Cave, cavers / potholers have the choice to enter direct from Mawab (a 2Km hike) or to enter from the Nabunturan side, along the hiking trails that lead trough the 100-Hectare animal sanctuary known as the Camp Manuel T. Yan Ecotourism & Tribal Park

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Rent Caving / Potholing Equipment In Mawab

Renting Caving equipment and cave guides in Mawab is easy. Cavers / potholers need supply only their own protective overalls and then proceed to the Municipal Tourism Office of Mawab for registration, briefing and payment of caving fees. Caving fees of Php300 (less than US$10) for Class A, or Php450 (a little over US$10) for Class B, which includes caving / potholing equipment rental, Environmental User’s Fee and Cave Guide fee . . . it is acceptable to tip the cave guides if they have done an excellent jo

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