To the Porn Cave!

Woooot! It ranks number one on the list of the most popular activities in Sagada – the visit to the Porn Cave aka the Sumaguing Cave. The catchy sobriquet (with photos at the information center to match) will make even the claustrophobic, acrophobic and achluophobic to give the trek inside the cave a shot. And mind you, it’s worth the trip. If it’s not the search for the phallic natural formations, it’s the entire experience of caving that’ll thrill you. 
Edited shot of Sumaguing Cave huge interior.
The unedited shot.
Just like this visit to Sagada, it’s also my first time to go spelunking with rappelling to match. Not having done either activity individually, the combination sounded intense. But with seven other friends along, I’m up to the adventure, a three-hour adventure. 
Yes, three hours to get to the bosom of the cave and back. It’s two hours longer if we opted for the Lumiang- Sumaguing caves connection route. Too long, we thought. 
The butt crawl down.
It’s impossible to navigate the Sumaguing Cave without a guide (who quadruples as a torch bearer to light the trail, a porter so as not to get your stuff wet and a photographer – which they have totally mastered like paparazzi in a wedding ceremony). This is actually a journey for the señoritos and señoritas as the guides make it (a lot) easier. All you have to do is mind your footstep, your grip and the (vicious) bat poop where you may lay your hands on while grasping for support. 
Guide, torch bearer, porter, photographer

With the gas lamps lighted, we made our way down the concrete path to the cave’s mouth. Contrary to the photos you see on this page (edited for clarity), the cave’s interior is dark, it’s cold and wet, and the terrain steep and slippery thus the need to leave footwear by the “doorstep” and go barefoot.
Rest stop #1, A  pool shaped like a dinausor’s footprint

The snail’s pace (for safety) was made slower by the heavy foot traffic (the long weekend afforded a lot of the out-of-towners the chance to getaway) and creating a waiting time for a turn at the amazing photo-op spots (where there were lots, aside from the royal organs). 
Meeting the King, the Queen, the Prince & the Princess
That’s a giant turtle we’re sitting on. Sorry, Erika blocking the “head shot”.
And the curtain rock formation. Behind it is where the King & Queen are said to meet up and…
The amusement park vibe was fine. Besides, the pause gave us the chance to catch our breaths after an ass-busting crawl downwards. Maybe “The BUTT Cave” is another catchy name to call this place. 

We duck crawled the craggy trails, squeezed through crevices to deeper caverns, stripped, waded and swam underground pools and emerged at (drumroll, please)….rest stop #1. 

To reach the exit, we have to traverse the steep trail all over again. Ascending this time. It was the thighs’ turn to take the beating. It was still a long way to the top. 
Heavy traffic. Our turn to rappel in reverse.

Three hours after we emerged triumphant into the night. Totally thrilled and honored in the presence of the Porn Cave royalty (and more), we vowed to visit again soon. Next time, it will be the five-hour adventure of the connecting caves. That’s a good reason to come back to Sagada.


For more travel & lifestyle stories, visit http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/ and http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/

Published in Sun.Star newspaper on July 5, 2012.

So if you think these rock formations are amazing….

Check out this man-made formation that rocks! LOL!

Inspired by Temptation Island.

The Porn Cave makes a good location for a sequel to Temptation Island, don’t you think?

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