The Hindang Cave (Mis)Adventure

Barely a week after the Iligan City mini-tour (NPC Nature Park + Iligan Paradise Resort + Timoga Pools) experience, here I am again set for another adventure.  This time, I'm with Lai, Ma'am Binky, and Sir Pat, who are members of Iligan Bloggers Society, as well as Sir Gerwin and Ma'am Mara of DPWH.  

Clockwise from top left: Ma'am Binky, Lai, Sir Pat, Sir Gerwin, Jam, Ma'am Mara
The Guides:  Junric, Kuya Marvin, and Robert
Lai actually initiated this activity as she was having a waterfalls series for Iligan City for her Pinay Travelista blog.  Sir Pat (who is with the Iligan City Tourism Office) and his wife, Ma'am Binky, took care of the details of the plan. So essentially, I was merely the laagan* girl of the group who just read up their posts and replied with "Game! Let's conquer Hindang!" Haha! Such confidence from someone whose last mountaineering activity was six years ago for her undergraduate thesis! Yikes!

Anyways, I was wearing this when I braved through the Hindang adventure:

You'd see all sorts of wrong in this attire.  Clearly, I wasn't expecting a real mountaineering trail (I was kinda hoping for a Tinago-like pseudo-trail.) That's what you get for not being too involved in the planning phase and instantaneously decide to tag along. Haha! But then again, in my my defense, I'm comfortable in these. I even wore flip-flops because I'm not really a fan of rubber shoes and sandals. And I, being accident prone, need to wear something that I'm comfortable in.

Unsurprisingly, a few minutes into trekking, I had to sit to avoid slipping. Seriously, I was not prepared for that type of activity at this time.  I admittedly had minimal physical activity since venturing into home-based jobs about two years ago, so the mountaineering club membership way back has no bearing at all.

The muscle aches of the past week's adventure has not yet totally worn off, and here I am facing another wave of pains and aches. Oh well... 

After fifteen minutes of nature hiking, we had to stop to catch our breath, water up, and rest a bit to prepare for the loooooooong way ahead.

Then off we went for the steeper, more challenging part of the trek. The trail was seemingly not maintained, an indication that the Hindang Cave was not frequently visited, which makes sense given the type of trail you have to go through to get to the cave.  There were a couple of streams that needed to be crossed. There were areas with loose rocks. There were tall grasses. And of course, the dreaded steep areas with about 50- to 70-degree inclination, where one wrong step could leave you injured.

Perhaps you may be asking: Was Hindang Cave worth all the bruises, the scratches, and the sore muscles? Well, I'd give that a big, fat Y-E-S with a satisfied grin from ear to ear. Here are some of the photos we took:

Photo by Sir Pat

Photo by Sir Pat

Photo by Sir Pat
Watermarked photos from Lai.
With that said, I'd say I have no regrets at all for having instantaneously decided to tag along the trip.  At least I now know I still have that mountaineer spirit in me. Never mind the certainty that I'll have severe muscle aches and pains the next day. Never mind that I'd probably lie flat in bed the following day. Never mind that I'd hate stairs for the next few weeks. I'm super-duper-mega-over happy that I experienced (and survived) Hindang Cave.

So for anyone who wishes to visit the cave, always remember:
  1. The Hindang Cave trail is NOT for the faint-hearted. It is for experienced mountaineers and trekkers. Sure, adventure-seekers can go, but necessary preparations must be made (i.e., proper exercise, warm-up before hiking, etc.)
  2. Wear appropriate clothing. It's highly suggested you wear something that protects your arms and legs against insects and grasses. Most importantly, wear something very comfortable.
  3. Bring enough food and water. Don't forget to bring some for your guides as well.
  4. Bring flashlight and camera, and perhaps some music to listen to too. 
  5. Travel light. Put everything you need in a backpack.
  6. Enjoy the company of the people you are with. Take the opportunity to bond. Share some laughs and sing songs. It will make the journey a whole lot lighter.
  7. Don't push yourself too hard. Rest and water up if you must. 
  8. Above all, savor the fresh air; revel in the scenery; enjoy the experience. Smile.
Trekking Time
Uphill: 2-3 hours
Downhill: 1 hour

Trekking Fee: Php 5/person to be paid at the barangay hall
Tour Guides:  Php 300-400 (for the three guides)

How To Get There:
1. Iligan City proper to Granex, Kiwalan (Map: here, Travel Time: 30 - 45 mins)
          *Public Utility Jeepney / PUJ (Fare: 14Php)
          *Taxi (as agreed by passenger and driver)          
          *Private Car 

2. Kiwalan to Hindang: (1 - 1 1/2 hrs)
          *Jeepney (Fare: Php 35 - 40)          
          *Habal-habal / motorcycle (Fare: Php 50 - 60)          
          *Private Car

P.S.  To make the trip to Hindang more worthy, we also dropped by Hindang Falls before heading home.  Yes, there's Hindang Cave and Hindang Waterfalls.  Brgy. Hindang in Iligan City is blessed like that. Details of the waterfalls experience HERE.

*laagan: wanderer (n.); roamer (n.)
**More photos available here.

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