photos by adelle
my aunties and i visited a nearby tourist spot called CALLAO CAVE while we were in cagayan. it’s an amazing little corner of our province, marked by a captivating history and all sorts of natural wonders. the cave has seven chambers, the second of which was turned into a lovely (albeit eerie) chapel where weddings and special masses are sometimes held.
to get to the cave, we had to go up 184 steps of a rather steep stairway. this proved a bit daunting for my aunts, which in turn made me giggle at their reluctance to make the necessary effort. but each of us was armed with a bottle of water anyway so we just went for it and hoped for the best. a tour guide went up with us and as we reached the mouth of the cave, he told us about how it was discovered by an american in the 1930’s (if i remember correctly) and is believed to have been an old base camp of japanese occupants — thus inciting ghost stories and rumors of hidden treasures and booby traps. callao cave was later found to have bones of ancient man buried deep within the ground, which dispelled previous knowledge of the oldest dwellers in the philippines. now i thought that was pretty awesome.
we ended up only reaching the cave’s 5th chamber though, as the ups and downs of the final two were a bit more difficult to manage. we were also under time pressure (my other aunts had a bus trip home scheduled in a couple of hours) so we had to hurry out of there. it was a bit of a bummer, really, but in the end i figured it’s a good enough reason to someday return to the cave and be mesmerized by its beauty once again.