To be honest, spelunking is really not my cup of tea. Just like hiking, I dont really enjoy walking for more than an hour except when Im with a group of fun people. During our visit in Camalig Albay as part of our Bicol Fam Tour together with PHILTOA and other members of the media, I decided to join the rest in exploring one of the most accessible Caves in Camalig Albay called Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave.
Hoyop-hoyopan Cave Entrance
Located in the town of Camalig about 30 minutes drive away from the city of Legazpi, Hoyop-hoyopan Cave is a famous tourist destination for locals as well as tourists. The caves are mostly made up of natural limestone and because of its natural ventilation, the Hoyop-hoyopan Cave is an ideal summer spot for adventure lovers and tourists coming to this part of Bicolandia.
Enroute to Hoyop-hoyopan Cave
Its my second time visiting this cave and what I like about this cave is the cool air inside. In fact, the caves are named for the wind that passes freely through the various openings all along the Cave system. “Hoyop” in the local language of Bicol means “blowing of the wind”. One of the caves’ many openings is known as the grand window through which visitors can enjoy a splendid view of the Mayon Volcano.
Huge Entrance of the Cave
The numerous entry and exit points of the cave vary between 2 meter and 10 meter in diameter which makes this an ideal destination for those people who loves exploring caves. Visitors might also need to crawl, squeeze or kneel in order to pass through them in order to reach some challenging chambers located in the cave. The cave also boasts of a mini pond and a concrete dance floor when the cave was transformed into an underground party place during the Martial Law period.
Fossilized human bone inside the cave
This place also interests historians due to the fact that there are innumerable formations that say a lot about people who stayed in that place hundreds or thousands of years ago as well as about their culture and traditions. The cave also housed several artifacts that are today showcased either at the National Museum of Manila or the Camalig Church.
Mini Pond in one of the small chambers
Today, the Hoyop-hoyopan Cave that is stretched across a generous area of 31.4 square meters is maintained by the families of the Soriano, Nieva and Nuilan. Some structures inside the cave were specially built for the safety of those who visit the caves.
One of the Cave Exits facing Mayon Volcano
A concrete staircase has been made which makes it convenient for visitors to access the other level of the cave. The cave has several shallow pools, chambers, stalagmites and mineral deposits. In order to allow the visitors to appreciate the beautiful rock formations of the cave, sufficient illumination is also provided. Nonetheless, carrying a portable light bulb or a torch light will definitely be handy.
Tourists and those who are interested to know more about the place are required to hire a tour guide at a nominal amount. Tourist guides are well-versed with the historical details of the cave. Visitors can complete the short tour in less than an hour. However, a full detailed tour of the place might take up to couple of hours.
There are couple of souvenir shops that sells locally handcrafted accessories made from minerals found in the cave. The entrance fee is 200 pesos for two to three persons, while the parking fee is P25. If you are in a group of more than 3 persons, entrance fee to the cave costs P50 per person and that already includes the tour guide fee.