Surviving Sumaging Cave in Sagada, Mountain Province

Surviving Sumaging Cave in Sagada, Mountain Province

After enjoying the breathtaking views of the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, we then headed to our next destination – Sagada, Mountain Province.

Sagada is located 275 kilometer north of Manila and is adjacent to its provincial capital, Bontoc. And after enduring the four (4) long hours of bumpy and dusty ride from Banaue, our group had finally reached the province of Sagada. Everyone in our group was so tired when we reached the place so after checking in at George Guest House, we all rested for a few minutes, walked around Sagada, ate our dinner and then slept early for tomorrow’s activities.

Spelunking at Sumaging Cave in Sagada, Mountain Province

Sagada is well known for its popular activities such as trekking, spelunking, rappelling, hiking and visiting historical sites. It was on our second day, when everybody woke up early and eagerly prepared for one of the highlights of our Sagada trip – “spelunking.” Most of us are new to caving and some of our office colleagues were very much afraid of the “Cave Connection,” which is a 4 to 5 hour spelunking activity from Lumiang Cave to Sumaging Cave, so our group just decided to take the spelunking activity at Sumaging Cave.

On our way to Sagada Sagada Welcome Signage George Guest House - Sagada, Mt. Province
Good Morning Sagada! Breakfast in Sagada On our way to Sumaging Cave
Group Pic in Sagada Great view on our way to Sumaging Cave Entrance to Sumaging Cave

Sumaging Cave is a frequent tourist attraction and is also one of the most popular caves in Sagada. Also known as the “Big Cave,” this cave served as the Filipino soldiers’ refuge from the Japanese guerrillas during the World War II. It is interconnected to other caves in Sagada such as the Lumiang Cave and one would usually take almost 2 to 3 hours to explore the cave.

As we go inside the cave, each of us tried to hold on tight to the rocks because the steps going down were really steep and slippery. There were also thousands of bats at the cave’s opening so you better watch out for dropping bat guano as you go down the cave. In the middle of the trail, we were then asked by our guides to remove our sandals since it is easier to walk barefoot on the steep rocks.

Sumaging Cave's Opening First few steps going down Sumaging Cave Trail down Sumaging Cave

Inside the cave, one will surely be astonished by the cave’s natural and splendid beauty. You will see different and awesome rock formations with funny and interesting names, tiny waterfalls, a mini pool and magnificent stalactites and stalagmites as you trail down the cave.

Rock Formations - Sumaging Cave, Sagada Rock Formations - Sumaging Cave, Sagada Rock Formations - Sumaging Cave, Sagada
Mini Rice Terraces - Sumaging Cave King's Curtain - Sumaging Cave Chocolate Cake - Sumaging Cave

There are also some parts of the trail wherein you will need to get in through tiny holes, pass by high steep inner passages, rappel using rustic ropes and walk or swim in waist deep cold water.

Going through the tiny holes - Sumaging Cave in Sagada Going through the tiny holes - Sumaging Cave in Sagada Going through the tiny holes - Sumaging Cave in Sagada
Rapelling at Sumaging Cave in Sagada Crossing one of the passages of Sumaging Cave Sumaging Cave

And after almost three (3) hours of spelunking, our group had finally found our way back out and we’re all glad and proud to say that we survived Sumaging Cave!

Leaving Sumaging Cave Spelunking Aftermath We survived Sumaging Cave!

For those tourists who are more adventurous and who would want more adrenalin rush, you may also want to try the “Cave Connection.”


  • Visitor Registration: P10.00/pax
  • Guide Fee: Around P250.00 – P350.00/pax
  • Kerosene Lamp: P50.00

Must Haves

  • A good licensed guide
  • Quick drying clothes
  • Sturdy, comfortable and non-slippery rubber sandals with traction (However, you will be bare footed inside the cave)
  • Headlamp (Though your guide will also be bringing a kerosene lamp)
  • A pair of gloves
  • Plastic bags or Ziplocs (To put in your camera, wallet and mobile phones)
  • Camera (preferably waterproof) with extra batteries, extra film, extra CF or SD Cards
  • Small backpack to put on your things
  • Small towel

On a side trip, we also visited these historical and nice places in Sagada after our spelunking activity at Sumaging Cave.

Lumiang Cave

Coffins at Lumiang Cave in Sagada Coffins at Lumiang Cave in Sagada Coffin Carvings
Lumiang Cave's Opening Coffin at Lumiang Cave in Sagada Coffin at Lumiang Cave in Sagada

We passed by this burial cave on our way back to George Guest House. Referred to as the “Small Cave,” Lumiang Cave is a sacred burial ground for the ancient Sagadans where the pine wood coffins are stacked on top of the other. The coffins here can be viewed near the cave opening.

Lake Danum

Arriving at Lake Danum in Sagada Group Pic at Lake Danum in Sagada Lake Danum in Sagada
Lake Danum in Sagada Our group at Lake Danum in Sagada Lake Danum in Sagada

After having our lunch, our group then headed to Lake Danum, a small lake which can be found at the borders of Sagada and its neighboring municipality, Besao. Lake Danum, which literally means “lake water,” is four (4) kilometers away from the municipal hall of Sagada and is a great place to have picnic, to relax and to watch the sunset.

The whole experience was really strenuous but it was truly fun and exciting. This was definitely an experience of a lifetime that one shouldn’t really miss.

Getting There

From Manila, Sagada is accessible via these routes:

Manila – Baguio City – Sagada Route

From Manila, Victory Liner has daily trips to Baguio and vice versa which leaves these terminals – Caloocan, Pasay, Cubao and Sampaloc every hour. It is a 6 to 8-hour travel for P460.

From Victory Baguio Terminal, take a cab to the Dangwa Bus Station. It is a 10-minute ride for P40. At the bus station, take either a Lizardo or GL Transit bus to Sagada. First bus leaves at 6.30 a.m. while the last bus leaves at 1.00 p.m. It is a 6 to 7-hour travel for P220.

Manila – Banaue – Sagada Route

From Manila, the following air conditioned buses usually have daily trips to Banaue and vice versa:

Dangwa Tranco Company Incorporated
Terminal: 1600 Dimasalang St. Sampaloc, Manila / 832 Aurora Boulevard, Cubao, Quezon City
Tel. No: (+63 2) 731-2879 / (+63 2) 410-1991

Autobus Transport Systems Incorporated
Terminal: 1455 SH Loyola St. corner F. Cayco, Sampaloc, Manila
Tel. No: (+63 2) 493-4111 / (+63 2) 740-7959

Florida Bus Lines
Terminal: Lacson St. Corner Espana (near UST) Manila
Tel. No: (+63 2) 731-5358 / (+63 2) 912-5354 / (+63 2) 743-3809

Trip Schedules: These buses usually leaves Manila at around 10.00 p.m. daily
Fare: Ranges from P450 – P475
Duration: 8 to 9 hours

Upon reaching Banaue, ride a tricycle to Banaue Town Proper for P20. Catch Immanuel Bus Line for the 2-hour travel to Bontoc for P100. From Bontoc, take a 45-minute jeepney ride to Sagada for P35.

Manila – Bontoc – Sagada Route

From Manila, the following buses usually have daily trips to Bontoc and vice versa:

Cable Tours
Terminal: E. Rodriguez Quezon City (Near Trinity College)
Tel No: (+63 74) 602 1068
Cell Nos: (+63 918) 521 6790 / (+63 921) 448 8814
Trip Schedule: 8.00 PM [Manila – Bontoc] / 3.00 PM [Bontoc – Manila]

Kasilen Transport
Cell Nos: (+63 917) 862 9574 / (+63 916) 360 3483

It is a 12-hour travel for P500 – P650. From Bontoc, take a 45-minute jeepney ride to Sagada for P35.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, September 6th, 2009 at 1:09 am and is filed under Mountain Province. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


62 responses to “Surviving Sumaging Cave in Sagada, Mountain Province

  1. comment-656

    Hi! That’s a big group you were with! I only ever went to Sagada with about three people tops. Next time you go, visit the big falls to – Bomod-ok. The rice terraces there offer a breathtaking view as well. 🙂

  2. comment-657

    You guys seem to enjoy your activity. I don’t know if I could really step in a cave. Feels like I got cold feet already. Congratulations for Surviving 😀

  3. comment-658
    Wayne Post author

    @Vera: Yeah, we really are with a big group. Haha! 😀 Yup, we went to Bomok-Ok Falls too. Will be posting it on our next article. 😉

    @Madz: Yup, we really did. Thanks! You should try this as well. I tell you, it’s such a great experience. 😀

  4. comment-661

    Uy, thanks for visiting my blog and commiserating with me. Cannot be reached na yung cp ko… 🙁

    Sagada is a special place. You can go there either as part of a group or alone. And I’m sure you’ll have a terrific experience nonetheless. Namiss ko tuloy ang Yogurt House at ang Masferre cafe. Unfortunately, di ko na kinaya ang mag-caving when I was there. Kse nasprain ang paa ko while shopping in Sagada weaving. Haha…so umuwi ako na iika-ika. But I still had the best time of my life. 😀

  5. comment-663
    Wayne Post author

    Hey Crystal!

    Baka naman na-low batt na yung phone mo? Hindi kaya? Okay lang yan. Mapapalitan din yun. Mas maganda pa. *hugs* 😀

    Uyy, namiss ko rin yung Yogurt House. Sobrang sarap ng mga pasta nila dun. We we’re even joking when we went home, na ilang bundok daw ang kelangan mong tahakin, bago mo matikman ang pinakamasarap na carbonara sa Pilipinas. Hehehehe!

    Sayang, highlight pa naman ng trip sa Sagada yung Sumaging Cave. 🙁 Pero nakapag-Bomod-Ok Falls ka naman? Baka naman nagshopping ka lang sa Sagada ha. Hehehe! 😛

  6. comment-666
    Wayne Post author

    Hi Father! Wow, luluwas ka?! :O Malayo naman yung Baguio sa Sagada eh. Pero kung talagang mapilit ka, sige, susuportahan kita. 😛 Kwentuhan mo na lang kami pag naka-survive ka rin ha. 😀

  7. comment-668
    Wayne Post author

    Mee-Mee!!! Ako rin. Miss ko na rin yung original members ng team natin. 🙁 Gusto kong bumalik ng Sagada para mag-Cave Connection! 😀

  8. comment-670

    parang di Pinas ung mga pics s Lake Danum… nice pics… pero i don’t know kung magkakasya ako s cave kung sumama ko… kaya rin siguro di sumama si doc… hahaha….

  9. comment-671
    Wayne Post author

    Hahahahaha! Salbahe ka Shuni. Pero in fairness may point ka dun. Destined siguro na hindi ka talaga sumama kasi baka inde ka na nakalabas ng Sumaging Cave. Hahahaha!

    Amazing talaga yung Lake Danum. Ewan, pero kakaiba talaga yung kulay ng place. Greenish-yellow. Basta sobrang ganda. Para syang isang malaking picnic area. Kaso nakakapagod maglakad papunta dun. Buti na lang naki-hitch kami sa kung kani-kanino, para lang makarating dun. Hehehehe! 😀

  10. comment-674
    Wayne Post author

    Hahahahaha! Loka! Mas okay nga na sumama ka eh. Edi sana ikaw lagi ang pauunahin namin, para lumuwag yung mga butas. Hahahaha! 😀

  11. comment-676
    Wayne Post author

    Batang Mangyan: Grabe sa lamig yung tubig dun. As in. Manginginig ka talaga ano? Malamig din ba yung tubig sa crater ng Pinatubo? Akala ko mainit kasi bulkan sya. O-)

  12. comment-679

    Pasyalera! This is really a must seE plaCe.. graBE ganda! SoMetimes I woNdER why people keEp oN admiring other countries, eh we have our own to be pROUd of.

  13. comment-680

    Oo nga sana magdilang anghel ka 😀

    Yup, I was able to make it to Bomod-Ok falls. Mas mabilis yung papunta kesa pauwi grabe tsk..tsk…naginig tuhod ko kse malamig Dec ako nagpunta. Ay nakapag-Kiltepan din ako kaya lang sobrang foggy that time. Nabalot lang ako ng ulap…

    Sobra sarap ng pasta nila. I love the one with olive oil lang ang grilled eggplants. Tapos may mga books pa doon at may gitara so if you’re a big group you can reserve the whole place to yourselves and spend 3 hours there for lunch! 😀

    Wish ko lang pag nagpunta ako ulit digital camera na yung dala ko. Kse when I went there ang dala ko camera ay yung 4-frames na lomo na plastic. Hahaha…:D

  14. comment-681
    Wayne Post author

    @Nomadic Pinoy: Same here! I would really love to try the Cave Connection. 😀

    @Precious: Hehehe! Thanks! 😀

    @WalongBote: Exactly! Yan din lagi kong iniisip. Marami namang magagandang lugar sa Pilipinas. Hindi lang siguro alam ng iba kaya ganun. 🙂

    @Crystal: Sure yan, wait and see ka lang dyan. 😛 Bukas makalawa, may magandang phone kana ulit. 😀 Ayyy, nakapunta rin kami dun sa Kiltepan. I’ll post about that on our next entry. 😀 Nung nagpunta naman kami sa Yogurt House, sobrang dami ng tao. Tapos pagod na pagod na kami nun, kaya parang no time na kaming magkulitan dahil lahat nakaabang na lang sa food. Hahaha! Uyyy, mahilig ka rin mag-lomo? May kakilala akong addict sa lomography. Hehehe! Dapat next na balik mo dun, marami ka ng dalang cam, para marami kang choices. 😀

  15. comment-686

    Amf!! ang ganda ng mga pictures!!!! sayang ndi ako nakasali sa spelunking na ito parang ngsisisi na ko hehehehe. sa susunod sama kami para nmn malagay picture ko dito wahahahah!

    galing talga ng pasyalera, love it! (L)

  16. comment-689
    Wayne Post author

    @Shea: Adik. Ingat pag-uwi. 😛

    @Petiksmen: Men!!! Sabe sayo eh. Di sana model din kita. Ayan tuloy, si Art lang ang taga inyo na naging model ko. Thanks! Thanks! Magaling tayo! *hugs*

    @Sheen: Ikaw lang eh, hindi mo binilis-bilisan ang paglipat dito. Ayan tuloy. Hehehe! Di bale, may next time pa naman. 😀

  17. comment-690

    Saan ang next time? excited na ako! 🙂 Sana yung hindi na nakamamatay kasi may anak na ako! hahaha! Sama ka suni ha para may kasama akong nagiinarte at nagrereklamo! harharhar! I survived! :-$

  18. comment-691
    Wayne Post author

    Mother!!! Kelan, kelan ka dyan… Ilabas mo kaya muna yang nasa sinapupunan mo. 😛 Oo nga eh, sana sumama sa atin si Shuni sa susunod. Not unless ayaw nya na tayong kasama dahil may bagong circle of friends na sya. Hehehe! 😀

  19. comment-692

    Aba, may ganyang cave pala sa atin! Ang ganda naman at parang kulay chocolate sa loob.
    Yung sa baba cave talaga ang hitsura at parang nakakatakot pasukin. 🙁

  20. comment-696

    wow.. ayos.. isa talaga ang sagada sa target namin ni bf puntahan..

    next yan sa list..

    thanks sa info… 😀

  21. comment-711
    Wayne Post author

    @Mylene: Hehehehe! Ang cute ano? Buhay na buhay yung loob ng cave. Ang ganda ganda. Mukha lang syang nakakatakot. Pero hindi naman talaga. 😀

    @Shea: Yan… tama, at least may next travel plans na kayo ni BF. 😛

    @Shuni: Yung mga corny friends mo. Hahaha!

    @Salva: Wow, ka-touched naman. We haven’t been to Bicol yet. Pero gusto ko ring makarating dun. Di bale, pag nagkabudget, ipipila namin yun. 😀

    @Dr. Jesus: Korek! Super layong lakbayan talaga kaya sobrang nakakapagod din. 🙂

    @Kat: Thanks! Uyy, gusto ko ring makarating dyan. Di bale, next time. Then derechong Siquijor. 😉

  22. comment-724

    Yeah, I do hope that I could have such adventure one day. I am not that outgoing that’s why I failed to enjoy the beauty of Philippines.

  23. comment-726
    Wayne Post author

    @Kat: Yeah, I’ve heard magaganda daw talaga ang mga beaches dun. 😀 Hopefully next year! *Sana!*

    @Madz: It’s never too late. Try going out sometimes. I’m sure mag-eenjoy ka rin. 🙂

    @Suni: Hahaha! Play safe. 😛

  24. comment-790
    Wayne Post author

    Hi Chyng,

    Di pa namin na-try magpunta ng Sagada ng Nov or Dec. Pero tingin ko ok pa rin naman yun though mas malamig lang siguro ng konti. 😀

  25. comment-915

    kagagaling ko lang last december ( DEC. 27-30, 2009). Group tour kami.. ang saya.. sobra… the water was freezing cold(C) . there was no heater in the place were we stayed=-O … its like having a shower inside the freezer:-D .. but it was fun. :o) (Y)

  26. comment-986
    ezra arze

    i super duper love this place… of all the caves nah napuntahan koh so far xa pina ka love koh kasi xa yung pinah challenging and super gandah ng view… hopefully madagdagan pah ang aking caves adventures…. hmmmp di koh pah nah post yung aking sumaging, cguro mga next week…. just starting to blod lang, kaya di din magandah ang english koh dun….

  27. comment-992
    Wayne Post author

    Sige, we’ll also visit your blog. Ok lang yun. Ang importante ma-i-share mo yung thoughts and ideas mo sa mga readers mo. Goodluck. 😀

  28. comment-1107
    Merie Ann

    Hi This is my happiest moment coz,I really enjoy the sumaguing cave. you’ll be amazed , i am really blessed coz i saw that cave and ofcoures i am very happy too am with my family on that vacation.I really thanked God He give me the chance to see that cave. And hopefully next year magkaron ulit ng time for other cave na pwede pang puntahan.I also share this adventure with my friends and some relatives na hindi na kasama.I pronmisse to myself to come back there. :o)

  29. comment-1131

    Hi Wayne,

    I am interested to try this out with my ofcmates. Actually, lahat ng trips nyo sa mountain province. From the banaue bus station, how did you go to the view deck for the rice terraces? Also, I’m wondering how did you commute from the hotel to the caves and other places like the like the lakes and the falls? No idea kasi on how the transpo details about the place. Musta naman ang mga transpo rates? And san kayo nakakakuha? Natatandaan mo pa ba ang details?

    Hope you could share info pa aside sa mga naprovide mo in your blogs.


  30. comment-1132


    Pahabol, along the way ba merong mga madadaanang kainan? At saka nabasa ko yung Yogurt house, where is this located?

    Thanks ulit.

  31. comment-1149
    Wayne Post author

    Hi Ellen,

    Regarding sa view deck ng Banaue Rice Terraces, andito yung details: Then from the hotel to the caves and falls, panay lakad lang lahat yun. Hehehehe! Pero mero ding mga jeep dun na pwedeng rentahan. Maliit lang yung bayan and mababait yung mga tao dun so pwede rin kayong magtanong tanong sa kanila. 😀

    RE: Yogurt House, andun lang din yun sa bayan. Madadaanan ninyo yun kasi parang nasa main road lang naman sya. Maraming kainan dun. Di nyo yun magiging problema. 😀

  32. comment-1536
    Pinoy Wanderer

    Glad to be back (though quite scared due to Tados’ death) and feel the culture within its mountain ranges. There are changes compared last year like beautification of kiltepan viewpoint and new inns but the traffic is still the same (in fact lumalala). Sad to hear that kiltepan viewpoint is in the process and or being privatized. How ironic.

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