At the very heart of the Philippines—quite literally because it is the geodetic center of the country—lies Marinduque and its hidden gems and treasures.
A couple of hours from the Metro, Marinduque is just starting to develop itself as a tourism destination. But apart from its pristine waters and nice beaches, it is already home to many adventures and activities that the adrenaline junkies will surely enjoy.
Free spirits Marc Nelson and Maggie Wilson explore Marinduque for Beached, and two of their destinations are Marinduque’s unique diving spots and cave.
Diving at Tres Reyes Islands
Marinduque is yet to fully develop its diving spots for tourists, but it is home to concentrations of marine biodiversity since it’s located in the periphery of the Verde Island Passage Marine Corridor.
For Beached, Marc and Maggie head to the Tres Reyes Islands, southwest of Marinduque, which is a prime diving spot home to unexplored sections of coral reefs, steep walls, and underwater canyons.
Unlike other dives, the Tres Reyes Islands dive is calm and relaxing, allowing you to appreciate the beautiful and diverse underwater. If you’re in for a bit of a challenge, you can follow Marc as he goes through a hidden cave 20-feet down the usual diving route.
Spelunking at Bagumbungan cave
Located at the municipality of Santa Cruz is the Bagumbungan Cave, which was just discovered and developed for cave tourism in 2008. The cave’s limestones were said to have formed over 23 million years ago under marine conditions, promising intricate stalactites and stalagmites, young and old.
The whole cave takes four hours to explore, and should be visited with local guides because there could be dark waters deeper than 5 feet, and steep climbs to make. It is really an adventure cave for the adventure seekers, since it’s littered with difficult climbs and tight squeezes.
Many of the formations inside the cave are millions of years old, but you can find some as young as 3 years old. These young formations are sparkly and beautiful—a true treat in the middle of the dark and cold cave. The guides warn not to touch any of the formations because the human skin’s natural acids could affect the color and the growth of the formation, and could kill them.
The Bagumbungan Cave is truly a gem worth to be visited, especially since all of the profits go back to the barangay because it is a community-based initiative. The locals come together and work with each other to maintain the cave and the whole tourism experience, and the cave is protected by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Explore more of Marinduque with Maggie Wilson and Marc Nelson on Beached, with premiere episodes every Saturday at 9:00 p.m. on Metro Channel, channel 52 on Sky Cable and channel 174 on HD. Catch replays throughout the week.
This article was originally published on Metro Style