A yet unexplored wonder in the island of Bohol is the BatungayCave, located in the interior part of the town of Trinidad.
Trinidad is 98 kilometers through the interior route, 128 kilometers through the northern route, 138 kilometers through the eastern route from the capital city of Tagbilaran and became a separate municipality from the larger Talibon town on September 1, 1947.
The BatungayCave is in the forested area of barangay Sto. Tomas, 8 kms. from the town proper. It spans more than 700 meters within the BatungayTwinPeak.
Batungay is derived from the word BATO, meaning rock, and NGAY, meaning twins. The cave is beneath two solid rocks.
During the 1970s, wild monkeys, tarsiers, rare bird species such as kalaw and lapay, and wild deer, pig, chicken, and ducks abound inside the cave and within its vicinity.
Massive hunting for wild life and kaingin have caused the decline of these animal species.
The Trinidad local government has done its part in preserving the cave. Through Municipal Ordinance No. 97-01 in January 1997, hunting and poaching of its flora and fauna are prohibited and penalized.
Hence, ensuring the protection and preservation of the cave.
Getting inside the BatungayCave is exhilarating. A flowing stream of crystal clear water would definitely make your trek cooler, and yes, more enchanting. Add to that the awesome stalactites and stalagmites shaped like chandeliers, curtains, altars, and tables.
Adventurous explorers will find out that the cave has enough room for the wildlife.
The LANGUB SA HAS or the cave of the snakes literally have snakes in there. The LANGUB SA KABYAW is the habitat for bats. This crevice is in fact a rich depository of guano or bat manure, a natural fertilizer.
In Batungay, you will also find the LANGUB SA SIMBAHAN, which has magnificent coralline stalactites that glitter in the dark, like huge chandeliers that hang in cathedrals.
There is also the LANGUB SA BINLANAN. This is where the traditional healers or the tambalans prepare their medicinal herbs and do their oraciones, or rituals. They leave portions of their concoctions in this cave, as well as food, as an offering to the apo of the cave.
The tambalans go through the cave’s natural canals to reach a yet another cave called Ilihan in the town of Alicia. Ilihan cave is regarded as the sister cave of Batungay.
Outside the BatungayCave, you will find the BatungayPeak which is 150 feet above the ground. It is a perfect place for mountain climbing.
Like any other cave, Batungay has its myth to tell. According to the late Pantaleon Cajes, the first Barangay Captain in Sto. Tomas, there was a diwata in Batungay who was very generous to the residents.
This diwata would lend a wedding dress to a lady who is about to get married. She would also lend them pots, plates, and glasses for the banquet.
But because the residents did not return these things back, the diwata has ceased to let them borrow anything.
Another popular myth about the Batungay is that it is a large plantation of cacao, and that these goods are transported to the InabangaRiver on board the vessel of Magkaban, an enchanted merchant.
These myths have been passed on through word of mouth by residents. Yet the cave has a more functional value than just a source of magical stories. During World War II, Batungay became a refuge for locals from the onslaught of the Japanese soldiers. The cave was lucky enough to have been spared from the bombs during the war.
Now, local and foreign guests can simply add BatungayCave to their list of wonderful sites to visit in the island of Bohol. Visit the BatungayCave today!