Bukilat Cave is one of the eight natural caves and the most popular among them. This prominent cave is interestingly located on the island of Camotes in its northeastern side.
It is called after the name of a local leader (‘Bukilat’) who was residing close by when the cave was first discovered long time ago.
A lot of versions of interesting stories surrounding this cave can be heard from locals and those who claim to knowledge about this cave’s story.
For one, many is agreeable with the idea (or fact) that Bukilat Cave has been used by the local islanders when the Japanese imperial army invaded the province and have reached this far.
To learn more about this interesting cave, let’s describe some of its basic features as below…
At present, the cave is only basically developed to accommodate visitors from various places.
To keep the surroundings and the internals of the cave pristine and natural, only very few ‘developments’ are allowed to be implemented, such as making concrete steps from the entrance leading down towards the inside. This makes it safer for visitors to climb up and down, especially among children and older visitors.
Stalactites and stalagmites. These are signs that the cave is old and the usual attraction feature for caves in general. They are not huge compared to other popular caves in the world but interesting enough to explore with this cave’s size.
Right in the middle of the cave, there is a huge aperture (like an opening of a camera) where light comes through during a bright sunny day. This produces a heavenly sight and creates a sense of awe, so you can say (or sing) ‘hallelujah’.
In fact, the entire cave has 7 openings but not as huge as the one in the middle light is reflected on the pool of water inside making it sparkle and lighten the entire cave.
The pool inside is huge enough for guests to dip in with its hip and knee-deep water levels. The water is quite cool and very refreshing.
Many believed that the water is good for health. That’s because it is clean and pure water. Besides it contains minerals that are naturally produced from its natural sources.
In the 1970s, the cave and its surrounding have been made accessible to locals and other curious visitors.
Such improvements for access to the cave were popularly made by a missionary who was assigned in the area (Father Joseph M.H. Wierts, MSC). He used the place as part of his education and religious activity with his students.
With his students, he improved the place by cleaning up and making it safer for access to any visitor.
The said missionary also held religious ceremonies inside, which is a perfect place since it is cool and quiet for such religious activity.
This may not be a common activity inside this particular place, but caves in other countries and since time immemorial are considered sacred and safe abode among humans.
Some Conservations Instructions
Guests inside Bukilat Cave are not allowed to do things that are practically and sensibly detrimental to this natural attraction.
You are not allowed to eat your provisions, drink liquors, do vandalism (including carving or scratching the walls, stones, etc inside the cave with sharp objects or anything). You are also not allowed to smoke inside as it causes mineral reactions to the elements inside, aside from causing pollution inside this pristine space.
Penalty for any violation: PhP500 per violation (stricter and stronger penalty should be implemented more than that amount)
Now, if you are interested to enjoy or explore this cave and Camotes Islands, the following guide could be helpful in your travel.
Bukilat Cave of Camotes Islands is located in McArthur, Tudela Town, Poro Island. Poro Island is one of Camotes Island’s major islands composing it.
The cave is in the Northeastern part of Camotes which is also a popular area among travelers and short-time visitors of the island.
Getting to Bukilat Cave
There are only limited choices of transport resources when you visit the place. Here are the transports:
A single motorbike that can take one back rider or so will bring you (from 300 to 500 Pesos) to the location of the cave. The rate is only for those who are already on Poro Island, which means that the rate would be different if you are from other area, such as Santiago Bay or other resorts located not in Poro.
A motorbike with a sidecar (tricycle) is your another option (from 1,000 to 1,500 Pesos). This one can take more passengers (up to 4 or 6) but the rate is higher than the ‘habal-habal’ one (single motorbike). You need to deal with the driver/operator first to fix the rate before departing.
A small type of jeepney (multicab) is another possibility for that direction since they need more passengers to cover their gas expense. It costs around 1,500 Pesos a day.
Certainly, if you can rent a ride or have your own vehicle, you just need to ask for directions and you’ll be there in a jiffy. If you are coming from Cebu City or other province, you can take with you your own vehicle of any size via ferry.
If you are coming from Cebu City, you may use this travel guide page to get to Camotes: Getting to Camotes Islands. The page features transports and other helpful tips to get to the island.
More Camotes Islands beach resorts and attractions can be found here.
You can find lots and various accommodation or hotels on Camotes Islands or nearby Bukilat Cave if you wish to search them.
Find hotels and accommodation with photos, updated rates, and more details through a popular and world famous online hotel provider - Agoda, among others.
You can click the link here or above to search accommodation available on the island. You have many choices. Among the popular one is Santiago Bay Garden resort where visitors stay and use it as their base for their tour around the island. Enjoy searching now!
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Have an islandful of fun! Wait, check out my personal experiences and updates below...
Bukilat Cave was the only famous attraction on the renowned Camotes Island I have not visited the last time I explored it about four years ago.
I was very excited to see the cave, and so we decided to explore it first thing in the morning. We already arranged a motor cab the evening before the big day.
My niece skillfully dealt with the vehicle operator for us to get some discounts. She did it! Bien, the local operator and driver, was a kind and excellent guide, indeed.
It took us around thirty minutes to get there on a paved concrete road. Lots of greens to see along the way.
Trees of various species, bananas, pineapples, cornfields, coconut plantations, cow ranches, some goats and other animals are the familiar sights that greeted us along the way.
Bukilat Cave is located very close to the paved road. Bien parked our service motorcab in the parking area designated for the visitors. (We paid 5 Pesos as a parking fee).
Just around 15 meters from the parking area, we found the cave management desk where we registered and paid 20 Pesos each.
While we were filling up the registration paper, the kindly woman who was attending to us briefed us about the Dos and Don'ts while we are inside the cave. She said that...
But, of course, she said that we were allowed to dip in the refreshing pool inside the cave.
Indeed, the pool of sparkling water was refreshing and inviting. The water that replenishes the pool was a mixture of fresh and seawater.
Even though my heart sunk in the pool, my fingers cannot take off from my camera button. Yes I know that I should be testing the sparkling and transparent pool, my mind says that I must document by taking as many photos as I can.
I know that I experienced some sensations and feelings I cannot name the moment I walked down the steps and into the inner cave. Below, I will try to describe them with subtitles as I struggle to identify my whole experience.
Our guide and driver led the way, my niece followed, and I went in last as I have taken photos of the entrance and mouth of the cave.
Eeriness and excitement combined were my feelings as I slowly descended through the concrete steps. Eerie in the sense that it was so quiet and a bit dark. The light was visible and started to get much brighter as I was entirely on its flat ground.
Still feeling eerie as ghost stories and other otherworldly fairy-tales are also common everywhere in the country.
Although the sunlight brightens the central parts of the cave, you can still see the dark sides of the cave where anything (or anyone!) could be lurking and hiding while watching us with their all-seeing eyes.
I have never heard anybody got hurt or anything while visiting the cave. Therefore I also trust we will be just fine.
However, I was at the same time, even careful and ready to face anything! The thing is we were the only ones inside. Other bigger group has already gone. Fortunately for us!
Probably I have too many movies (like Hobbits and Lord of the Rings) that scenes where wild animals and monsters suddenly jump out from the dark corners of the cave were rushing inside my mind. Fortunately, nothing occurred like that. Whew!
However, the eeriness was also compensated with excitement. Yessss...
I was super excited to explore, take photos, experience, and see how the whole place looks like. I wanted to see for myself and confirm what others said about this cave.
CONFIRMED! It is beautiful! More than what I expected.
The crystal clear and sparkling pool of water literally mesmerized me. It was a dumbfounding feeling to see the water that way (note: the pool is full only during high tide, especially in the morning).
You will the light coming through making the water sparkle in the dark. Right in the middle of the cave, you will notice some stalagmites protruding like something or someone that worships the light brightening the cave.
My niece started to disturb the calm water... She made them sparkle all the more. Amazing sight!
She tempted me to join her, saying that it was very refreshing. However, silently I decided to take photos (without flash) and promised to myself that I will be back to dip in and bathe (like the fairies do when nobody's around!) in the pool of sparkling water was chill and inviting.
When I took my shots, I made sure that I include the sparkling pool in the frame.
Stalactites and Stalagmites
The stalactites and stalagmites as well made my day. Although they were not as vast and glorious as you saw in other world-famous caves, they were just perfect for this cave. The cave's size is small, and so it is only logical and natural to see them are they are.
Although natural, you will notice that they are perfectly formed in such a way that they beautify the cave. They were created as if nature adorned the cave beautifully.
Honestly, I cannot describe the shapes of the stalactites and stalagmites inside. I can only say that some formed like humans praising the sunlight, some animals, hanging curtains, shark's mouth, and more. I believe you can imagine more.
Lights Shining Through
We were so fortunate that the sun was up and there were no clouds nor rain when we came. It was an incredible view of the sunbeam enlightening the cave. The scene was like a scene of enlightenment or that someone was being chosen by the powers above.
Particularly, I can imagine Buddha being enlightened, Jesus Christ receiving guidance or the Holy Spirit or any worthy being chosen by its creator. You could see these portrayed in famous paintings and other works of art.
They are not just sunlight. I mean, only lights coming through. But lights with somewhat whitish color created by the moisture that evaporates escaping through the apertures of the cave.
I said "sunlights" because there is not one but seven of them brightening the cave through the seven holes, which I technically call "apertures." I call them apertures because they are mostly round in shape. And technically, they allow the light to come in as a camera does.
The lights bring real drama in terms of experience. It looks like it is a scene that I can only see in the movies. It is really through. Movies are not just imaginations but based on reality.
For example, I asked my niece to stand where the sunlight is. There, she looks sparkling like an imaginary being. My camera is not the best one in the world, but good enough to capture the scene.
The Seven Openings
The seven openings or the "apertures" as I call them are the other most attractive elements that composed the whole cave.
Amazingly, they were naturally located in such a way that they provide light where lights are needed to brighten the dark corners of Bukilat Cave.
Yes, there are seven of them in Bukilat Cave. All have their specific sizes but mostly round. You can see some greens as if they are trying to peep through the holes.
(Probably, they want to see the fairies bathing in the pool of sparkling, refreshing, and inviting crystal water down below!)
Fairy's Bathing Pool
I am confident that stories, like I said above, have been told a thousand times about this cave. That fairies and such spirits bathe in the pool of crystal clear and transparent water.
Not all places have stories of angels and fairies bathing in a body of water. It's because the pool in Bukilat Cave is merely irresistible and enchanting.
The water is not freezing cold but cool enough to refresh you.
I regretted (a bit) that I didn't dip in. But deep inside, I know that I will be back and will do it not only for the sake of doing it. But I wanna try and feel like a fairy bathing in this special place on Earth, on Camotes Islands.
We were not alone int the cave. Although it was quiet because no human was being beside the three of us.
Small bats also reside in this cave. I thought they made noise because of our presence. But I too guess that they communicate without us. Right?
Anyhow, I said a "Batman feeling" because of the bats flying above us while making those sounds. (You what scene in one of this movie's scene it is). The feeling is when Bruce fell into the cave; he was afraid, but something positive came out of it.
The presence of these creatures inside makes the cave a truly natural creation of nature. Besides, their existence proves that this cave is conducive for animals to live in. That it can protect and support them as the usual animals that make their home in caves.
Now, let me stop describing my experiences through my...
Keep in mind the advice from the management, which I briefly mentioned above.
Don't loiter or throw anything inside the cave, especially garment.
Making so much noise can disturb the bats, which are already being intruded the moment you entered the cave.
Making no noise or as less as you can make them feel less threatened.
It is strictly prohibited to touch or remove any pieces of stalactite and stalagmite. You will be fined if you do.
My Future Plan
I promised myself to be back sooner or later to enjoy the refreshingly cool pool of sparkling water.
Please, remember that what I have described above is my personal experiences and impression about Bukilat Cave. So, I hope that you will have your own good impressions when you visit it soon (or someday soon!).
See more Bukilat Cave reviews here.