Casili Cave in Balambam

Casili Cave System in Balamban

Casili Cave in BalambanFreshwater coming out from Casili Cave's spring inside (Photo credit: Niel Jarina)

Casili Underwater Cave System

Casili Cave is part of the underwater cave system in Barangay Arpili in Balamban Municipality, Cebu Province.

This cave system is officially called Casili Underwater Cave System (shortened as CUCS) by cave researchers/explorers.

The CUCS was first explored by Filipino Cave Divers in 2011. After the following exploration of Casili, the explorers/divers determined that the underwater cave’s deepest point is about 40 meters (or 130 feet) deep.

This means that Casili is an interesting cave to be explored not by beginners but by experienced cave explorers since it is not totally mapped and explored yet. Safety measures and best paths inside the cave should be properly established before a guided tour can be allowed.

Living Species

Inside Casili, one will find a pool of water enlivened with various fresh water species. According to the FCD divers, there are species of mollusks (e.g. snails, slugs, mussels, etc.), chordates (e.g. fish, amphibians, reptiles, etc.) and arthropods (e.g. insects, spiders, or crustacean, etc.) living there.

Among other living species inside, large freshwater eel (commonly and locally called “kasili”) has been spotted. Such observations confirm the assumption that the ecosystem inside the cave supports such animals to live and reproduce.
Based on the results of the exploration and study of Casili Underwater Cave’s ecosystem and environment, the researchers still have lots of questions that need answer requiring further exploration and study of the cave’s system.

Some of the relevant questions follow:

  • Source of the fresh water found inside the cave
  • Length, distance and extent of the cave system
  • Possible effects of sand extraction of the river located nearby
  • Other freshwater flora and fauna the live in the environment
  • Possible and existing threats to the endemic species in the area
  • Effects of farming and shipbuilding nearby the cave and spring

Such are the questions that need answers to learn more about the cave system, which can also help to preserve this unique natural attraction in the area.

Due to such concerns and interest of the cave’s system, the FCD thought the cave is worth preserving and that the local government will initiate steps by implementing appropriate actions.

Request & need for conservation

Casili Spring in BalambanExploring the spring of Casili Cave system (Photo: Filipino Cave Divers)

The Filipino Cave Divers association hopes that the Local Government Unit of Balamban Municipality will do something on the points that the group hoped to be established.

The following is a verbatim from their website:

  • An ordinance declaring CUCS as a Protected Area
  • Pre-intervention documentation of flora and fauna endemic to the area
  • Post-intervention documentation of flora and fauna endemic to the area
  • Preservation and documentation of species, fossils and other paleontological and geologically important features in the area
  • Monitoring and maintenance of the quality of the water in specific sections of the cave as per hydrological parameters
  • Establishment of a management body and an enforcement plan adopted and enforced
  • Zoning and regulation of specific activities passed by the management board/LGU

Source: is deeply hoping and urging the LGU of Balamban to act on the wishes of the FCD to help preserve this natural resource not only for the sake of the environment but also for educational purposes – for students and all sorts of visitors alike.

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