seeing how deep the cave entrance was, our guide asked "ready now?". without hesitation we answered "yes. we are" yet deep inside there was a bit of doubt if we will really do it after looking at the cave's opening.very few people choose to do the cave connection in Sagada's cave system. the treacherous and dark Lumiang cave is part of the Philippines' deepest cave system. reaching a vertical range of 534feet or equivalent to about 53floors of a standard flooring height.most of the tourists would take the Sumaguing cave spelunking which is also part of the Sagada cave system. one enters the opening of Sumaguing cave and comes out from it after reaching the basin. but only a few takes the challenge to do the cave connection. which means that we enter in Lumiang cave and comes out of Sumaguing cave. three to four hours of spelunking that can actually be life threatening.our guide Mang Wilbur, lights his Petromax lamp as if giving us enough time to rethink if we will really be doing it. but with a motivation, coming from someone who told us that we've never been to Sagada if we didn't do this, the three of us were determined to do it."we will be going down there" Mang Wilbur pointing in a small hole, which was only revealed after the lamp was lit. we can't see what was down the hole as the lamp's brightness was limited to the first chamber that we were in to.he enters the hole ahead of us bringing the lamp which then revealed that the darkness was not only caused by the absence of light but also because it was deep. about fifteen feet high. travel buddy Nadz went ahead as Mang Wilbur guides him where to step and where to hold on.i followed and travel buddy and official photographer Kit, came last. after successfully coming down, a mini terraces-like flooring came into sight. it was impressive to think how it formed in such beauty.we then continued our way down from one dark chamber to another, passing on high steep inner passages which required flexibility and focus to the guide's instructions. there were areas where one can actually fall down and hit the cave's rough rock floors. that can happen if the instruction of the guide was not followed properly.every chamber that we surpassed safely, we felt like it was one great fulfillment. we enjoyed every stop that we made, took some photos on some parts. drips of water comes from the top and no other sound can be heard.we didn't see any bats nor small insects except for an occasional sighting of a black bird passing over us. the temperature was getting colder as we went deeper. we were still clueless of how deep we will be going but what was on my mind that time was the lower we go, the same height we will be climbing up.there was a part when we have to go up using a rope and totally rely on it or else we can fall on a high dark cliff. it was at that part when my left ankle was injured. from there i already had a hard time walking. yet still endured the journey most of the time using my right foot.we went down to about ten chambers some even bigger than a two-floor height room. there were parts when we were required to remove our slippers as some areas are very slippery. the lowest part was when we were to cross a chamber of water that reaches up to our shoulders. we were asked to remove our shirts as it can cause hypothermia. we wrapped our shirts on top of our head and crossed this almost ten-meter length of water stepping on rocks. we took a break after that and continued our journey to a bigger chamber which signified that we were already at the boundary of Lumiang and Sumaging cave. we were already spelunking for about two and a half hours. a granule shape rock and a chicken-foot shape rock symbolized the boundary.we reached the dancing hall as they call it, which was really huge. a chamber comparable to the size of an indoor basketball court.
on the coming post, our journey continues to Sumaguing cave or popularly known as the big cave.