The strangest diversion in Sagada: trekking inside a subterrane that seems like a passageway to Hades. But how else would you describe a network of caves whose entrance is surrounded by piles of coffins, whose terrain is shrouded in darkness, and whose rocks form various phantasmagorical shapes?
This brief sojourn into the netherworld involves conquering both your fear of darkness and fear of heights, as well as exerting the strength of your body. I do not fear the dark, and the glow from the guide’s gas lamp is enough to banish frightful thoughts that come with the darkness. I do however fear heights, and in this case the light from the gas lamp becomes an annoyance, as the light dispels the blackness to reveal the occasional sheer drop. To control my fear, I focused on my guide and the path between us.
The physical exertion consists of clambering up and down rocks, climbing up and down ropes, wading through underground streams, and stepping on your guide. It is a tiring activity, and I asked the guide numerous times to stop so that I can catch my breath or drink mineral water.
I finished caving in 2 and 1/2 hours, head aloft upon hearing the guide say that the average time spelunking inside the Cave Connection is 3-4 hours (despite committing an amateur rock climber’s mistake of constantly clinging to the rocks).
Having conquered the connection between Lumiang and Sumaging, I now dream of spelunking inside the Crystal Cave.