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Exploring Bakwitan Cave of Tuburan, Surigao del Sur May 25, 2013

Exploring Bakwitan Cave of Tuburan, Surigao del Sur

GPS waypoint: Bakwitan Cave N9 17.660 E126 10.048
Location: Brgy. Tuburon, Municipality of Cortes, Province of Surigao del Sur

Community Shelter
The last of the activities slated for me in Cortes was Bakwitan Cave. This cave was the shelter of the locals from the Japanese occupation during WWII and also served as formidable bunker against the onslaught of a typhoon in 1984 that devastated the countryside.

Heading to Tuburon
Marino Tabugon, BUFA chairman, was once again my able guide. We rode up on his motorcycle to Barangay Tuburon to arrange the cave trekking with Brgy. Captain Vicente Malingin. With his 2 assistant, we proceeded to the cave on motorbikes and on foot.

map location Cortes, Surigao del Sur
Laswitan Laswitan | Bakwitan Cave Bakwitan Cave | Buybuyan Beach Buybuyan Beach | Capandan Sanctuary Capandan Sanctuary | Light House Light House | Marine Sanctuary Uba Marine Sanctuary guard house | Sihagan Beach Sihagan Beach | Campiri Rocks Campiri Rocks

Cave Entrance
The mouth of the cave was huge, including the overhang. It was unmistakeable (some cave entrance, like Dinakit Cave in Tandag is nothing but a small hole in the ground). It was so huge it seemed like an awning before the actual cave entry.

Cave Flies
One thing I noticed as we entered was the swarming of cave flies. They were little flying insects similar to a nik-nik. It was strange that they were even inside the cave, constantly annoying us. I even swallowed one as it dove inside my nose! First time in my caving experience.

Docile Snakes
Another interesting thing is the presence of snakes. I saw 2 that were visible (think of the others I didn't see!). Snakes are usually afraid of humans and would get out of the way long before you arrive at the scene. But these ones were not even bothered. They just stayed there even as we got closer with our flashlights. They didn't look agitated or nervous. They were very chilled-out actually.

Big Headroom
Like most of the caves I've been along the Surigao coastline, this cave has plenty of headroom to spare - no need to crawl down. In fact, you can fit a cathedral inside one of its chambers. Of course, the stalactite and stalagmite formations were the signature elements - in surreal array of shapes, form and sizes.

Ending Thoughts
Bakwitan Cave is not a very big cave. We stayed less than an hour and much of that was spent picture taking. Altogether, it's an interesting cave to explore for its unique features (including its resident flies and snakes). If you are within the area, or backpacking in Cortes, this is one activity definitely worth your while.

Many many thanks to LGU Officer, Vincent Duenas, BUFA Chairman, Marino Tabugon, Barangay Captain Vicente Malingin and his assistants!

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you want me to objectively cover the features of your city or municipality or barangay for this website (fiesta, waterfall, mountain trail, lake, river, cave, food, islands, beach, etc.), email me.

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Bakwitan Cave Tips and FYI

  1. bring a headlamp for good measure and a hand torch for back-up (although the barangay will probably provide this)
  2. wear shoes with good traction
  3. bring extra'll come out smelly and muddy
  4. there is no bank. Bring cash.
  5. as of this writing, the only lodging in Cortes, Kamalig, is not operational. It would be safe to say at this point that there is no lodging in Cortes. You can check with the LGU if they can arrange something for you, or you can go to Lanuza, the next municipality north, for lodging.

Bakwitan Cave Fees

  1. P50/head, P250 for the tour guide

How to Get to Bakwitan Cave from Surigao City

  1. take a jeep or tricycle in Surigao City for the bus termial. The sign board should say "Terminal" or "Gaisano". 10 mins, P8
  2. Take a bus or van going to Tandag, but tell the conductor to drop you off Cortes junction
  3. at the highway junction, take a motorcycle (aka habal-habal) for Barangay Tuburan, ~20 min, P25/pax
  4. meet with the barangay captain to make arrangements

Cortes Travel Tips and FYI:

  1. bring lotsa cash. There is no bank here. Others had to go to the next big city (no joking matter) just to replenish on cash
  2. there is no internet here

How to Get to Cortes

  1. from Tandag - take any northbound bus or jeep heading to Surigao City and ask to be dropped off at Cortes, 1 hour. If you take a jeep that specifically says "Cortes", take it. It will take you all the way to Cortes proper and to some of its barangays (and not just at the junction). If you take a bus, ask to be dropped off at Cortes, 1 hour. Then take a habal-habal for Cortes proper, 15 mins, P20.
  2. from Surigao City - take any southbound bus for Tandag and ask to be dropped off at the Cortes junction, 4 hours. Then take a habal-habal for Cortes proper, 15 mins, P20.

Attractions in Cortes and nearby area

  • Lubcon Falls - from Tandag, take jeep for Cantillan or Cortes and ask the driver to drop you off at Lubcon Falls, P25, 30 mins, 15 kms
  • Laswitan - strong waves crashing against the rocks and spilling over to fill up a rock pool (while you're dipping in it)
  • Campiri Rocks - going over huge boulders, dipping in a rock pool, standing on a rock summit as waves hits and splash against it, and to cap all, you rest on the base of the light house perched on top of the rocks in full view of the magnificent Pacific Ocean
  • Bakwitan Cave - a refuge by the towns folk during the Japanese occupation and during the typhoon of 2004
  • Buybuyan Beach - small beach, almost like a personal beach, fine white sand (there are no commercial establishments on the beach...its undeveloped)
  • Sihagan Beach - fine white sand for long walks on a beach (there are no commercial establishments on the beach...its undeveloped)
  • Burgos Togonan Falls
  • Uba Marine Sanctuaries - scuba dive with gear from the LGU. At P250 per dive, you can't beat it!
  • Capandan Marine Sanctuaries - scuba dive with gear from the LGU. At P250 per dive, you can't beat it!
  • Balibadon Marine Sanctuary
  • Mabahin Marine Sanctuary
  • Tigao Marine Sanctuary
  • Poblacion Marine Sanctuary

Lodging in Cortes

  • Kamalig - this is the only lodging in Cortes, P600/head. Best to make arrangements with Cortes LGU before coming over

Cortes LGU

  • for more information on anything and everything about Cortes, you can get in touch with Vincent Duenas of the Cortes LGU: 0907.444.6551 or email

(along the Surigao coastline from Surigao City to Surigao del Sur)

Caving Blogs by TheLoneRider

  1. Canghaling Cave November 14, 2023
  2. The Return to Hinagdanan Cave Nov 5, 2017
  3. Exploring Hinagdanan Cave Oct 24, 2017
  4. Exploring Guimba and Sog-ong Caves of Loboc Oct 22, 2017
  5. Exploring Combento Cave Pool June 29, 2017
  6. Visiting Cabagnow Cave Pool of Anda Jun 28, 2017
  7. Exploring Bukilat Cave, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
  8. Exploring Timubo Cave of Camotes Islands Feb 9, 2017
  9. Exploring Holy Crystal Cave of Camotes Islands Feb 9, 2017
  10. Exploring Bakwitan Cave of Gigantes Island Dec 30, 2016
  11. Visting Pangihan Cave of Malay Dec 14, 2016
  12. Exploring Maanghit Cave in Libertad Dec 9, 2016
  13. Visiting Ati Cave in Libertad Dec 9, 2016
  14. Visiting the Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah) July 9, 2016
  15. Visiting the Nam Lot and the Pha Khong Caves of Phan District May 18, 2016
  16. Visiting Batu Caves of Kuala Lumpur Feb 18, 2015
  17. Exploring Silop Cave of Surigao City Jun 22, 2013
  18. Exploring Bakwitan Cave of Tuburan, Surigao del Sur May 25, 2013
  19. Exploring Campamento Cave of Lanuza, Surigao del Sur May 17, 2013
  20. Exploring Dayao Cave of Tandag, Surigao del Sur May 12, 2013
  21. Exploring Sumalsag Cave of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon Apr 21, 2013
  22. The Fabulous People of Roxas City (Igang Cave) Nov 25-27, 2012
  23. Exploring the Cantabon Cave of Siquijor Feb 23, 2012
  24. Marinduque with UPM's Rumble Reggae (Sawa Cave) May 29 - June 1, 2009
  25. Backpacking Cagayan de Oro (Macahambus Cave) Mar 7-9, 2009
  26. Sagada Cave Connection - Lumiang Cave to Sumaging Cave September 12, 2008
  27. Mountaineering with Lakay Kalikasan Mountaineers (Kalinawan Cave) November 25, 2007
  28. Sabang, Palawan (Underground River) November 14-21, 2007
  29. Sagada (Sumaging Cave) October 18, 2005
  30. The Cordillera - Day 5: Sagada (Sumaging Cave) May 3, 2005

The following people like this:

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May 25, 2013

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