Islands and Beaches

Once A Cemetery, Now A Refuge For The Living: Bakwitan Cave


Maui Sanvictores
Maui Sanvictores | Aug 24, 2017

Go down south the island of Gigantes in Iloilo, and you will find a place that was once for the dead but now welcomes visitors. 

The name says it all, Bakwitan Cave coined as such because locals have used it as an ‘evacuation center’ during raging storms against the island. The highlands of the mountains securing the pockets of the cave has been their “evacuate-an” (a term in local + english language) in the past years. 

Our guide tells the story of how the island people has sought refuge in this cave during the surge of typhoon Yolanda. “Storm after storm, the cave has saved many lives”, he said in a light demeanour.

What makes this cave a bit more interesting is that it was once used as a cemetery by their ancestors. Stones dented with shapes of human limbs and ribcages where it once laid are found in every corner of the cave, only if you look closely. 

Since then, people from the community has taken away set of bones from the place and have laid them down in the low-places where they could rest in peace. But to keep the memory and the historical significance of the place, they have left some in one part of the cave.

Look around and be amazed by the stalactites and stalagmites meeting in between air where they appear with what seems to be a dancing spectacle of stars as soon as light touches them. 

You’ll be on your toes in every turn and spurn of the cave’s crevices but once you overcome its obstacles, you’ll find yourself smiling ear to ear at the top of the mountain, seeing Gigantes Island from up above.

Take your adventure up a notch with Isla Gigantes' Bakwitan Cave!

Read: Doze Off At The Secret Tropical Paradise Of Calubang Island

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