Calbiga Caves

Langun-Gobingob Caves


Useful Information

Location: Calbiga, Samar Province.
52 km from Tacloban. In Calbiga turn off at sign Langun-Gobingob Caves, 7 km single lane road. 1 h walk to the cave entrance.
(11.644700, 125.058328)
Open: All year daily, after appointment.
[2022]
Fee: 1 Day Caving Trip: per person PHP 3,500 (USD 82).
2 Day Caving Trip: per person PHP 7,000 (USD 167).
3 Day Caving Trip: per person PHP 10,000 (USD 235).
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: none
Dimension: L=7,000 m.
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Trexplore, Abesamis Store, Allen Ave, Catbalogan City Samar 6700, Tel: +63-55-2512301, Cell: +63-919-2943865, Cell: +63-905-3233572. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1987 eyeless fish Caecogobius cryptophthalmus discovered by an Italian caver, the first known cave fish of the Philippines.

Description

Calbiga Caves is a system of 12 caves, covering an area of 2,968 hectare. This is probably the largest cave system in Southeast Asia, and most of it is still unexplored. The main chamber is called Langun and is visited on cave trekking trips. It is also dubbed the “mother of all chambers” because it is so huge, three football fields would easily fit in. Its 270 m long and 160 m wide. Another cave visited is named Upper Gobingob Cave. Often the cave tours are termed Langun-Gobingob Caves which are actually two different caves.

The caves are famous for speleothems and a wide variety of cave life. There are numerous endangered species of bats living in the cave. True troglobionts are cave crickets and the eyeless fish Caecogobius cryptophthalmus. When the cave fish was discovered in 1987 by an Italian caver, it was the first known cave fish of the Philippines. Impressive are the huge cave spiders which include the well known tarantulas. And there are centipedes living on the bat guano. There are also thousands of bats which leave the cave at dusk and swifts building their nests on the walls of the entrance section. The bats and birds are prey of various snakes. And finally there are white and red crabs.

The caves are guided by the Samar Island Guide and speleologist Joni A. Bonifacio, who is the owner of Trexplore The Adventures. He offers one, two and even three day expeditions. The regular visit includes a one-hour hike to the cave, a four-hour visit and a one-hour hike back. So it is actually a full day tour, but it shows only a small part with the main chambers. We strongly recommend gum boots because of the cave mud and the Guano Mountain, ankle deep bat guano crawling with beetles. With gum boots to the knee you can be sure nothing crawls up your leg. The small company also offers yearly events called Extreme Caving, where 30 international cavers are invited for a weekend to explore the cave system.

There are numerous website posting arbitrary superlatives about the cave, like largest cave system in the Philippines, second largest in Asia and third largest in the world. That's obviously nonsense. Just for comparison, the Clearwater System in Sarawak is 238 km long, this cave is 7 km long. There are four Philippine caves listed on the Worlds Longest Caves list by Bob Gulden, and this cave is not listed as it is not long enough, in other words all those claims are nonsense. Nevertheless, it's a great cave and well worth a visit. And actually two of the four longest caves of the Philippines are on Samar Island.