Sohoton Natural Bridge Natural Park

Sohoton Natural Bridge Natural Park is a 8 km² karst area with caves, a subterranean river, waterfalls, and unique limestone formations. It was named after a magnificent natural bridge over the Sohoton river, obviously a cave ruin. The park is reached from Tacloban City either by a one-hour drive or by a two-hour boat ride.

The Sohoton area was also a stronghold of Filipino fighters during the Philippine-American War. The first attempt by U.S. Marines to storm this stronghold on 06-NOV-1901 failed. A week later, a second attack was successful. Panhulugan is a place with steep cliffs, where the defenders dropped off rock boulders and logs onto the enemy navigating the river below. This tactic is still named after this place. Panhulugan is also the name of two caves in the park.

The park has three navigable rivers: Basey, Sohoton and Bugasan River. Prehistoric remains have been found in various caves, also remains from the Iron Age. Caves have been used as burial sites for the natives.

The area was declared a National Park on 19-JUL-1935 by Proclamation No. 831, primarily to preserve its geological features.

We were quite astonished by the park. It is said to be extremely popular and there are virtually hundreds of webpages about the park and the caves. On the other hand there is no hard fact online or in scientific publications we were able to find. We guess there must have been some speleological research, but we could not find any publication. There is no publication by the park either, and there is not a single map of the park on the web, neither google Maps nor OpenStreetMaps show any details. Unfortunately most page contain the same text which was obviously written by some marketing guy who has no idea what a cave is.