Friday, March 11, 2011

Husgado (Banahaw Post)

If you've been paying attention to my blog (I hope you have), you will know that last weekend, we went on a trip to both Subic and Banahaw. We did a lot of other stuff at Banahaw but this post is specifically devoted to my experience going through Husgado, a cave I and all of my other class mates had to pass through. Translated, it means "Judge/To Judge". There's this rumor that if you get stuck, you're sinful since the cave "judges" you. I wondered if it really judges people or if it only discriminates against people who are a bit on the heavier side (like me. *gulp*) 

To get to the cave, we had to climb the side of a mountain. There were these steps carved out of stone that helped one climb up. However, they were steep and slippery (since they were covered with moss) and seemed to go on forever. After an exhausting climb, we had to take off our shoes and socks and had to leave all our things in this covered area. The whole place is believed to be sacred and other people climb up here to pray and light candles so we had to be extra quiet. Then, we climbed up the mountain again (this time with no footwear) before we actually reached the mouth of the cave. 

I stood there staring into the small opening lined with jagged edges and wondered how in the world I would get out. We were only allowed in four people at a time and there were four guides stationed at strategic places (checkpoints, if you will) inside the cave itself to help you on your way. Honestly, I am super thankful for them, otherwise I don't think I would have gotten out.

When my turn to go in came, I squeezed myself in, and noticed that I had to go down in order to advance. I placed my right foot somewhere on the wall and my left foot on a ledge. As I was wondering what to do next, the guide pulled my legs down and I protested since my hands were hanging onto nothing and I felt my legs were too short to reach wherever the heck he was planning on placing my feet and I could fall but there was nothing I could do and surprisingly, I managed to get down safely. The guide shone his flashlight over to where I would have fallen if I had slipped and it showed a huge hole in the ground leading deeper into the earth, about a fifteen foot drop. I shuddered.
Next, we moved into this small enclosed space, only about four feet from the ceiling to the ground and there were only candles left by pilgrims lighting the inside. I pushed myself in through the next hole and as I advanced, I noticed that the place was tunnel-like. At this point, the space was so small that I couldn't even bend my legs, or lift my head at a certain height, lest I bump my head on the rocky ceiling and pass out. I grabbed onto the walls and dragged my lower body along. Then there was this curve that required you to twist your body. However, in doing so, I realized that my hips were stuck. At this point I began cursing my huge butt and wide hips. I pushed the ground with my feet but to no avail. I was stuck. I wondered what would happen if I was stuck forever. The film 127 Hours came to mind (which we actually watched on the bus ride to Banahaw). "WTF." I thought to myself. "How in the world am I going to cut off my lower body?". Luckily though, there was a guide there and he told me to bend my right knee. I wondered how that would help since doing so would only make the space smaller. I did it anyway though, and wonders of wonders, I managed to fit! I squeezed and wiggled myself free and advanced to the next stage.
I crawled, twisted and turned until I came to this huge rock protruding from the ceiling that resembled a fang. A guide was there and he told me to be careful. He placed his hand on my head so I would not hit it on the other smaller jagged rocks protruding from the ceiling. The huge fang-like rock obstructed part of the way and I had to squeeze myself horizontally past it to get to the third chamber. A couple more squeezing, wiggling and twisting later, I realized I was stuck again. My upper body was already free but once again, my butt and my hips were preventing me from going any further. I gripped the sides of the  rock and pushed. I pushed harder and harder until I finally managed to pop out. By this point I was sweating profusely. I wondered how much farther I had to go. I was ready to give up. The cave seemed to be swallowing me up.
I decided to press on. At the last part of the cave, I had to climb up into this hole above. The guide offered his bent leg for leverage, so I placed my left foot on his bent leg, my right foot on a ledge on the wall of the cave and grabbed hold of whatever I could to pull myself up and through the hole. I began to see bits of sunlight and a new kind of energy took hold of me. I pushed, twisted, wiggled and squeezed some more until. . .

I got out. I scrambled out of the cave with just a tiny cut on the side of my right hand. My hair was plastered onto my face and I was drenched in my own sweat. I was dusty and I looked horribly disheveled, but I didn't really mind, though. I was out and that was all that mattered. I felt proud of myself for getting out of that cave. Guess the cave likes chubby people, too.

I painted on a happy face since my real, haggard face didn't really show my inner joy. Haha. 
(credits to iggy)

Happy trails to you, 


  1. That actually sounds like a lot of fun. I've never been in a cave. D:

  2. nice experience noh? i recently went caving din, in sagada naman. =)

  3. @Jodie-Ann: it actually was. although a bit scary at first. you should try caving some time. :)

    @apple: an unforgettable one! haha. really? i've never been there. i bet it was amazing. :)

  4. ugh.. this cave.. >_<
    which brings me to wonder why I haven't blogged about it as well.. XD

    question.. would you willingly go back for another go? :D

  5. @kray: why haven't you blogged about it yet? haha. xD
    and yeah, i'll probably go back in when i've lost some weight and decide if it really is easier to get out of if you're skinny. haha. xD


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