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The Basang Cave Survey, Aldan Province, Philippines

By James Smart

The 1992 BEC expedition to the Philippines generated a lot of media coverage and brought us to the attention of the prestigious Prudentialife Corporation of Makati in Metro Manilla.  They had recently acquired some land in northern Panay Island, and in return for a survey of a short cave here, we were treated to a luxury weekend on the nearby paradise island of Boracay, frequently voted as having one of the world's top ten beaches.

Unfortunately for international relations, the completed survey was mislaid during the preparation of the expedition report (Speleo Philippines 1992).  It is reproduced here for completeness.

Basang Cave is well known locally and is situated at Basang about an hour drive from Boracay Island. The Prudentialife Corporation were hoping to tap into Boracay's tourist trade by developing the site as an attraction. Wishful thinking.  The cave has long been visited by locals and where the walls and formations aren't spoilt by graffiti, they're soiled by bat guano.  The grandest formations are found in Bat Chamber and Scorpion Grotto but they are rapidly disintegrating due to the resolution and a visit• here is marred by the presence of thousands of bats and their guano.

Our surveyed length came to 765m. Another mention of the cave has subsequently come to light (Ferret, 1991) which gives the length as 909m and depth of 10m.


Ferret, Gerard, 1991:

Expedition Philippines 91 - (preliminary report); unpublished.

Speleo Philippines 1992:

The Journal of the Joint Bristol Exploration Club (United Kingdom and the National Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines expedition. Bristol Exploration Club; 46pp maps, photos, and surveys.

James Smart can be contacted by e-mail