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Exploring Maanghit Cave in Libertad Dec 9, 2016

Exploring Maanghit Cave in Libertad

GPS waypoint: 11°46'44.68"N, 121°53'30.05"E
Location: Union (barangay), Libertad (municipality), Antique (province), Philippines

Armpit Smell
Word around Antique is that Libertad has the Maanghit Cave. It smells of bat dung, thus the name (translates to Armpit Cave). That's the first thing that gets your attention at the cave mouth. Bat dung used to be harvested as natural fertilizer, but that practice has since been banned.

On The Trail
Note: You can't go to the cave without registering with the tourism office at the municipality first. And it's wise to do so, because they provide the guides - and yes, you need a guide! Don't attempt to do this on your own.

From Ati Cave, we went back on the road to the jump-off trail. We set out on foot until we reached the Bungan Bungan Spring, another tourist offering. We didn't bathe yet. Access to Maanghit Cave from Bungan Bungan Spring is through a meter-wide dirt trail. As of this writing, the trail is being groomed, set to complete before Christmas. I would suggest taking this trail on the way to the cave, but taking the river trail (you walk on the shallow river) on the way back - ask your guide.

The entrance to the cave is marked by steps that lead to the deeper sections.

Exploring Maanghit Cave in Libertad
the highlight of this cave is the tunnel trek in knee-deep subterranean stream coming out of a spring

Cave Interior
Careful! I banged my head 5 times on the low-lying stalactites - if not for my helmet, I would be carried out on a stretcher!

Some narrow passages opened up to cathedral-like expanse. There were big insects on the cave wall. Many interesting formations inside - from one looking like a horse's dick to another looking like a saint statue. You are limited only by your vivid imagination. The main passage branched-off to other passages that are left unexplored.

Subterranan Stream
Going deeper, we came upon a knee-deep stream running along what resembled a natural tunnel. We followed it upstream until we came to a pool where the stream came from. It didn't look like the spring source. The pool is deep but no one knows exactly how deep or where it leads to. This would be an exciting and daring dive for cave divers!

It was not a traverse. We came back the same way. Altogether, we were inside the cave about 45 minutes. Since the cave has not been fully explored, you can actually spend days inside it!

Ending Thoughts
Maanghit Cave is deep, cavernous,narrow, expansive and not yet fully explored. Add the walk along the subterranean stream and you have a destination worth going out of your way for.

--- TheLoneRider

Next stop: Bungan-Bungan Spring in Libertad

on the foot trail passing by workers completing the trail stairway down to the inner cave stalactites at the cave mouth steps with hand-rail deeper into the cave...the steps stopped at some still get the Indiana Jones feel :)
Tarantula spider see the horse's dick? then you also have a vivid imagination :) the line from where bat dung (guano) was dug out for harvesting start of the water trek inside the cave
we continued forging through the deep pond where the stream begins...but nobody knows how deep it goes or how far it leads to the spring source heading back class picture with Mr. Galahad Garcia and the guide

Google Map Libertad, Philippines

tourist attractions in Libertad tourist attractions hotels in Libertad lodging
  • Eliab Lodging Place - usually full with long-term transients so call first - landline: 036.272.168 | mobile: 0939.318.7737
    across the street from the market along the highway
government offices in Libertad government
  • tourism office Tourism Office - register here for the Maanghit Cave visit
    municipal hall

Libertad Cost Index

(US$1 = PHP 49.87 as of Dec 12, 2016)
  • PHP 250/night Eliab Lodging Place, in front of the market, recommended!
  • PHP 75-450/night price range for Barizo J Lodge by the port (recommended for early 3am departures)
  • PHP 150 motorcycle ride from Libertad to Buruanga
  • PHP 20 motorcycle ride from Libertad to Union

Libertad FYI / Tips

  • northbound, Libertad is the last stop for buses plying the west coast of Panay (Iloilo City to Libertad). If you need to go further north (Union, Buruanga, or Malay), you will have to ride the motorcycle from Libertad, which is more expensive than bus fare
  • bring swim clothes for Maanghit Cave because a swim at Bungan Bungan follows
  • from the town port, there is the Kalayaan Shipping (0920.967.0968 / 0917.563.2817) plying the daily Libertad-Caluya route (leaves Libertad 3am, arrives Caluya 5:30am / leaves Caluya 7pm, arrives Libertad 9:30pm)
  • the Banigan Festival, Libertad's town fiesta happens mid-March
  • Libertad Tourism email: |
  • Libertad Tourism telephone: 036.278.1501 | 0929.419.7530

How to Get to Libertad

  • from Boracay - take the Ceres bus bound for Iloilo via Pandan (not via Capiz). Get off at the Pandan Hospital junction and take another northbound bus for Libertad.
  • from Iloilo (or from the west coast of Panay) - take any northbound bus for Libertad. You can get off at the main city in front of the market

Attractions in Libertad

  • Maanghit Cave - deep cave with big cathedral-like expanse with knee-deep stream spawned by a spring
  • Bungan Bungan Spring - refreshing dip on this river spawned by the spring inside Maanghit Cave. Ideal for dipping after the cave visit
  • Ati Cave - shallow cave used in the summer by banig weavers
  • Banig Weaving - cottage industry using the native bariw to weave them into straw mats
  • Banig Festival - annual town fiesta in celebration of their banig industry
  • Pucio Point - view, marine sanctuary with big fish
  • Parigusan It Pari - clean river located at Sitio San Juan, Brgy. San Roque
  • Tabadsoy Falls
  • Kinyan Falls - in Cubay, about 1-hour hike
  • Pangitanan Falls - at Inyawan, 3-hour hike

Libertad Blogs by TheLoneRider

Suggested itinerary on the WEST coast of Panay Island from Boracay going south

  1. Boracay - most popular beach in the Philippines
  2. Malay - Nabaoy River, Pangihan Cave, Nagata Falls, Agnaga Falls, Naasug Point, Malay Ecological Park, Motag Living Museum
  3. Nabas - wind tubines, Hurom-Hurom Cold Springs
  4. Pandan - Malumpati Spring
  5. Libertad - Maanghit Cave, Ati Cave and Bungan-Bungan Spring
  6. Sebaste - Igpasungaw Waterfall
  7. Culasi - Malalison Island
  8. Tibiao - hot kawa-bath, white water river rafting, Bugtong Bato Waterfall, rice terraces, Tibiao Bakery, pottery, fish spa
  9. Anini-y - Nogas Island, scuba diving

Suggested itinerary on the EAST coast of Panay Island from Boracay going south

  1. Boracay - most popular beach in the Philippines
  2. Malay - Nabaoy River, Pangihan Cave, Nagata Falls, Agnaga Falls, Naasug Point, Malay Ecological Park, Motag Living Museum
  3. Nabas - wind tubines, Hurom-Hurom Cold Springs
  4. Kalibo - Bakhawan Eco-Park, Tigayon Hill
  5. Tambak - oysters
  6. Capiz - Roxas City
  7. Carles | Estancia - Gigantes Island Boat Tour, Lighthouse of Gigantes Island and Bakwitan Cave of Gigantes Island
  8. Iloilo - Batchoy Indulgence
Facebook Users
Dec 9, 2016

»» next story: Dipping at Bungan-Bungan Spring in Libertad
»» next Caving story: Visting Pangihan Cave of Malay
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