Palawan’s geography and geology is estimated to have formed about 300 million years ago producing Paglugaban Cave, which is one of the most beautiful Solution Caves formed by fresh water eroding in the Philippines. Officially closed for the public, Submariner Diving Center and Philtech Asia under the lead of Alex Santos, holds a special permit to enter the Cave and teach the first IANTD Tech Cave Diver Course here on October 14 to October 19, 2014.
As special Guest, we welcomed Special Operations Group from Coast Guard Manila headed by Commander Inocencio Rosario.
The Cave itself has 5 Chambers that leads around 300 meters inside until you reach the end which is collapsed and you can find Coral Blocks which indicates that the Cave end into the seabed.
Entering the Cave could be difficult sometimes because the Entrance is quite shallow and if there are waves or surge it might be impossible to enter.
After you have successfully entered the 1st Chamber which is still open, you can surface and see the magnificent beauty of the Chamber. There is also a statue of Mary in remembrance of the 5 Recreational Divers which lost their lives in the Cave back in the 80`s. Now it is time to decent, check your Lights and communicate for the turn pressure, followed by the primary tie off. Leading from there you travel around 15 metres to reach the permanent line which was installed many years ago. The line will then split, so make sure you are familiar with Cave Diving practices and the line protocol. After 120 meters, you reach the 2nd Chamber with beautiful Speleothems and crystal clear Waters. The Chamber is impressively huge and has many ways to lead, or get lost so be always aware. You can also surface here and can see the Roof of the Cave around 30m high. Plenty of untouched Speleothems and huge Flowstones formed over Millions of years will await you. This is the area where 2 of the 7 Recreational Divers where rescued after waiting for 2 days in total darkness until the Philippines Navy rescued them. As a reminder for the Tragedy you will see a 2nd statue of Mary and a Black Cross, for those who are not aware how dangerous Cave diving could be or for those not trained and educated for Cave diving. This is the point to start descending into the 3rd, 4th and 5th Chamber which is also called the “Losers Alley”. The Entrance is secret and it needs to lay a gap. This will be an unforgettable experience Full Cave Diving in a restricted area that requires the adequate Skills in Buoyancy, Professional Behaviour and Knowledge. You will be rewarded with the Skeleton of Giant Groupers, Sediments 100 Millions of years old and unforgettable Haloclines. The Groupers have not been yet dated by carbon analyses so their age still remains a mystery. The Cave is generally quite shallow, about 12-15 meters with maximum of 30 meters, Divetime until the 5th Chamber and back will take around 60 to 70 minutes with your tanks still showing 120 bar once you surface outside.
Paglugaban Cave is an unforgettable experience found beautiful Archipelago of Palawan, El Nido, Philippines.
Please be reminded that Cave Diving is limited to those Persons with Cave Diving Eduction and who have applied the Permit of the Local Government.
Submariner Diving Center offers the Paglugaban Cave as well as IANTD Tech Cave Diving Course in cooperation with Alex Santos & Philtech Asia.