Palawan is the so-called Philippines’s Last Frontier because of its abundant land and water resources, some of which are still undiscovered to this date. It does not only have beautiful and clean beaches untouched by commercialism: it is also home to many astounding archaeological discoveries in the country. It hosts a number of discovered caves that have tremendously aided paleontologists in connecting dots and bridging links in the study of prehistoric life. The Tabon Caves in the municipality of Quezon is one such discovery.
While there are the famed rock formations in Puerto Princesa’s Underground River, there are also similarly fascinating limestone formations inside these caves. Just as a Puerto Princesa vacation is not complete without seeing the Subterranean Underground River, a visit in Quezon Palawan wouldn’t be worthwhile without setting foot inside these historical caverns. So, if you’re in Quezon Palawan, or even in Puerto Princesa, be sure to spare a day to see these caves. The site is 155 kilometers away from Puerto Princesa and 30 minutes distant from the town of Quezon. You will also need to ride a boat and pay an entrance fee to get in, but the trip will be worth it. Here are the top three reasons why the place is so important a pit-stop to travelers:
- It’s a cultural heritage site
The 215 caves in Lipuun, north of Quezon – collectively known as the Tabon Caves – are located in the southwestern area of the island of Palawan. Experts are said to have discovered important human fossils in these caves. The fossilised human skeletons found have established the presence of humans in the Philippines before the Neolithic Age. It has greatly helped in the study of the origins, life and development of Homo Sapiens in the whole of Southeast Asia.
- The caves spell mystery and fascination of the unknown
There were only 29 caves fully explored by archaeological experts, and only 7 are open for public viewing. The rest remained unexplored and are off-limits to tourists because of the danger involved in going inside such ancient (possibly 50, 000 years old) caves. Archaeological evidence shows that the caves were used by the early people as burial sites and a place for habitation some over-20, 000 years ago. There is also no light source inside the caves, and all these factors contribute to the mystery and extraordinary adventure the trip offers.
- It’s a museum of natural art
Without doubt, the natural formation of the rounded limestone domes inside the caves is an artwork of nature in itself. Other remains from the early people revealed during the excavation from 1962 to 1970 can also be seen. The whole place is like a complex gallery of pieces, developed and maintained by the National Museum. Walking inside those caves is like walking into the lives of the earliest people who lived in the land.
Outside the Tabon Caves complex is a beautiful beach where you can relax and commune with nature after exploring the caves. It’s an ideal place to drown yourself in with intellectual diversion and then relax and have a moment of peace and quiet for yourself. You surely wouldn’t regret it!