Bohol is known to be a cave country with the presence of thousands of caves both known and unknown to the locals. Roughly 1,400 caves are located around the province of Bohol, with the Hinagdanan Cave being one of the most prominent ones.
A local planter who was cutting up weeds to give space for his plants became the discoverer of the cave when he noticed a large hole during his weeding. Curious, the farmer thought that the hole led to something else: thus he decided to drop a stone to find out if there was some kind of surface below. To his surprise, he heard the sound of water coming from the hole. He immediately concluded that it was no ordinary hole but one that led to a cave. Since the hole was too small for the farmer to pass, he started looking for another passageway that might give him access to the cavern. And thus, the Hinagdanan Cave was discovered.
The cave is a karst, underground-type cave, which means that it is made up of limestone and needs the aid of a ladder to have access to it. Soon enough, a staircase was constructed. The additional stairway structure became so well-associated to the cave that the relation caused the cave to be known as the Hinagdanan Cave or, in the Filipino tongue, “A Cave with a Staircase”.
As with any other tourist attraction, legends and myths are often associated with it. Locals claim that early townspeople could borrow house utensils from the supposed elves that live inside the cave. Unfortunately, the benevolent friendship between the local inhabitants and the magical beings ended when the locals failed to return what they initially borrowed from the supernatural beings.
For cave enthusiasts, explorers will be able to find alluring stalagmites and stalactites inside the cavern. Visitors can even take a dip in the 10-feet-deep pool found in the middle of the cave. Luckily, a professional lifeguard surrounds the area to ensure the safety of the swimmers. There are only two fluorescent lamps that provide light to the cave’s guests, which is why visitors are encouraged to bring additional lighting such as flashlights and torches when exploring the location.
Today, the cave remains a popular attraction of the town of Dauis, and there are souvenir shops situated near the entrance of the cave as well as a resort that sits adjacent to the cave’s area. From the once narrow and wobbly wooden staircase, the flight of stairs is now replaced with significantly wider steps and rounded steel bars. The cave is about 2.5 kilometers from the center of Dauis and about 15 kilometers west of Tagbilaran City.
The most intriguing trait of the cave is that the water in the pool is a combination of salt and ground water that creates an effect resembling the smell of urine. Unfortunately, the cave has been significantly vandalized, and the effects are considered irreversible. Despite the odor and vandalism, the cool temperature of the water and the amazing contours inside the Hinagdanan Cave still offer stress-relieving benefits to anyone who decides to enter it.