Issue of August 30, 2015
Mt. Province

64th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Cave in Balbalan is RP’s 8th deepest cave
by Regie U. Wacas

With a depth of 119 meters, the Ugid-Maling Subterranean River that runs from Barangay Balantoy to Maling, Balbalan, is now the eighth deepest cave in the Philippines.

Members of the First North Luzon International Cave expedition in the Philippines made the discovery after conducting a mapping and inventory of uncharted caves in Balbalan and in Sta. Teresita, Cagayan early this year.

Michael Laummans, the expedition team leader, said they checked the country chapter of the Philippines in the Atlas of the great caves and the Karst of Southeast Asia and found that the Ugid Subterranean River made it to the list.

He said the depth of a cave used for speleological comparison and publication is the mapped depth between the highest and deepest points of the cave.

To date, the deepest cave in the country is the Nagbituka 1 cave in St. Paul, Palawan which is 270 meters deep, followed by Butac Lungib in Camalig Albay; Latipan-Sumaging-Lokohong Cave system; Carmolaon Cave of Bohol; Sanao Cave of Zamboanga del Norte; Nagbituka Cave 2; Lungib Sulpan-Cabalighutan of Western Samar; The Ugid-Maling Subterranean River Cave; the Small Mag-aso Cave system; and the Odessa-Tumbali Cave system with a depth of 115 meters.

The Ugid-Maling Subterranean River is classified as Talus cave, which is characterized by rockslides and rockfalls produce piles of debris. The rocks of the collapse, called talus, are large boulders with irregular shapes, which don’t fit nicely together. Hence, spacious chambers may form in the talus piles producing a cave-like configuration.

The Ugid-Maling Subterranean River has been identified as one of the many tourism spots promoted by the Balbalan local government and which is now undergoing development for better tourist accommodation.

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