Friday, February 10, 2017

Macahambus Cave and Gorge

Macahambus Cave and Macahambus Gorge are some of the natural tourist attractions of Cagayan de Oro City which are located south of Lumbia Airport which is now a Philippine Air Force base. The natural cave is located at the eastern side of a highway going to Bukidnon.  At the mouth of the cave are two markers from the National Historical Institute. Inside the cave is the main chamber which can accommodate 10 to 20 standing people. It is totally dark inside and the atmosphere is eerie so that a visitor needs a flashlight to illuminate his surroundings. There is no large amount of stalagmites or stalactites in the cave but traces of them are visible. Some fruit bats hang on the ceiling and walls of the cave. Moving farther, a visitor can make out a short tunnel that is faintly illuminated by a natural light. To get out through the other end of the cave, he has to follow the light. Since the space in the tunnel is narrow, he has to crouch his way out of the cave. Right outside the cave’s exit is a viewing deck or veranda which without it a careless visitor will fall off a steep precipice with boulders beneath it. On the viewing deck he sees the scenic Cagayan de Oro River. He can get back to the highway without entering back the cave by walking through the short bridge that leads to a footpath on a slope.

Cagayan de Oro River from the viewing deck
An exit path with railings
Just about 200 meters from the entrance of Macahambus Cave at the western side of the road is the Macahambus Gorge or doline. Looking at the gorge from a high ground, the visitor sees it as just an ordinary terrain with cliffs, high ground and low ground with lush vegetation. The physical shape of the gorge or the doline is made indistinguishable by the trees, vines and bushes that cover the surface of the ground. A visitor
has to climb down the flight of steps of a steel staircase to explore the bottom of the gorge. 

The bottom of the gorge

Aside from being tourist attraction, the Macahambus Cave and Macahambus Gorge are also natural historical monument of the city because the hills at these cave and gorge are the site of the battle between the US and Filipino forces during the Philippine-American War in the last year of the 19th century. The “Battle of Macahambus Hill” is one of the few battles where the Filipino combatants prevailed over the better armed and trained American soldiers.

American troops in the area of Macahambus Hills in 1900