TRINIDAD CAVE SYSTEM
Underlain by extensive calcareous rock unit, Trinidad municipality, located in the northern part of the island, is also home to a number of caves. The most popular of these caves is the Batungay Cave located in a forested area of Brgy. Santo Tomas, in the interior part of the town. Batungay is derived from the word “bato”, meaning rock, and “ngay”, meaning twins. Literally, it means that the cave is beneath two solid rocks known as Batungay Twin Peak. Inside the cave is a flowing stream of clear water and majestic stalactites hanging from the cave ceiling and stalagmites jutting out from the cave floor forming different shapes like chandeliers and curtains.
The cave is uniquely known as having designated habitats for some species and unique cultural practices. The “Langub sa Has” or the cave of the snakes houses some snakes in the cave. The “Langub sa Kabyaw” is a habitat for the bats, and is a rich source of guano or bat manure used as fertilizer. The “Langub sa Simbahan” contains magnificent stalactites that glitter in the dark, hanging from the ceiling like huge chandeliers in cathedrals. There is also the “Langub sa Binlanan” where the traditional healers or the “tambalans” prepare their medicinal herbs and do their oraciones or rituals. They leave some of the concoctions they made in the cave, along with some food as an offering to the “apo” of the cave. The tambalans can go through the cave’s canals to reach a cave in Ilihan, Alicia, in another town. Ilihan Cave is known to be a sister cave or Batungay.