Book Report In English IV

The Day The Loving Stopped A Daughters’ View Of Her Parent’s Divorce Book Report

Book Written by Julie Autumn List

            This report is based upon the book The Day The Loving Stopped A Daughters’ View Of Her Parent’s Divorce, written by Julie Autumn List. This novel was published by Fawcett Juniper in New York and is copyrighted 1980 by Julie Autumn List.

Introduction to the Author

            The Book The Day The Loving Stopped A Daughters’ View Of Her Parent’s Divorce was written by Julie Autumn List. Actually she’s a private person; she didn’t even show her autobiography (her life, literary works etc.) as an author. Let me tell you that her novel, The Day The Loving Stopped was based on real life, it was her life on the past three decades. She was the one who witnessed the divorce of her parents so she decided to write it up to inspire other people.


            I fully enjoyed reading this book. I felt the sincerness of the story. Many people nowadays don’t have the spirit to share their inspiring stories, but the author did it for us to know the right thing to do whenever tragic events happen like what she had experienced.

            Julie Autumn was courageous enough to aim her goals despite her situation when she was still young. I could say that she was so undaunted when she chronicles all her memories through photo albums, letters and memoirs. Though she was no longer on that kind of situation and she was on her way to build up new things (because it was her graduation), she sat along the couch and flashback all the scenarios on her childhood days (whether bad or good).

            Before the tragedy happened, a young girl was so curios about the things around her. She had an intact family relationship during her childhood days. She was close to her sister and two half-brothers. Despite the relationship she had with her siblings, her parents were starting to have misunderstandings on some things. Her parents were always fighting especially at night. As a child who was not aware in the real world, she was anxious on why did her parents always argue. At first she didn’t mind it deeply but when the time came that her mother was already weeping, she was alarmed. She had this imputation that something bad will happen. After few days, her parents decided to divorce. The closeness of her family was changed especially with her father because she stayed with her mother’s house. “It was not the end yet” she said. In spite of her problem, she continued to face her life even the compactness of her family broke. I could say that she is an exemplary to all of us.

            The message of the author states that “Whatever happens, continue your life”. Do not distress yourself with tragedies you had experienced, instead move on and change to a better you.


            The author achieves her purpose to give the message of his work to the viewers. He made an inspiring novel where can relate much. It seemed to be an interesting work because of some twists on the scenarios, and the character itself gave justice on each event.

             I think the protagonist, at the same time the narrator of the novel played the most genius role because I felt the enjoyment, intensity, suspense, and the sadness of each scene and I was able to recognize myself as the star on this work.

            As the story goes by, I was palpitating. I didn’t feel any boredom because each and every chapter was full of excitement on what would happen on the characters of the story. Unlike any other books/novels, some of the events are boring so you escape on it. I could say that this novel gave something that’s unique so you would stay on it until the story ends. Some of it scenes happened already in my life, I know you, as an ordinary person can relate too.

            The strength of the story or the novel was the climax after it occurred. If you can remember, the climax was the time when the parent’s of Julie Autumn decided to separate – divorce. At first, Julie felt that it was like a disaster came to her life in her very young age. The relationship of her parents with her changed especially his father. After that separation, the scenes were amazingly changed into better one. The development of Julie Autumn at her young age was inflicted. This made the novel more interesting. I didn’t even see any weakness on the novel because each scene was full of excitement and suspense.

             If we talk about recommendation, this book/novel is suitable for us to read on it. Individuals, couples, and families will learn on this literary work. I am 100% sure that you’ll not regret reading this kind of novel.   

            This literary work is so inspiring, astonishing, poignant, and appropriate to each and every one of us especially daughters/sons who are suffering from family problems, separation of parents, and misunderstandings with her/his relatives. I’m pretty sure you’ll like and love this novel.


            Honestly, I am not fond of reading books/novels and other literary works.

            I wasn’t that interested when our teacher said that you’ll going to make a book  report for this quarter (3rd Grading Period). When she announced that, I was like, “Oh my God! My brain will explode and my nose will bleed. I am not good in English language, I’m sure my grammar will be tested”.

           I forced myself to read this book/novel. That was the very first time I read a book/novel seriously. At first, I was confused on what was happening on some scenes, I was able to use my imagination in order for me to understand the story briefly. As the story continues, I was interested, I didn’t feel any boredom on the story as I expected. It was like magic when I was determined and wanted to finish the story until the end. The main reason why did I stay on this novel was the main cast, Julie Autumn. She was the one who brought the novel. Like I said, she was at the same time stating or narrating the story. I idolized her strength and courage at her very young age despite the divorce of her parents. I was like her, we have similar personalities. I didn’t lose hope when tragedies occur. I will continue my life even if the biggest problem attacks on me, it’s not a hindrance to attain my goals, I will fight for it like Julie Autumn did.

            That was the first time I enjoyed reading books/novels. I could say that this novel had a great impact on me and can influence a person’s life.

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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in Articles (Mat)


Balik Kita Han Akon Kabataan

Nag-aaarak an adlaw, imponto alas dose han ika-23 han Oktubre 1996 usa nga baby an gin-anak ha Basay, mismo ha ira balay. Hin-o man adto nga buyag nga baby? Syempre ako!

Kun mapapansin niyo tunay man gud ako na Basaynon, tikang pag-anaka hasta yana. Di ko kaya bayaan ini nga lugar, damo man an mga nahinabo na problema pero mas damo la gihapon an mga mag-upay nga memorabilya, labi na han mga adlaw nga waray ko pa gud labot han kalibutan, an mga adlaw na pagminulay la an akon mga pinambubuhat, han akon Kabataan!

Masisiring ko gud na usa ha pinakamaupay nga mga nahinabo han akon kinabuhi an akon pagkabata. Natatandaan ko pa an iba nga akon pinambuhat han kinder pa ako tutob yana, mga 5 or 6 ada ako hadto katuig. Hini nga mga tuig, umabot na an pag-eskwela ko pero waray ako kabaraka, excited pa ngani ako kay makakakita ako hin mga bag-o nga nawong. Baga-baga la ak hadto hin tuhay nga estudyante, namamati talaga ako ha titser pero pagkakakulop “playtime” na, duwa kasi ka-seesion an amon klase, pan-aga ngan pankulop, obvious naman di ba na pan-aga ako kay pagkakakulop risyo-risyo na. Hadto  nga mga tuig meada ko na naaraman nga kalurungan, diri ako nagsasarit pag-nalakat ako, na-ninja moves nala ako kay maaram ako na diri ako tutugutan hit akon kag-anak pagginawas. Pag nakatakas na ako makadto na naman ako hit akon duty, ha seawall hit amon barangay ngan hit karatig nga barangay, magkikirigta kami hit akon mga kasangkayan dara an mga murulayon namon, hini nga panahon nagdadara kami hin styrofoam nga ginhihimo nam nga baloto-baloto, syempre harani man la it dagat, kun ikukumpara an dagat han una kaysa yana dako talaga it pagkakaiba, malinaw ngan waray gud basura. Bago namon ibutang an amon ginhimo na baloto-baloto, nalatay anay kami hit latayan, an iba may hinpitik nala. Pag plastado na it baloto-baloto iduduso na namon iton pahirayo, huhuyup-huyupon namon, pahirayo-ay kami hiton kun hin-o it harayo asya it manunugo hin bisan ano la, kun baga asya it mayor. Kahuhuman nam pagmulay kauli na, dara namon an kalipay, pero asya na naman ini it makulba nga parte it panguli. Waray manggud ako sarit, expected na iton nga may gud parusa nga maabot pag-uli ha amon balay. An pinakamabug-at ko nga parusa pag nauli kay an pagbasa han libro. Naka-abang na iton pagsakob na pagsakob mo pala, bisan sugad hiton okay la gihapon an akon adlaw, marisyo la mapa-eskwelahan man o ha seawall.

Umabot na naman an tuig nga magkakamay-ada na naman ako mga bag-o nga kasangkayan, ma-gradwar na kami. Pero may iba nga butang nga baga hit pataraw-an hin guti bago ako grumadwar. Gin-assign ako han akon titser nga maging narrator han amon play nga “Cinderella” para hit amon graduation. Gintagan niya ako hin script tapos ginpasaolo ha akon. Ako nga waray kamuwang-muwang nagsaolo la, pagkadto ko han akon titser para magpractice pagrecite nagmakaarawod ako. Imbes na akon linya la an akon yayaknon pati kan Cinderella line gin pipinanyakan ko na. Nakatawa udog han akon titser.

Katapos han graduation bago na naman nga adlaw. Pagkinabuwasan nagmata ako aga pa mga 5:00 han aga. Kumaon ngan pumarigo. Umusa hi papa nga kay ano ako nagmata hin aga tapos kumarigo. Pagkaniyan-niyan kumita hiya ha akon nga naka-complete uniform. Takay nakada na ako dapit ha gawas. guliat udog niya “Makain ka tapos na it klase, di ba tapos na an iyo graduation! Makain ka nga udog!”. Balik ako dayon ha balay, yakan ko kan papa “Di ba papa grade 1 na ako?”, baton liwat niya “Intoy diri pa yana it klase, waray ka pa ngani pagpaenroll” tapos nagtinawa hiya. Kamakaarawud nala meada pa-gud umusa nga mga tawo nga naka-uniform ako. Usa nga di ko malilimtan ha akon kinabuhi, embarrassing nga funny moment.

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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Random


Han Adlaw Nga Lumakat Ka!



Han adlaw nga lumakat ka, nagtuok an kalangitan, Kay ano dawla kasugad? Pagabat ko nag-emote an langit, nag-emote han mga mag-upay nga butang nga imo ginbayaanan ha amon. Mga memorabilya nga ginbilin mo ha ngatanan nga tawo nga imo nakilala. Pati langit naging emosyonal tikang han imo mga pinambuhat nga nakabulig ha iba mga tawo para ha ira kaupayan. It usa nga tawo nga gintutuokan hit langit, makarima-dima, kay it ginhahatag hiton nga mensahe diri ordianaryo, maaram ka kun kay ano it nga dapat maipasabot ha imo nga mensahe? Secret diri ako maaram! Di man ako maaram, pero ramdam ko naman iton nga mensahe tikang han pakakilala ko haim. Haliput man ini nga nahimo ko nga ambot, sana maintindihan nimo kay usa ka nga namumukud-tangi ha iba nga tawo, AMERIKANO man o PILIPINO!

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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Random


The Mat Weaver of Basey, Samar

by  lethalblogger 


Photo Credits to : Region VIII , Eastern Visayas Facebook Page- no copyright infringement intended

The Mat Weaver of Basey, Samar

            The town consider Brgy. Basiao to be one of their top suppliers of mat or banig. Themat  weavers from the town of Basey, Samar have been known for its production of high quality  and intricately well-designed mats, wallets, bags, slippers, wall decors and other handcrafted items which are all made up of sedge grass locally known as tikog (Fimbristylis milliacea).
 tikog grass.  This products is not only being sold in the local area like Basey and Tacloban City but also to other provinces and big cities like Makati and Cebu and of course also overseas.

Photo Credits to : Region VIII , Eastern Visayas Facebook Page- no copyright infringement intended 
The town got the spot of the “World Longest Banig or Mat” to the Guiness Book of World records last September 28, 2008 as part of the Basey’s Fiesta celebration, feast of their patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel. The mat is 2 kilometers long.

Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Articles (Mat)


Sohoton’s natural beauty beckons tourists

August 3, 2010, 5:36pm
BASEY, Samar — The municipal mayor of this town is inviting tourists to visit Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge National Park, considered Eastern Visayas’ most famous tourist attraction, and enjoy the natural wonders that this tourist destination offers.

In an interview, the mayor, lawyer Igmedio Ponferrada said that Sohoton, which is full of potentials as tourism hub in Eastern Visayas is peaceful contrary to some perception regarding the presence of New People’s Army rebel elements roaming the area. “We are inviting everybody to see and enjoy the beauty of nature in the Park,” he urged.”

In a separate interview with the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division (8ID) Commanding General, Major General Arthur Tabaquero, the latter said that the peace and order in the municipality of Basey is “now normal and local and foreign tourists have nothing to worry anymore about their safety in visiting Sohoton and other tourist attractions in the town.” He added that the military has already cleared the town and its neighboring municipalities of rebels that used to operate in these areas.

It was learned that Basey was once the hub of NPA operation and where the biggest NPA rebel camp was located in Samar Island.

Tabaquero pointed out that to substantiate his claim, the five-day National Cave Congress held last May 11 to 15, 2009 in Basey was attended by some 300 participants composed of foreign and local tourists from various parts of the country, cave enthusiasts and spelunkers, member of the academe and public officials. “It was successful in that no untoward incident happened during the five-day or so event,” according to the military official.

The Congress was spearheaded by the Philippine Speleological Society Inc. (PSSI) in cooperation with LGU-Basey, the Department of Tourism (DoT-8), and other private organizations.

Tabaquero said his command did not get a single report from any of the event participant complaining of rebels disturbing the Congress.

The Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park covers 840-hectares of forest area. It was declared a national park in 1935. The park boasts of natural wonders like waterfalls, underground streams and caves with unique rock formations such as the Sohoton, Panhulugan and Rawis caves; natural bridge rock formations and pools; Balantak Falls and forest teeming with lush biodiverse wildlife species, and other natural wonders and attractions which have long been drawing local and foreign tourists, hobbyists, treasure hunters, spelunkers, scientists and researchers.

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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Articles (Sohoton Cave)


Basey, Samar – Day 2

Basey was the center of Eastern Visayas during the Spanish Era.  The Golden River, which cuts across the town and empties into San Juanico Strait, was a major waterway especially for the remote barangays.
From Ron & Fire’s guesthouse, we took a 5 min walk to the NEW BUS TERMINAL and rode a non-air conditioned van at Php25.00 each. The van trip takes 45 minutes.  The van departs every hour which starts at 5:00 am. The depart, once the van is full.  (Allocate a time for this). The van’s end stop is at the Basey’s Tourism office.  It’s at the Basey Tourism office where you’ll book your package tours.

To reach the caves, waterfalls, we took a boat ride which lasted for 1.5 hours.  You need to prepare and bring packed lunch, snacks and water (allocate extra for the boatman and his assistant).
The 1.5 boat ride at the Cadac-an River or also known as “Golden River” is a scenery already.  You can catch birds flying low, see nipa huts residing at the edge of the river, watch fisherman catch their fishes,   see locals taking a bath on the river & wash their clothes, see kids playing while on bancas, see bancas loaded with bananas – this is how they transport their food, we even saw a funeral procession on water (I was so shocked that I wasn’t able to take a photo).
1st attraction: SOHOTON CAVES & NATURAL BRIDGE.  569.9 meters. Located in between Brgy Mabini and Brgy Inuntan.

The experience at the Sohotan Caves is very light. The name of our guide is Mang Nico who is accredited by DENR. The entire tour only took 45 minutes (actually it depends on the group’s spacing if you will take a lot of pictures and ask a lot of questions)
As advertised there is a hanging bridge. But it’s now not passable. It needs fixing. Then there is the Natural Bridge, you can only go if it didn’t rain the day before.
Tour costs: Motorboat Php1,200 + Guide fee Php350 + Light Php300 + Entrance Php25/pax for locals. (if foreigner Php200.00, if student or child Php20.00) + Golden River cruise permit Php50/head + 10% operating expenses fee
2nd attraction:  BALANTAK WATERFALLS.
The waterfalls is really nice. We were lucky. Since it has been raining, the waterfalls is bigger compared to summer season.
To reach the waterfalls, you need to take a motorcycle (habal-habal)  ride or hike for 3 kms.  Just a precaution, talking to habal-habal driver/s is quite stressful. For locals it only costs Php20.00 but it goes as high as Php100/head if they know you are not from there.  We were able to negotiate Php150/habal-habal with 3 passengers in it.  Yes, we even have to pay for the 1 boatman and the 1 tour guide.  The habal-habal ride lasts for 10 mins and for those who aren’t used to ride motorcycles + rocky road. Be forewarned it’s an adventure!
From the foot where the waterfalls area is, you take another light hike for 10 minutes.
Tour costs: Motorboat Php1,200 + Guide fee Php200 + Cottage Php100 + Entrance Php25/pax for locals. (if foreigner Php200.00, if student or child Php20.00)  + Golden River cruise permit Php50/head + 10% operating expenses fee.
                                                 Basey, Samar: Balantak Waterfalls

3rd attraction: RAWIS CAVE.  We didn’t go to this anymore since it’s recommended to have proper gear here.  You have to be in rubber shoes or better yet in boots and pants.  It’s recommended for more adventurous people.
Tour costs: Motorboat Php1,200 + Guide fee Php300 + Light  Php300 + Entrance Php25/pax for locals. (if foreigner Php200.00, if student or child Php20.00)  + Golden River cruise permit Php50/head + 10% operating expenses fee.
** It’s best to do all the 3 attractions at one-go. So that boat fee and river cruise permit are paid once. Just be there early. Be conscious on what they are billing you. The entrance fees can be discounted. Try to haggle if they can take out the cottage fee (it’s useless especially if you won’t be staying long).
…..back in Basey city, we walked to the nearest church –St Michael Archangel parish built in 1846. What I love most are the stained glasses – I find it huge and very intricately made and maintained.  Plus they were able to keep the old tiles. 

Though we missed going to the oldest church/chapel in Leyte which was a little farther.  We walked back where the tourism office is (that’s where the jeepney terminal is located).  Rode the van again – the last trip going back to the city is at 5:00 pm.
                                                  St. Michael Archangel Church 1846

source :


The Mats of Basey

by crisdiwata on Dec 15, 2010

There are several things that are distinctively Waray and among them are the tikog mats of Basey. In fact, Basey is the current record holder of The World’s Longest Mat that was presented in Guinness Book of World Records.

There are several things that are distinctively Waray and among them are the tikog mats of Basey. In fact, Basey is the current record holder of The World’s Longest Mat that was presented in Guinness Book of World Records. Tikog is a kind of grass which grows in boggy areas. It has firm triangular stems and reaches up to three meters with width ranges from the optimum 1.5 mm to 6mm. Its stems are cut according to the desired length and dried under the sun. Some stems are dyed to desired color and dried again.

photo courtesy of Basey Tourism

The mat weavers preferably choose to weave inside the cool caves as it makes the stems more pliable and easier to interlace. Although mats are used basically for sleeping purposes; locals of Basey have found another face in mats industry.

Baseynons make mats with intricate designs. Starting from the basic to the most complicated designs you could have imagined. Customers may have them personalized. You can ask to place your names on it. From flowers, maps, sceneries and even portrait; say it and they’ll make it.

photo link

Usually designing of these mats is done inside the household. A drawing should be done on the mat first depending on the desired outcome to use as a pattern but there are others who can easily make the designs without any drawing.

I, myself can do the mat boarders and letters just by counting. I’ve learned how to make the designs but I don’t know how to weave the whole mat.

These mats are made into wall decors, curtains, dividers, place mats, baskets, trash can, bags, wallets, slippers and are even embedded to some furniture. It is fashion, art and livelihood in one.

Other photos are courtesy of my friend Lilibeth G.

source :

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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Articles (Mat)


World’s Longest Mat

The people of the agricultural town of Basey, Samar own the distinction of having weaved the world’s longest mat, or “banig” in the local parlance. During the town’s Banigan-Kawayan Festival on September 29, 2000, hundreds of people paraded the mat, which extended for more than a kilometer.

The one-meter wide mat has been weaved for several weeks by groups of people from the different barangays of Basey. While the mat was not submitted as an entry to the Guinness Book of World Records, Basey Mayor Wilfredo Estorninos described the feat as a source of pride for all Basaynons.

Each year, the town, which has weaving as its prime industry, comes to life when it celebrates outlandishly the feast of St. Michael, its patron saint. The highlight of the feast is the Banigan-Kawayan Festival, where the women of Basey weave a variety of intricately designed mats from sedge grass locally known as tikog (Fimbristylis milliacea). This tradition was handed down from many generations. The Church of Basey was built in 1864.

Posted on March 19, 2009 by 

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Posted by on July 29, 2012 in Articles (Mat)


Basey banig maker wins Gawad Ginintuang Award

Delza Morales holding the gold trophy for winning the 2011 Gawad Ginuntuang Award
PALO, Leyte – An entrepreneur engaged in weaving mats and making bags in Basey, Samar has received this year’s Gawad Ginintuang Award during the recently concluded National Trade Fair, a showcase of all best indigenous products in the country. 

Delza Morales, proprietor of Delza’s Native Product, has topped among the hundreds participants of the nationwide event held at SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.

“Our very own producer was honored for exceptional entrepreneurial attainment leading to success, inspiring other entrepreneurs to persevere and pursue excellence,” said Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director Cynthia Nierras.

The Gawad Ginintuang Yaman honors the extraordinary contributions of individuals or institutions in uplifting the Philippine economy through their own advocacies or respective businesses. It is a salute to the outstanding efforts of private or government organizations and individuals in supporting NTF and contributing to its legacy.

According to the DTI official, Morales got the award not just because of her product’s quality made out of native materials but also in providing livelihood to women’s group in Basey, Samar.

This year’s National Trade Fair was participated in by small and medium enterprises in Eastern Visayas including Cristy’s Craft House, TAPs Handmade Products, UPWARD, J&J Abaca Handicraft, Charito’s Delights, and Delza’s Native Products.

Partcipants from the region has recorded a P3.7 million sales, placing the region in the eighth rank among the 16 regions that joined the annual event. (Sarwell Q. Meniano)


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Posted by on July 29, 2012 in Articles (Mat)


Braving the Sohoton Caves of Basey, Samar

There is one thing that keeps me thinking—the more that I travel globally the more that I appreciate the beauty of the Philippines. It gives me pride to see the charming islands of the country with its bountiful flora and fauna. I feel good telling friends from abroad that I come from the islands and a rural area of the country. My view of rural Philippines is more of a wonderful sight rather than a sight of poverty. This feeling is probably a result of being able to compare what I see in other countries. Yes, my dear friends, Philippines still has a lot to offer to the world. Whenever I take domestic flights, I see to it that I sit by the window and shoot lots of pictures of the archipelago. It is always a wonderful experience—I feel I am in heaven when I see the islands spread on the glimmering sea. We are one lucky people who still have these bountiful resources.

Click to enlarge image.


Sohoton Cave


It was no surprise that I was ecstatic to show off the beauty of Samar to nine students—seven from London and two from Manila (see related article) when they visited the island. The award-winning Balud Project which you have read about in previous issues received university students from Imperial College London, University College London and De La Salle University to teach science and mathematics to pupils of Balud Elementary School. They were five British, one Indian, one Swedish and two Filipinos. They have been ardent supporters of the Project. We checked them in at Kaluwayan Beach Resort which was near the school. It is a small obscure resort which boasts five-star accommodations. Their swimming pool was a relief from the sweltering heat.

After one week of teaching, the Project together with the Balud SK, the school teachers, the University of the Philippines Tacloban Balud Organization (yes, Balud has been expanding in different areas, I am amazed) gave the visitors a great time of their life. We brought them to the nearby Sohoton National Park of Basey, Samar. I have been there before, probably a decade ago and it was worthwhile to make a return visit. The weather was great. It was a good time to venture into the caves. 

The trip to Sohoton was courtesy of the amiable Mayor of Basey, Wilfredo Estorninos who was with us during the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement of the Adopt-a-School Program for Balud at the Residence of the British Ambassador at Forbes Park in Makati City a few days back. The students were also received by the Mayor in his office in Basey during the week of their stay. Basey, Samar is a third class municipality and one hour from Tacloban City via the San Juanico Bridge. It is famous for being listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest banig (mat). The mayor waived the entrance fee for all the guests. Foreigners normally pay more to enter the national park. 

Click to enlarge image.


Bank Of The Golden River


The excursionists converged at Basey Wharf where the BFAR pump boat was waiting. We brought with us food and drinks. Rice was cooked in coconut leaves which are shaped into hearts thus the name puso. We also had iraid made ofpalawan, a root crop endemic in the region and which I loved to eat when I was a kid. We had raw tulingan ready for broiling, and of course adobo. Ahhh, I just love Pinoy barakasyon complete with local food. 

It took us one-and-a-half hour by boat to reach Rawis of Barangay Guirang where Sohoton National Park is located. We passed by the port of Balud to pick up other Balud supporters from the village on our way. Pump boats navigate the Golden River. The river itself is already a sight to to see. It is lined by nipa palm trees. As you go deeper into the river, you will see the remote barrios with house clusters, beautiful rock formations and wild trees. Upon arrival at the park, there were tourist guides waiting for us. They are employed by the municipality. There were also DENR employees guarding the national park.

Click to enlarge image.


London And De La Salle Balud Teachers


I was amazed of how advance the staff were and the tour itself in terms of health and safety. They provided helmets of striking colours to all the guests. The tourist guides were in jumpers in similar striking colours to attract attention. They were well trained in the English language and in the scientific knowledge of caves, rock formation and the inhabitants inside. The guides and guards use modern and powerful flash lights (a far cry from the old Petromax). The tour guards remain alert at the back of the crowd so that nobody would be left behind nor get lost in the dark caves. They also see to it that all garbage are brought back to the town.

The caves are part of the Sohoton National Park which covers almost 840 hectares. There are limestones, rockholes, weather-formed rocks and underground rivers aside from forests and wild animals. In the previous decades, the park used to be a loggers’ paradise where huge trees were cut and sold for lumber to the gain of big companies and individuals. Enrile through his Basswood logging company used to profit much from his rampant logging here. The logs caused the enlargement of the Golden River since long trunks make their way to the open sea. It pains me when I think of how such companies profited at the expense of local inhabitants and nature. It is good that this has stopped. 

The park has a number of rock formations. The more prominent assemblage are the cathedral-like caves of Panhulugan I and II, Sohoton and Bugosan. These caves are endogen caves in angular limestone cliff. They support the base of other crack systems. There are many flowstones and dripstones in the formations.

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Panhulugan Cliff


We first ventured into Panhulugan Cave. This cave frames itself in an angular limestone cliff forming a letter “H”. It’s three main cracks serve to wit its form. Its two parallel legs lying 50 meters apart and connected at the entrance by a perpendicular crosspiece provide the said formation. The cracks serve to be the hub opening for internal hallways and the internal cave chambers measure some 49.2 feet high at the end of its leg. Its cathedral immensity contains an interior that branch out into many multi-levelled chambers and tunnels. We were stupid to say ‘yes’ to the guide when he asked us if it is alright for us to crawl. Yes, we went through crevices which exactly fit our bodies in crawling position! Not a good idea for people with claustrophobia (in a dark place). Inside the cave were an infinite variety of flowstones and rock formations which resembled familiar images of the outside world. The cave is geologically active as evidenced by the constant drips of water from stalactites. These caves were used as burial sites during the 13th century.

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Inside The Panhulugan Cave

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Wonderful Stalactites

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Great Rock Formations

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Narrow Passages


The nearby Sohoton Cave is another cathedral-like dome with a parabolic arch-type entrance of about fifty-meters high. Its entrance is a flat door about twenty meters in width and fifty-meters in length. On its ceiling hang spike-shaped crystalline stalactites and rustic and cavernous walls and with stalagmites on the its floor. At the far end of the cave is an opening with a balcony overlooking the natural swimming pool below.

Another formation to see is the Sohoton Natural Bridge. It is a huge arch-shaped rock that connects two mountain ridges spanning the Sohoton River with a vertical clearance of 23 feet, about 8 meters in width and 40 meters in length. The Stone Bridge is forested at its upper portion while on its underside hang heavy karst formations of giant stalactites forming like swords and rockets.

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Swimming And Boating

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Kristina, Neha, Emma And I Enjoying The River


After the cave adventures, we dared the waters of the river below the Panhulugan Cliff, a high and steep rock formation directly across Panhulugan Cave I. We swam under this towering cliff which is a narrow curve of the Sohoton River wherein passing bancas are dragged during low tide. We also went boating. Fortunately the river was quite calm since the week was not rainy. The name Panhulugan is from the Waray-Waray word “hulug” which means to drop from atop. Filipino rebels used this cliff as an ambush point during the Filipino-American war.

We headed home exhausted yet happy after a day of venturing caves, swimming, boating and eating. Sohoton caves provided a glimpse of the beautiful natural wonders of the Philippines the locals and the rest of the world still have to discover and experience. I just hope when visitors start to flock to this place it will remain pristine. One of my European guests summed up the whole adventure—it is one experience that money can’t buy.

By Don Eliseo Lucero Prisno III

The Netherlands

April 26, 2009

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