Exploration of Katipunan Spring in Siargao

Thinkpad in the jungle

Thinkpad in the jungle


At the onset of summer 2013, website designer and videographer JM Libarnes, accompanied by Siargao’s tourism officer Donna Tiu, visited a little known spring in Siargao. Libarnes published a video of the spring on YouTube , and from then on, curious visitors started to make a detour on their way to Siargao and take a glimpse of this new attraction.

The spring is located 500 meters southwest of Barangay Katipunan, Pilar municipality, on the island of Siargao, Surigao del Norte, Philippines (9°49’41.99″N, 126° 5’24.15″E). It feeds a small river that meanders for 4.5 kilometers along embankments of Nipa and mangrove trees, finally flushing out to sea at the eastern part of Siargao Island. The barangay (population 600+), is accessible through the Corazon junction in the middle of the Dapa-General Luna road. The junction is 8 kilometers from Dapa, and only 7 kilometers from General Luna.


The Katipunan junction Map

The Katipunan junction

The Katipunan junction

The way to Katipunan

The way to Katipunan


Soon after seeing the YouTube video, cave diver and FCD member Jake Miranda (Punta Bilar Dive Center-Surigao City) contacted local authorities of his intention to visit the spring in the hope of finding and exploring the underground source of the spring. Miranda had earlier sought the assistance of Dir. Mundita Lim of DENR-PAWB to send representatives from the DENR-PAWB Caraga to assess the area. After the DENR assessment, permission was finally granted by no less than the governor of the province, Gov. Sol Matugas, who had earlier visited the site and gave specific instructions that no “dives” should be done in the area.

Katipunan basketball court

Katipunan basketball court

Katipunan River

Katipunan River

Boarding the small boat

Boarding the small boat

Local guides

Local guides

On the morning of June 6, 2013, Miranda, with the support of Barangay Chairperson Flora Forcadilla, and aided by local volunteers, made shallow dives in the area. The team explored two small dry caves as well. After an exhaustive search, no “accessible” underwater entrance leading to an underground cave was found.

Dry cave being explored

Dry cave being explored

Inside the headspring

Inside the headspring

Locals listening to how caves are formed.

Locals listening to how caves are formed.

The katipuneros

The katipuneros

According to sources in the internet: “The soil type in Siargao Island is 80% Bolinao clay, 10% Bolinao clay steep phase, and 5% Jamoyaon clay loam.” In the Katipunan area, underneath this loamy soil, is more of the limestone substrate acting as the underground canal for rainwater. The rolling topography of the island, low altitude of the ridges southwest of the spring, and the presence of other “springs” nearby, may account for the weaker flow of water in the Katipunan spring. It is but one of the many outlets of water in the area. The longest river in Pilar municipality is actually the one that sources from Barangay Maasin-this river has a total distance of 8.5 kilometers. Such river systems have tourism potential as a river cruise attraction.

Still one cannot discount the possibility of finding a large dry or wet cave system in the area.

Developing the Spring into a Tourism Attraction

There are two springs in the river. The first spring one sees as you head upriver has a muddy bottom profile, thus swimmers have to contend with water turning murky at the slight disturbance. The furthermost spring, the “headspring,” this one with rocky limestone bottom, is the one that can be turned into a “natural” swimming pool.

Deep spring but murky when disturbed

Deep spring but murky when disturbed

Shallow spring can be made deeper.

Shallow spring can be made deeper.

Guide shows stones that should be removed.

Guide shows stones that should be removed.

This spring, which flows from the side of a rocky outcrop, had an observed average water flow of 30 liters per second. Because of the shallow “catchment” pool, the water quickly cascades to the river. During low tide, when the river drains all its water to the sea, the pool is only knee deep at its deepest. The water during low tide is fresh and clear.

During high tide, when sea water flows into the river, the pool fills up and water level rises by at least 4 feet, making the pool deep enough for swimming. During high tide, the water in the pool turns salty but remains clear.

The local barangay can turn this main spring into two pools-one shallow pool for children, and a deeper pool for adults. But they must first remove the stones left by crab fishermen who put them there.


A tourism master plan must be designed and implemented by the barangay council with inputs from the local tourism office. The steps can be:

1. First, an initial meeting for the creation master plan involving the council and the tourism office must take place. The components of the master plan will be the objective, work design, tourism fees, economic activity, marketing and sustainability.

a. Objective-To bring in local and foreign tourists to the spring pool.
b. Work Design-To effectively and efficiently use available manpower, funding and other resources to meet the objective.
c. Tourism Fees-To design affordable tourism fees to attract tourists to the area.
d. Economic Activity-To collect fees, encourage economic enterprise such as food catering, river cruise, boat ferrying and tourist guiding.
e. Marketing-To place directional and informative signs from Dapa and General Luna leading to Barangay Katipunan.
f. Sustainability-To train the local populace in embracing and protecting this natural resource.

2. Second, a work schedule should be finalized to remove the stones, erect cottages, build or redesign boat ferries, and place road signs leading to the area.

3. There are also food products that can be marketed by Barangay Katipunan. Locals can sell and cook on site the popular dried flying fish called “Bang-si” and mud crabs which are aplenty in the area.

Breakfast of dried fish and crabs

Breakfast of dried fish and crabs

Breakfast is ready

Breakfast is ready

Cheap Bang-si

Cheap Bang-si

(end of report)

Copy furnished to:
2. Office of the PAMB-SILAS
3. Hon. Sol F. Matugas Governor, Surigao del Norte (care of Donna Tiu, Tourism Office of Siargao)
4. Hon. Lucio Gonzales, Pilar Municipality, Surigao del Norte
5. Hon. Flora Forcadilla, Barangay Chairperson, Barangay Katipunan, Pilar Municipality
6. FCD/file

How are underwater caves formed?

How are underwater caves formed?

The illustration is from a clip of images (modified from Rob Wood/Wood Ronsaville Harlin). If you are interested to view an animation of cave formation, go to this link http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/visualizations/es1405/es1405page01.cfm?chapter_no=visualization.

Most caves are formed in limestone rock. Calcite (calcium carbonate) is the main mineral of limestone.

1. Throughout time, rainwater seeps into the cracks and pores of the ground. This rainwater which absorbs carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, (and takes more carbon dioxide as it drains through soil and decaying vegetation), becomes a weak carbonic acid solution.

2. This acidic water slowly dissolves the calcite, and carves tunnels and cavities. The resulting network of passages become fully submerged or underwater caves in the limestone rock.

3. When there is climate change (ice caps form thus lowering sea level) or a tectonic uplift occurs, the water drains out of the caves, leaving dry chambers.

4. As rainwater continues to pour, dissolved limestone drips from the roof to form into stalactites, and drops to the ground becoming stalagmites.

Underwater caves are actually fully submerged sections of caves, which cave divers try to explore. Some were dry caves but due to the warmer climate melting the ice caps, sea levels rose and flooded the caves once again. The stalactites and stalagmites inside these underwater caves consequently stop growing and are now frozen in time.

Article by:

Jake Miranda

Jake Miranda








May 23, 2013. 

Hinatuan Enchanted River Expedition 2013

Hinatuan Enchanted River Expedition 2013

By Jake Miranda, TDI


Dive Team

1. Jake Miranda, TDI Full Cave Diver #495188

2. Ivar Almhjell, TDI Full Cave Diver #488306

3. Michael Allen, PADI Divemaster

4. Johm Rey Pingkian, SDI Divemaster

The Cave

Hinatuan Enchanted River begins as an underwater spring that spouts freshwater from a deep source in the ground. The source of the water may be from aquifers surrounding the area that collect the water from heavy rainfall common in Hinatuan . The exiting water makes it all the way to sea snaking along its own river bed. The river is in the municipality of Hinatuan, in the province of Surigao del Sur.

It is a five hour drive from Surigao City or a three hour drive from Butuan City. With better roads this year, it is now just a four hour drive from Davao City. It is already a tourist destination and has ample facilities like shaded cottages, restrooms and food stalls.

It is managed by its own tourism staff. As it is with water springs, there is an underwater cave in its depths.

Through past explorations of Mantaga Adventure Divers led by Dr. “Doc” Amores and Bernil Gastardo, they were able to find the cave entrance and initially map the cave area to a max depth of 87 meters. The most notable find was a good sized-chamber at a depth of 50 meters. Diving deeper than 50 meters into a further passage is the realm of trimix gases.

enchanted diagram

Diving at Enchanted River
For any kind of diving activity in the area, one needs prior consent and expressed permission from the municipal government through Ferdinand Barrios. Mario Tecson of the tourism staff will inspect your dive licenses and let you sign a waiver.

They are quite efficient to the point that they will reserve the nearest cottage for your dive group. For cave diving, the process is quite thorough but painless. You will also have to get in touch with cave pioneers Dr. Alfonso Amores or Bernil Gastardo for coordination of dive objectives.

For this expedition our objective was to check the entrance which was inaccessible in 2011.


After an easy setup at the cottage we all headed to the nearest ramp. I was Diver#1 and Ivar was Diver#2. Michael and JR were our standby rescue divers outside of the cave entrance. Dive#1 was made at high, slack tide. This was done to ensure easy access into the cave such that the flowing water from the spring would be slowed down by the rising seawater entering the mouth of the river. At least that makes sense in theory and proven so in past dives in the area.

Diving to the bottom of the pool, you will see a large log that marks the split into a right and left lane to get to Doc’s Door and the entry point to Mayor’s Chamber. The right lane, called Bernil’s Crawl is a crawling descent to Doc’s Door. The left lane, called Patrice’s Way is an easier access, because it hugs a cavity on the left wall lessening the current flow.

We tried entering through Bernil’s Crawl but there was substantial sediment deposit in the fissure, making the current flow faster than we can manage. We ended up switching to Patrice’s Way to get to Doc’s door. After hurdling some meters at Doc’s Door we were finally in Mayor’s Chamber. It took us 11 minutes from dive entry to reach Mayor’s Chamber.

This chamber was previously measured by Doc’s team to be 37 meters long and 31 meters wide with a max height of 8 meters. This time more sedimentation on the bed made the bottom closer to the ceiling. There were several fish swimming with us inside the chamber. We also found two lines laid during Doc Amores’ second expedition. The lines and the steel bar anchors were almost buried by the deposited sand. We then explored the chamber up to Kelvin’s Knee Cap which was at 52M depth, made our turnaround at 20 minutes and exited again through Doc’s Door and Patrice’s Way.

We surfaced after a total dive time of 57 minutes. Dive Summary of Dive#1: Entry 11:12H, maximum depth at 51.4M, on 21%O2 and 50%O2 at 17M and 100%O2 at 4M. Exit 12:09H, 57 minutes.


This time Ivar was Diver#1 and I was Diver#2. We made the dive on the descending low tide. We knew from previous expeditions that the current flow of the freshwater would be stronger with the absence of an opposing force-the flooding seawater.

True enough the current was stronger. Even Patrice’s Way proved hard to enter. We were exerting too much effort and breathing more air than usual just to try to push into the cave. Ivar called off the dive right before Doc’s Door. We made a difficult exit as both of us were trapped on several wedged rocks. We did not have time to recover our reels.

It was a humble retreat back to the main entrance. Dive Summary of Dive#2: Entry 14:44H, maximum depth of 39.0M on 21%O2 and 50%O2 at 17M and 100%O2 at 4M, Exit 15:18H, 34 minutes.


There is an observed erosion of the surrounding limestone walls both at topside and underwater, possibly caused by swimmers in the pool, and tourism development in the area. The porous and softened limestone easily breaks off and then descends to the bottom. Most of this eroded rock gets deposited at the cave entrance.

While Patrice’s way is still wide enough for divers to enter the cave, the pile-up of sediment in Bernil’s Crawl will eventually divert the water flow into Patrice’s way, thus making it harder to overcome the outgoing flow. Further erosion could amplify the current through the restrictions. We suspect that depending on the month of the year, one or both entrances could be partially blocked. The sedimentation is an issue for cave divers. While constant water movement and immersion will dissolve it through time, it will make the cave harder to access for cave divers.

The entrance particularly the limestone sand and pebble bottom will always change depending on how the water flow will shape it. Thus the door to this nature’s wonder is ever changing.


1. Hinatuan Enchanted River Underwater Cave Expedition 1 (Feb. 19-20 2010)

Team members Gastardo, Guillermo and Amores

Report written by: Dr. Alfonso Y. Amores

2. Hinatuan Enchanted River Underwater Cave Expedition 2 (July 2-8, 2010)

Team members Neilsen, Amores, Duncan, Ramos, Livingston, Laborda, Mak

Report written by: Dr. Alfonso Y. Amores

3. Hinatuan Enchanted River Underwater Cave Expedition 3 (June 11-14, 2011)

Team members Amores, Holder, Gastardo

Report written by: Dr. Alfonso Y. Amores

Thank you to Ferdinand Barrios, the tourism, planning, development officer of Hinatuan Municipality, and Mario Tecson, tourism operation assistant of Hinatuan Enchanted River Management, and to the discoverers of the cave, Mantaga Adventure Divers, led by Dr. Alfonso “Doc” Amores – NACD (USA) # 3042 and Bernil Gastardo – IANTD Cave Diver #95508, for their data from past three expeditions and their advice for our trip.

Written by:

Jake Miranda

Jake Miranda




Siargao’s Blue Cathedral

blue cathedral

Being unfamiliar with scuba diving does not really prevent you from admiring all that Caraga has to offer under the water if one looks at all its endless coastlines, countless islands, islets and shoals.

Surfing in Siargao became such a phenomenon that there is one more product that perhaps we did not seriously take a look at because we were all focused on what was on the surface-surfing and island-hopping.

In Siargao, there is the majestic wonder called the Blue Cathedral, an underwater rock formation with a vertical hole. Blue Cathedral’s top is a 20-meter diameter hole at a depth of 20 meters. Then as you descend into it there’s a sliding slope that leads to its two caverns-the North and East caverns.

On the north cavern you will see a jagged rock that has split off from the top ceiling (Sword of Gabriel), going into this hole will lead you to 10 meter high and 30-meter long cavern (at average depth of 30 meters) that will spill you North into the Pacific waters. On the east cavern is the other cavern Devil’s Pipeline (15 meter high and 40 meter long tunnel), shaped more like a Cloud 9 pipeline than a cavern. You need a good light here to appreciate the tunnel’s grand design. At the end of Devil’s Pipeline is the Arm of God (30 meter long rock perched on three columns that reach out East to the Pacific), as there are spaces between the columns you will tend to see blue-lit water out of those spaces. We call these spaces the Eyes of God.

The size of a large church, it does look like a cathedral because of sun rays entering the hole and the three entrances (top hole, north and east caverns) welcoming schools of pelagic fish like jacks, tuna and barracuda and sometimes sharks from the Pacific Ocean. One diver jokingly said that this indeed feels like a church because when you see it, all you can say is “Oh My God!”

What a wonderful new gift the Lord Almighty has given to Siargao.

Out of Blue Cathedral is the lip of the Siargao shelf meeting the blue Pacific waters. The terminal depth of 50 meters goes on for several kilometres, and on any given day you can see the bottom. Diving here is not for the faint-hearted. It is also not predictable like any house reef dive. Like Cloud 9, the Blue Cathedral faces the Pacific Ocean. Like a surfer waiting for swells, a diver must carefully plan for a break in the current to come in the hole.

This ‘holy’ dive site just sits in front of the Cloud 9 pavilion where from your boat you will still get a ‘heavenly’ glimpse of the surfers riding the waves.

Indeed you are in surfing and diving heaven.

Article by:

Jake Miranda

Jake Miranda

Cave Classification according to PAWB- DENR

According to the Cave Classification Manual by the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau Department of Environment and Natural Resources Republic of the Philippines 2008, such caves after assessment may be classified as follows: 

Class I. Caves with delicate and fragile geological formations, threatened species, archeological and paleontological values, and extremely hazardous conditions. Allowable use may include mapping, photography, educational and scientific purposes. 

Class II. Caves with areas or portions which have sections that have hazardous conditions and contain sensitive geological, biological, archeological, cultural, historical, and biological values or high quality ecosystem. It may be necessary to close sections of these caves seasonally or permanently. It is open to experienced cavers or guided educational tours/ visits. 

Class III. Caves generally safe to inexperienced visitor with no known threatened species, archeological, geological, natural history, cultural and historical values. These caves may also be utilized for economic purposes such as guano extraction and edible birds nest collection.

For example, the underwater caves of Hinatuan Enchanted river, Lake Bababu, Lake Tiktikan, Pawod, Casili and the Blue Cathedral of Siargao are Class I caves. They are extremely hazardous and only trained cave divers can access them.

In Samar, which is the cave capital of the Philippines, you can find all kinds of dry and wet caves and some are Class II caves which need further exploration and regulation so that they become Class III caves.

Palawan’s Underground St. Paul subterranean passage is a Class III cave, and so are the Buenavista (in photo), Silop and Cuyapnit caves of Surigao.


Lake Tiktikan


By Jake Miranda|April 22, 2013, (Doro the Explorer)

One of the more popular tourist spots in Mindanao this summer is Sohoton Cove. This hidden lagoon of limestone rocks is the well-advertised attraction of Bucas Grande island in the province of Surigao del Norte, Philippines. Its popularity is second only to nearby Siargao island.


However, there is a place a few miles north of Sohoton that beckons a wandering tourist to make a turn into a strange alley. It is a place called Lake Tiktikan.

I have been to Sohoton several times and most of the time I would be happy just ushering in first-time visitors. After bringing my family there, this time I chose to stay behind at the visitor’s cottage right outside the cove.jake_m7 Larry Williams, a fellow scuba diver based in Surigao City who has visited Sohoton three times, made the same decision to beg off from the regular tour. The two of us decided, on a whim, to take a look at the less popular Lake Tiktikan.

Hopping on a rental boat late in the afternoon we ventured north. In less than five minutes we were there. Though it looks like an abandoned, less fortunate cousin of Sohoton, the place was more poetically quaint.  The trappings commonly found in a tourist area gone commercial are not there.

What greets you at the seaside is a small house that doubles as a coffeehouse and a visitor’s center. After paying P10 per person as entrance fee, you get on the short trail to the lake…and the lake reveals itself beautifully.


It is a relatively shallow and small lake situated a hundred meters into the karst landscape.  Common to this area of the Philippines, its water rises with the high tide and recedes with the low tide.

lake tiktikanAs I confirmed it today, it is connected to the sea through an underwater cave that tunnels deep into the ground before exiting to the outside lagoon.

tiktikan cottage

What makes the lake more attractive is the availability of cottage houses for overnight stay. They rent out a bed at only P300 per person. At night they would run the generator if there were enough people to offset the costs.

Remember to drop by Lake Tiktikan if you are done with Sohoton.

I will definitely sip my next cup of coffee by the lake.


  1. Photos by Larry Williams.
  2. This trip was originally planned with Surigao Dive-Club president and fellow cave diving enthusiast Lyndon Cubillan who missed the trip.
  3. Thank you to caretaker Lorna Artigo, Ali Dizon and boatman Edgardo for accommodating us. You can contact Lorna at 09474807077, or the TAFIMCO office at 09475783811 or their manager Sheryl Curay at 09483856291.
  4. Lake Tiktikan’s GPS coordinates are  9°36’29.15″N, 125°54’45.69″E. The lake complex also has three dry caves. The lake’s name came from its resident fish, Tiktikan.
  5. For cave divers, the underwater cave’s tight squeezes are perfect for sidemount and no-mount challenge dives.

A Dive From The Sea and Out To The Lake (Exploring Lake Bababu)

The 6th Lake Bababu Underwater Cave Expedition

By Jake Miranda, TDI

This article is dedicated to my dear cousin, Dr. Edgar Vincent “Gagay” T. Miranda, who passed away last January 21, 2013.


Jake Miranda- Explorer

One of the most exciting things you can do in your life is go cave diving in Lake Bababu. Traverse the whole length by entering a cave from the sea, and after an hour of swimming underwater and passing through  prehistoric chambers, emerge in a hidden lake of beauty.

For decades, cave divers from the Philippines have been looking for large underwater cave systems that could equal their technical skills. The discoveries of Pawod , Enchanted River, and Paglugaban caves have excited foreign and local divers and still the search for more underwater caves went on.

lake to sea

In 2012, a unique cave system- an underwater cave with two entrances was found  at Lake Bababu, Basilisa Municipality, Province of Dinagat Island.

bababuThe dive team of Spanish cave diver Xavier Garay and Surigao explorer Lyndon Cubillan first ventured into the underwater cave passage from the lake. On August 28, 2012, they laid almost 1,500 feet of line.

A week after that on September 6, 2012, Xavier Garay and Jake Miranda, another Surigao diver, laid 700 feet of line from its sea entrance and finally connected the cave on September 7, 2012.

All in all, it took six dives in three expeditions from Surigao City to connect the cave, requiring huge resources from the team of divers, porters, and the Langit family (descendants of Peter Langit who discovered the lake).

At an approximate total length of 2,200 feet or 650 meters, Lake Bababu Underwater Cave is now regarded as the longest fully-submerged cave in the country and local officials and volunteer cave divers are currently registering it in the government’s cave list.


bababu caveThe cave was formed out of the dissolution of limestone rock from a hilltop depression which found its way to the sea just before the last ice age. Then when the polar ice caps melted and the sea levels rose, the cave was finally flooded by the sea, thus forming a long underwater tunnel. The cave is actually a long tunnel with an entrance and an exit. Depending on where the tide flows, the sea entrance pushes seawater into the lake during high tide, and the lake exit pushes both collected rainwater and seawater when the tide ebbs.

Unlike the Palawan Underground River that has an air chamber, Lake Bababu Underground Cave is fully-flooded and therefore is unique in its length, type and origin.

First Traverse

Last January 17, 2013, a multinational cave dive team composed of Jake Miranda (TDI Diver Philippines),Daniel Burgaud (TDI Instructor Trainor-France), Ivar Almjhell (TDI Diver Norway) and Ho Beng Chia (TDI Diver Singapore), made the first successful traverse from the sea entrance to the lake exit.

jake & team

Ivan Almjhell, Jake Miranda, Dr. Ho Beng Chia, Daniel Burgaud

This was the 6th expedition to the cave but  the first one to have approval from both the Provincial Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the local government unit. The same team attempted to return to the sea but were turned back by a mysterious current forcing them back to the lake.

A Mysterious Swim

Here is the narrative of Dr. Ho Beng Chia, who is a professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS), reprinted with permission:

“I just came back from a cave dive trip in some remote area in Philippines. It is a largely unexplored cave at Lake Bababu, in Basilisa, Dinagat Island, off the coast of Surigao. It is a submerged cave that joined the sea to a small lake.

 bababu6The previous teams had laid a line from each entrance and joined in the middle. Our team’s mission was to dive the cave straight through from one end to the other. We successfully traversed the almost 650 meter cave on Thursday (17 Jan 13) morning from the sea to the lake in 69 minutes.

 On Saturday (19 Jan 13), we traversed it again from the sea to the lake, this time in 57 minutes. On the last dive in the afternoon, we planned to dive the cave from the lake to the sea. The flow from the sea to the lake was pretty strong. We made an attempt but turned around. But from our tide tables, it should have been slack tide at about 4pm. So we dove again at 4pm and expected the current to turn soon.

 As we struggled, clawed, and guzzled air, we stopped for a moment to check our gas supply. It was just above 2/3 of our total supply. This was the point where we either commit to the traverse or turn back. We committed because we reasoned that the tide would turn soon.

 We soon reached a restriction point and took a detour. After the restriction, we were back on the line, we felt the current slowing down, and as we swam a little more, the current favored us. I thought, as did Daniel Burgaud, my buddy did: “At last we are going to be flushed out to the sea!” It was such a great relief!

diver in bababu

 Next thing we knew, we were at the entrance, but something wasn’t quite right.  The entrance glowed green instead of blue – the glow of a lake-side entrance. As I surfaced, we had indeed ended, mysteriously, back at the lake! I was puzzled.

 Even three hours later, the flow continued unabated from the sea to the lake. The waters defied the tide tables. Had we continued to swim against the current, we would have been pretty exhausted, and our gas supply would have been critical if not completely depleted.


 It slowly dawned on me that a greater power was looking after us, and turned us despite our ignorance and stubbornness.  Our time was not up yet.”

 The Lake is Protected

Local beliefs have indeed helped protect the lake from treasure hunters and commercial developers. The cave divers have found three man-like stalagmites and a geometric-shaped slate inside the cave, just a few of several characteristics of the lake which amplifies its mystique.

The Langit family who are now caretakers of the Lake, imposed a limit that only a one-way traverse is allowed per day, as they believed that the spirits living in the lake need not be tested.

Cave diving, which is regarded as the world’s most dangerous and highly technical sport, seems to have met its match with the spirits of Lake Bababu.

 With special acknowledgement to Mayor Allan Ecleo, Municipality of Basilisa, and the Langit Family. The Bababu ecosystem is under a public-private venture titled Bababu Ecotourism Adventure Park, which is presently led by Mayor Allan Ecleo, Municipality of Basilisa, and jointly administered by Mr. Rex Diaz, Basilisa Planning Officer, Mr. Jake Miranda of Punta Bilar Dive Center, and the Langit family.

For further guidance:


 1. Lake Bababu in Dinagat Island, in a karst landscape, has a dissolution cave tunnel from a freshwater lake (Lake Bababu) to the sea. During low tide, the water from the lake eases out to sea. The lake level goes down during low tide. During high tide it then goes back in. Thus it is important to plan the dive times with the tide. There is almost no wind so the freshwater and saltwater do not mix, thus it is called a “meromictic “ lake.

 2. The Lake Bababu Underwater Cave entrance and exit is at N 10º04´31.6″, E125º30´30.8″.. the Kabun Cove entrance and exit is at N 10 04′ 45.8″, 125 30′ 18.8″ Bababu is 1.5 hour boat ride from Surigao City.


 3. There is no visible air pocket or dry chamber along the 2,200 feet route.The cave goes as deep as 25 meters in some parts. The average depth is 14 meters. The average width is 3 meters and height is 4 meters. There are two chambers and four manageable restrictions.  The bottom composition is ground coral, and the walls are limestone with encrusted marine life. 

activities at bababu

4.  Special permission required thru local municipal office. The park is developing  activities such as SWIMMING, SNORKELLING, SCUBA DIVING,TECHNICAL CAVE DIVING, KAYAKING, BIRD-WATCHING, TREKKING, LAKE VISIT and SPELUNKING.

All diving operations and safety aspects is exclusively regulated by Punta Bilar Dive Center.