Located approximately 700 Km south of Manila, the island of Samar is renowned as the caving capital of the Philippines. Over the third week of February, Diver’s Network went out to further explore the underwater caves in the region, with three divers Tomas Morato (PADI Course Director), Roger Smith (PADI Course Director) and Luis Nazareno (PADI IDC Staff)
The first of the Balago springs was located in a small offshoot of the river. With the water being stagnant, visibility almost zero, the divers stuck to the guideline as they searched. Five minutes later, a small crevice was found near the bottom, with barely enough room for one diver to pass through. After 15 minutes of terrible visibility and lots of mud, we all decided to turn around and try their luck at a different spring.
The second spring was located a hundred meters away, in another offshoot of the river. At the depth of 20 meters, the cave split in two different passages, and the decision was made to turn back due to poor visibility and light problems.
The final spring that was to be visited was found within a cave system along the San Sebastian River.
The first passage found was near the entrance, it was a small opening but the three divers ventured in and found out that after 350 meters and an opening to an open air dome, they had run out of main line to lay.
The final dive of the trip took the divers deep into a labyrinth of a cave system that could lead you anywhere. The hardy trek through the system brought the divers to two small pools, one of a traverse, winding through the stone like a maze within the limestone caves.
After 3 gruelling days the divers decided that it was time to return home. As they packed their kits, it was apparent that they were all eagerly awaiting the next time they would be back to explore this intricate cave systems in Samar that has them intrigued to this very day…..