The Natural Bridge

Eco-Tourism ExperienceSohoton Cave,Basey, Samar
Eight hundred forty hectares nature reserve beckons with an endless array of subterranean
delights, caves, natural bridge of limestone boulders, underground rivers, and weathered formation rocks like Banaue Terraces – Great wall of China – Harem Pavilion – Amphitheater withnatural built in acoustical system and Seductive Courtesan’s Boudoir, a 30 ft. waterfalls to experience at the middle part of the forest, and a non-polluted man-made swimming poolstructure below the falls. Regular trips: 6:00 to 10:00 AM daily, soon a River Cruise provides totaladventure to SOHOTON NATURAL BRIDGE NATIONAL PARK open to everyone whowants to reach nature by experience...
The flight attendant is announcing that the airplane is landing at the airport of Tacloban City.The aircraft brings you to the coastal airport, which is mysteriously quiet. Walking to the arrival area, your mind filled with images of unexplored mountains and caves, exotic wildlife, cloud-hidden lakes, islets sculpted by harsh weather conditions, all those things you see in glossy tourism flyers, you wonder whether it will be worth the trouble getting there.
Even before adventure travel fever hit the country, the islands of Samar and Leyte, collectively known as Eastern Visayas or Region 8, were already popular destinations for people interested in Philippine history. Nowadays, these islands exude a wonderful combination of history and mystery, its tourism potential spelled out in the words ‘adventure’ and ‘fun’, for the thrill-seeking traveler. From the airport, you take a Tamaraw FX to Basey. You pay P15 for the 30-minute trip across the 2.16 kilometer San Juanico Bridge that connects Tacloban City in Leyte with Basey in Samar.
Basey is a third-class municipality (now at first class municipality thru the effort of Hon. Mayor Wilfredo "Didi" Estorninos) whose glory days date back to colonial times when it was the population and trading center of the island. It now lags behind its former sitio, Tacloban City, which is the regional capital. But the local government of Basey is trying to catch up with its more developed neighbors by offering visitors what it has in abundance: its rich natural resources.Basey is home to the grand Sohoton National Park (SNP), an 840-hectare natural park, made up of high and broken ridges of hilly-to-moderate rolling terrain. It has a maximum elevation of 107 meters above sea level. Three main geologically-defined land types exist in the area: an upland plateau, an intermediate karst-limestone block, and lowland areas.
___The park offers a great deal of natural wonders. There’s the Sohoton Natural Bridge, a magnificent stone bridge connecting two mountain ridges from which the park got its name. Sohoton" is a Waray word, which means "to pass through." Underneath the bridge is the Sohoton Natural Swimming Pool. " Inside the park is an exciting array of caves, waterfalls, and rare flora and fauna.
Panhulugan Cave I is the largest and most spectacular cave found in the park, with an estimated floor area of 546 square meters. This cave is geologically active, as evidenced by the constant dripping of water from stalactites and the large accumulation of material beneath its chimney holes.
Panhulugan Cave II is a long scar, about 50 meters high, that cuts into the face of the Panhulugan Cliff, a steep rock formation. 
Sohoton Cave is a very large cave situated in the eastern portion of the natural bridge. It has a high cathedral-like dome with a parabolic arch-type entrance about 15 meters high. Inside are spectacular limestone formations that approximate the shapes of a eagle’s claw, an image of the Sto. Niño and the Virgin Mary, the Banaue Rice Terraces, and musical instruments, among others.
To ensure its protection and management, the park was placed under the NationalProtected Integrated Areas (NIPA) in 1989. According to the local NIPA representatives, visits to the park have not increased significantly since then .A visit to the Sotohon Park involves taking a native outrigger for an hour and 45 minutes on the Basey Golden River, passing through small, picturesque villages. Rawis, a riverside barrio, houses the still unexplored Rawis Cave, which, according to the locals, is even better than Sohoton.

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