Of Caves, Crystals and Eco-warriors-A A +A
By Art Tibaldo
Monday, September 16, 2013
WHEN people think of the word crystal and cave, perhaps their minds would imagine a shining cavern at some unimaginable place like a neverland. When I posted in my social media account a photo of me taken sometime in 1983 while I was shooting an Indie Film as part of my scholarship from UP Film Center, I mentioned that my expectations of the insides of the cave was far from what I saw. There were no stalactites and stalagmites and the cave ceiling were already darkened by the soot of burnt resin rich pinewood. By the time I was around, I expected to see spring water dripping from the limestone formations but I was frustrated. Today, I suppose the crystal cave is already delisted, not included or even forgotten as a tourism destination hereabouts. When I was active as an inspectorate of the Alay Sa Kalinisan's clean and green program, there were reports and observations that sewer or waste water from the nearby densely populated area were flowing at the cave basement. I have been inside the cave below Baguio City's Rock Quarry of which the flood water from the City Camp Lagoon flows and I saw a natural wonder reduced into a waste water and sewer drainage. If these are the signs of global progress and development, then the ancient explorers may be right in foreseeing that someday, people will be racing in space to look for alternative habitat for humanity in other planets. It was this self portrait that made me think of the word "eco-warrior" which I used either as my password or pen name.
Chito Mercader, a fellow social media advocate and online friend who owns and manages his counselling and consultancy firm commented on my Facebook post saying he experienced the same a year ago. “We went to the Crystal Caves and I was telling my friend, Noel (he was with us when we visited your place) about how nice the place was, at least many, many years ago when we went there. Lo and behold, what we saw was a subdivision! We had a hard time finding the Crystal Caves. And, when we found it, we were all completely disappointed. As you know, we are in the practice of using crystals. We are also Eco-Warriors like you and also Lightworkers. What we saw was like the opening of the sewers (with the same smell). We were also with a Norwegian friend and we had to tell him to abandon the thought of going into the caves lest he get sick. In our minds, we were all asking, 'how can the city government allow this to happen? Mercader further asks “All for money? Our ancestors must be mad at what happened to the Crystal Caves. There is an esoteric side to this. If we did not respect the crystals, the good, positive energies they can give us will turn negative. Crystals are there to amplify energy. We know that from science. However, if we put them with negative energies (canals, sewers, effluents), that is exactly what they are going to amplify; the negative energies. We're quite certain that those living in the area are experiencing this now.
We hope the City Government and the people in the area will do something to address this now. Love and Light.” The exchanges of comments went on as follows:
Chito Mercader - Last time I was able to enter the Crystal Caves was in the 70s and 80s. There were guides lined up along the road to help you.
Art Tibaldo - Thanks for your sharing Chito Mercader. It is well said from a point of view of a non-permanent resident. I hope that my grandchild and his generation need not have to rush to planet Mars yet so that they can still enjoy some of the remaining bounties. When I was a college student residing in a place in Manila near Mabini and Padre Faura, there was that eerie and unexplained feeling in me whenever I see the displayed crystals at the souvenir shops. I came to learn also that those crystals were actually sawed off stalactites showing those amazing and kaleidoscopic matters.
Chito Mercader - That is true, Art. It seems that you are also sensitive enough to 'feel' the energies with the crystals. Given enough exposure to certain 'energies', emotions, the crystals start to absorb and amplify these energies. Anyone sensitive enough (especially persons in the practice of the Arts, because they tend to be more aware of their emotions), will be able to feel these 'energies'. This is also why we need to 'cleanse' the crystals before any other specific use. Others joined the online conversation as the topic touches more on environmental concerns.
Boy Lao Ingan - This is really the disadvantage of a highly urbanized city where houses is everything neglecting its wonders. Crystal cave and other caves can really be among the city tourists spot should it be given attention. Sad to sad, anyhow, we have Sagada cave and that one in Ansagan. Hope these caves will not suffer the same fate.
Philian Weygan-Allan also commented - The Crystal Cave is now bothered with the daily dynamite sound and shaking of tunnel projects of what? We really do not know. After series of consultations, resolutions, and petitions the residents are still not provided with the project plan and papers of what all this tunnels and dynamiting is all about. What they say is the tunnel is the outlet of the de clogging of City Camp Lagoon.. Solve a problematic situation in City Camp Lagoon and create a new problem in Crystal Cave" seems to be my analysis. But it looks that dynamites abound in Crystal Cave since last year.
Nelson Joseph Alabanza - The caves were tourist spots in the 70's. my high school days. We even dare going in the 1st cave without any torch and come out in the exit alive...hehehe... the 2nd cave had a spring inside. It was clean then and we would take a dip there.
I added that there are also caves around La Trinidad and below the Benguet Capitol that I suppose are no longer conducive for spelunking. I've been to Paterno and Ambongdolan caves of Kapangan, the Sumaguing Cave of Sagada including the DENR-MGB restricted cave of Twin Peaks along Kennon Road and I hope that these natural wonders remain intact without traces of destruction and vandalization.
Jonathan Rilloraza - Aww men.. looks like I will never see such things anymore and younger generations to come. Crystal Cave was also a known watershed for Baguio along with 6 other sites. Now 4 out of 7 watersheds are left operational. Reason for Crystal Cave not being a watershed? Simple - squatters and residents. No offense to those living there legally now, but the thing is, are we going to wait for that 4 to become 3? 2? 1? And to none? Talk about the past water crisis in Baguio.
Imelda P. Sedano - So True! I would enter the caves when i was young even without lights and i know every crack and turns and where it ends... Before, the 3 caves were independent from each other, it was crystal clear and water was clean...stalactites and stalagmites were tourist attraction...i see rows of cars & buses lined up to enter the caves... Today, the caves have been blasted through and are now connected because of Underground Tunneling Project...Millions spent from PDAF funds directed there. Sounding like exasperated, Sedano concluded “Ay Apo... Makapa-sangit ya ti mangmangyari.. Not to mention, no assurance for the safety of the people are given... They turn a deaf ear to our cries... cracks on the roads & houses are everywhere...we turn only to a God up there who knows and who holds our lives... Kudos sir Art Tibaldo."
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 17, 2013.