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It’s been a wonder why in this rocky and tiny island at the heart of the Philippine Archipelago was found the oldest burial cloth in Southeast Asia, why it is the origin of a unique language belonging to the upper echelon of the Austronesian Family of Languages or why of all islands in Romblon Province, it was where one of only two (2) Christian fortresses was built. The mystery seems to be woven in centuries of history. Perhaps, the answers are dwelling in the caves…

Have a glimpse of some of the caves below. There are actually a lot more!

Ipot Cave

 
Ipot Cave

Here is where the ikat cloth, the oldest burial cloth in Southeast Asia now displayed in the National Museum, was found. Situated in a cliff facing the rising sun, it is a small cave which is very difficult to reach. Its name means bird’s manure in the local language as it is the dwelling place of many swifts (balinsasadaw). Skulls, bones and some intact Banton coffins (small-sized coffins made of hard wood with handles shaped in the likeness of animals) remain there.


banton burial cloth
Banton Burial Cloth

Material:

Linen

Dimensions:

Length:- 81 cm Width-21 cm

Date: 

14th-15th centuries

Provenance:

Banton Island, Romblon

Click on the picture above to view a larger picture

Cathedral Cave

Cathedral Cave

This is the biggest cave re-discovered so far named so because of its size. It can house probably a hundred people. There were no bones and skulls found and initial observations suggest that the cave was used as a dwelling place of pre-historic people but could have been used also as a hiding place of the townsfolk during the war.

Tigpuyo Cave

This cave is situated at the top of a mountain and believed used as dwelling place as suggested by the seashells, bones of edible animals and pieces of pottery found here. It seemed to be a perfect location as a hideout, given its narrow and difficult vertical entrance. It can easily be camouflaged by covering the entrance with a one-and-a-half-foot diameter rock. There is another entrance at the top but it is more difficult to find and reach. It has one chamber. Beside it is a small flat terrain – a perfect gathering place. 

Tigpuyo Cave

Wall Cave

Wall Cave

This cave is a very shallow one, in fact, it is as if it is just sliced (tapyas) or carved out of a huge rock wall, hence the name. At its foot were excavated human remains that seemed to be hollowly buried. As such, it is believed that this cave is a site for preliminary burials.

Slide Cave

This is another burial cave. It is named after the smooth diagonal-surfaced rock where one can practically slide from its mouth to the stones below.

De Campo Cave

De Campo Cave

This one’s named so because it perfectly resembles a tent. This is a beautiful cave but so far, no historical remains have been found.

Silak Cave

This cave is one of the easiest caves to reach and the first one that got a name. The cave got its name from the abundance of sunshine that gets into it through its mouth facing the rising sun. Besides, it was named by the people behind the Silak publication (Lyndon Fadri, Ismael Fabicon, Abner Faminiano and Rodil Fadri). 

In the cave are skulls and bones of primitive inhabitants. This cave offers a breath-taking view of the Togbongan coastline.

 

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