The Blue Waters of San Jose

Are you (and your knees) up for some breathtaking nature trip? if so, pack your toothbrush, hop on a bus and come see the Blue Waters of San Jose.

In the developing municipality of Quezon in the province of Bukidnon is a quiet little barrio called San Jose, home to friendly Bukidnon people, vast sugarcane fields, towering limestone hills and many other natural treasures that have not yet been discovered. One of these treasures is the Blue Water Cave, a series of subterranean halls carved deep in the side of a mountain by the banks of the Pulangui River. Through these halls run the rapid-flowing crystal-clear blue water that goes into one final submerged cave before emptying out into the grand river of Bukidnon. Backpackers and adrenalin junkies have come from afar to try its challenging terrain and see if the water is indeed blue. They were not disappointed.

Wall climbing, anyone?

The local government is currently developing this site to welcome both local and foreign tourists alike. Aside from the ice-cold wading pool waiting in the cave about a hundred feet below, the area is also ideal for wall climbing and rappelling. The limestone hills around the banks of the Pulangui River is one of the things the people of San Jose can be very proud of. Their extensive white facade are like faces of old European cathedrals that stare back at you and make you want to take pictures.

If you want to go rappelling or wall climbing, it would be great if you can bring your own equipment as the place doesn’t have its own adventure shop nearby — yet. It is also advisable that you visit first the barrio hall and notify the proper authorities before heading down the trail. They can provide tour guides and assistants to accompany you in your adventure.

Getting There

The barrio hall is actually just as easy to locate as the Blue Water Cave itself as it is situated right along the Sayre Highway, the highway that connects the City of Cagayan de Oro, the Province of Bukidnon and Davao City. If you are taking your own vehicle, San Jose is the first barangay or barrio from the municipality of Maramag, if you are coming in from Cagayan de Oro. It’s hard to miss this place because the Blue Water Cave is actually situated right beneath the Kiuntod Bridge, the bridge that connects the towns of Maramag and Quezon. There is a concrete landmark that says “Welcome to Barangay San Jose” and a small information booth right by the roadside. If you look down the bridge, you will see a stream of blue gushing out from under the rocks and joining the brownish water of the Pulangui until it fades away downstream.

The wading pool. taken from down the stream, this photo shows a dark opening from which the crystal-clear water flows through. If you dare, you can actually swim against the current to get to another cave behind.
The wading pool. taken from down the stream, this photo shows a dark opening from which the crystal-clear water flows through. If you dare, you can actually swim against the current to get to another cave behind.

 

Getting there by bus is another option, just tell the driver to drop you off in San Jose, at the Barangay Plaza to be specific. This is where you can ask for directions and possibly for information as to where to spend the night in case you take all day exploring the caverns. There are no hotels or restaurants nearby, so you might as well bring your own food. Oh, and by the way, perhaps you can take the kids with you next time, when their legs are a bit longer. It’s no picnic going down the narrow trail, not to mention making your way back up.

I call this The Middle Hall, the biggest cave where you can brave through the rapids and get carried away into the  Wading Pool downstream. Make sure to steer towards the left though, or you go straight into the submerged cave which I call "The Final Cell". You're lucky if the cave spits you out into the Pulangui River.
I call this The Middle Hall, the biggest cave where you can brave through the rapids and get carried away into the Wading Pool downstream. Make sure to steer towards the left though, or you go straight into the submerged cave which I call “The Final Cell”. You’re lucky if the cave spits you out into the Pulangui River.

So if you think your knees can manage the steep trail down, come visit San Jose and bring your friends with you. I will be more than happy to answer your questions. Just post them on the comments section below.

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