Unexplored caves and other nature’s wonders in Burdeos, Quezon, Philippines
By: Errol A. Gatumbato
Burdeos, Quezon Province, Philippines…
Mention the name of this municipality and many would probably ask where this area is, especially for residents outside the Quezon province, Philippines. This municipality could hardly get the attention of the national media, because of its relative isolation, being located in the Polillo Group of Islands in Southern Luzon. Much more, there might be no sensational and controversial events happening in this municipality that would magnetize the interest of national media establishments. Some residents say Burdeos was only mentioned in a national broadcast when the mayoralty candidate in this remote, yet peaceful, town won over his opponent, by a mere one vote in 2004 local elections, which was really an astonishing and incredible political story in the Philippines.
Fascinatingly, this municipality, six to seven hours land and sea travels from Metro Manila through the municipalities of Real and Polillo, has so many natural and marvelous features that, if only could be tapped for a more ecologically sound tourism, would possibly place Burdeos in a must see destination in the Philippines. Burdeos has several networks of unexplored caves, with features comparable and even more picturesque with that of the Underground River cave in Puerto Princesa in Palawan. The landscape and seascape of Burdeos has numerous natural charms worthwhile for truly nature-based recreational and educational visits, especially during summer.
Facing the Pacific Ocean, the coastal areas of Burdeos are adorned with old growth mangrove forests, lining in a magnificent view, making a boat ride even more interesting and relaxing. Island hopping is one of the interesting ventures that can be explored, since the coastal waters of Burdeos are dotted with several islands and islets, each has a unique formation, including walls of limestone forests, gorgeous beaches and multi-curved coastlines. Beneath some seawater are corals and other marine life purely in natural state that are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving.
The cave networks in this town are incredibly nature’s wonders, with sophisticated formation of stalagmites and stalactites lighted only by the sparks of eyes of thousands of bats peacefully dwell in the area. The shape and structure of stalagmites and stalactites, that have been formed through ages, are so awesome and sights to behold. Interestingly, bats inhabiting the different caves of Burdeos are no ordinary species, because many of which are only found in the Philippines.
Burdeos is also one of the very few municipalities in the country that accounts for the remaining population of the critically endangered Philippine Cockatoo. This beautiful creature is heavily hunted for commercial wildlife trade, because of its high demand as a household pet. The protection of the remaining forest of Burdeos, entirely classified as lowland, is of paramount importance to the survival of the Philippine Cockatoo, a species that is already extinct in many parts of the Philippines.
For bird watchers, aside from the Philippine Cockatoo there are also other endemic species awaiting discovery. The Polillo Tarictic hornbill is also among the interesting birds of Burdeos that can be seen occasionally in forested areas along the roadsides. The presence of other wildlife species, such as mammals and herps, further makes this municipality an interesting place to visit.
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