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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Circadian Bat Flights Over Pinacanauan River


I had a hard time pronouncing Pinacanauan River that when I told a friend about it I just described it to her as "Like a scene out of a Stephen King novel where the bats flew out of the cave, millions of them covering the dusk sky with darkness".

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Pinacanauan River is a part of the Cagayan River or what they call as "tributary" which flows along Penablanca in Cagayan. It is a few steps away from Callao Caves and along the ebb and the flow of the river a number of other cave systems can be found.

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Tired and restless from the long trip to Tuguegarao, it didn't mattered, because if you ask me - the trip becomes better the further it gets and far up north of Luzon we ended up, but closer to a place I often only see on movies. The lake where one could ride a wooden boat and unto the calm waters surrounded by rocky formations with waters dripping from atop forming super mini waterfalls. Pinacanauan River was just like that and I was experiencing it the moment we stepped into the boat.

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Our boatman and our 11 year old guide Andoy (once featured in Korina Sanchez' "Rated K") took us to a rocky islet where we rested and waited while staring at this cave opening on top of a wall about 40 feet high. The mouth of the cave is where the circadian flights of over a million bats can be seen as they start flying out of their nesting place and into the dusk skies over Pinacanauan River.

Andoy pointing at the Cave where the bats will fly out
Andoy pointing at the mouth of the cave

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where the bats comes out every 24 hours
Some days they don't show up but most days they do. We were joking that maybe the bats has their own assigned look-outs on the tip of the cave mouth with a telescope telling other bats "Yo, tourists are waiting for our circadian flight, should we stay or should we go out?" 


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Great thing, even with bat humor they proceeded to come out of their cave around 5:45 p.m and as thousands by the thousands of them flew out, a thick line of black covered up a portion of the sky. It went on until they form a hurricane like image whirling out of their cave and into the beautiful sky which is slowly turning from red to dark gray.Wings flipping, bat cries or shouts of joy envelops the sky, it kind of reminded me of Stephen King's novel setting.

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like a scene out of a Stephen King's novel
The whole thing lasted for 5-7 minutes and as quickly as the bats flew out the last ally of darkness took its final bite covering the place in total darkness and we then rode back into the boat delighted at the wonderful scenes we just witnessed.


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Pinacanauan River is a few steps from Callao Cave. Callao Cave is a 15 km tricycle ride from Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

5 comments:

Ed said...

Reading this post made me think of vampires. hehe

Nice capture of these creatures mark!

pandelicious said...

Mmmm how breathtakingly awe-sooommeeee

- i mean the girl in stripes.

the bats took a long time dressing up for the ramp show. But spectacular nonetheless.

The tour guide is really nice. to anyone planning to go here. book him.

Markyramone said...

@Ed, yeah eerie I don;t wanna left alone there while those bats are flying out

@Carrie, I double down approve about the girl on stripes hehe...yeah the bats fortunately came out of the cave mouth and not on the hidden tunnel they dug.

Anonymous said...

i like this river...very calm sobrang calm it mirrors the stones around it.

nice post! I remember when we went there, the guides are asking us to keep quiet so that the bats can already get out of the caves...tanong ko lang: bawal maingay?

--- Tikoy

Eileen/PossiblyPinay said...

Maybe it was because of the girl in stripes that the bats didn't want to come out... Maybe na shy :)

Cutie trip though I would imagine for it to be more magical than freaky. Can't wait to bring the happy meal here!

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