From March 1 until March 20 2023 a group of Dutch and Belgian cavers took part in a caving expedition to the Tipan area, part of the Naga municipality in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. The expedition site is part of the newly declared Protected Area in the Philippines-the Naga-Kabasalan Protected Landscape proclaimed on April 8, 2022. The group explored and surveyed the Tipan cave system and other caves in the surrounding area with permission from the Protected Area Management Board.
Both Belgian cavers from the Verbond van Vlaamse Speleologen (VVS) and Dutch cavers from Speleo Nederland took part. Apart from these core team members, also many Filipinos took part most of them being employees of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) and local guides. The team also received a lot of support from Governor Dr. Ann K. Hofer who graciously provided us with security details, transportation, base camp facilities and catering.
The 2023 expedition set the following objectives:
1. Finish all survey work in the Tipan cave system;
2. Identify and explore other caves in the area;
3. Assist with academic research;
4. Photo documenting all surveyed caves;
5. Support local organizations and caving infrastructure;
6. Setting up an infrastructure for a multi-year project.
All objectives were met and described.
Read the full report.