Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360

My experience with Explore 360’s Travel Photography Workshop is the exact definition of #YOLO. What I anticipated being a simple and easy ‘photo walk’ turned out to be a legit mountain trekking and spelunking adventure. It was an absolutely bone-tiring experience, but so worth it.

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

Explore 360 is a Cebu-based community of explorers that promote local travel and culture. They organized their first travel photography workshop to share some tips and tricks for taking great travel photos. Being able to take great photos makes one appreciate traveling in general.

I was privileged to represent Cebu Finest in the said workshop last April 30 – May 1, 2016, at Springpark Mountain Resort, Brgy. Cantabaco, Toledo City. We were joined by Instagram mavens, Kimi Juan, and Thomas Caja, who also served as our travel photography mentors throughout the workshop.

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

They first shared their stories on how they got into photography. I was fascinated how passionate they are in their field of expertise that they actually committed themselves wholly to travel and photography. They have been wandering around the Philippines and some countries in Asia for quite some time now, all for the love of travel and photography.

After that, they both shared some basic technicalities of photography and taught us proper composition and camera settings. These are things we often overlook. Kimi and Thomas also showed us some of their works and shared the story behind every picture.

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

The workshop itself did not take that long. We were too excited to get out and apply everything we just learned.

We found ourselves in DENR’s Experimental Forest in Minglanilla. We got to see the clonal nursery where cloned trees are literally pampered like little babies.

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

We started trekking toward the dense experimental forest. Towering and imposing trees greeted us as we went further. The moment we started climbing rocks was when I realized this isn’t just going to be a boring photo walk.

Not long after, we entered the first of the seven caves located in the area. It was cold and wet, yet beautiful. We found stalactites and stalagmites shining brightly in the darkness.

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

It was a challenging trek. We passed several caves, climbed humongous rocks, and even walked beside a sink hole. We trudged up a steep slope of loose soil making it very difficult for our feet get a good grip.

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

After 5 hours of intense trekking through dangerous trails; we reached the much talked about White Cave in Minglanilla. The white limestone covering the outer portion of the cave was what makes it stand out from the rest. It was majestic.

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

Some of us went back to the resort with scratches, and bad cuts, but it was fun and truly memorable. We ended the night listening to travel stories and good music.

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

Trekking and Spelunking Experience with Explore 360 | Cebu Finest

[Photo credit: Explore 360 on Facebook]

Congratulations Explore 360 for the successful workshop!

It was a wonderful experience. I look forward to experiencing another adventure with the whole team. Truly, you don’t need to go far to seek adventure. Sometimes, the best places are simply right there – waiting to be discovered.

To know more about the Explore 360 Community, join them on Facebook for future events.

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