Thursday, February 12, 2009


One of the perks of being Hari ng Negros is that you receive invitations from all corners of Negros Island to judge any kind of event imaginable. Recently, we received an invitation from the Municipality of Mabinay in Negros Oriental to be a judge in their annual Bikini Fashion Show (another term for Bikini Open).

Mabinay is located right smack in the center of Negros. It is considered a "cave town" because of all the caves they have. The reigning Hari ng Negros Ralph Jadraque hails from this town. As of the latest count, the tourism office of Mabinay has chronicled more than 200 caves within their municipality.

We were booked at the Tirambulo Highland Resort in Barangay Paniabonan which is very close to the event venue. The resort has 5 man-made lakes surrounded by lush vegetation and greenery.

As if luck was not on our side, some of the models of the bikini fashion show were also at the same resort.

The Municipality granted our request for a cave tour before the show. Left to Right (Beam, spelunking specialist, Menchie, tourism officer of Mabinay, Mayor Piktoy Baldoza, Jeffrey Dasian, caving expert, Rowena Merto, fellow judge and tourism officer of Dumaguete, Dodong and mayor's son (forgot name)

The first cave we went to explore is the Baliw Cave. Baliw in the dialect means crazy. Before entering the caves, the tourism office of Mabinay makes sure you have all the proper equipments and they also read to you the Do's and Don'ts of caving.

Most of the caves in Mabinay are untouched yet. There are no lights, railings or walkways. Precaution has to be used always when going around.

Still inside Baliw cave, Beam shows us this interesting formation. It looks like ice.

The next cave we went inside is called the Crystal Cave. This one has a lot of interesting stalactite and stalagmite formations.

Hari ng Negros 2008, Ralph Jadraque touring us in Crystal Cave with the Sidlakang Negros Tourism Association.

Still inside the Crystal Cave.

Mambajo Cave was next. This cave has two entrance, one through the sunroof (Rappelling is the only way though this entrance)

Or through the underground river that flows inside the cave. Notice the children swimming in the underground river.

A very easy cave to explore is the Panligawan Cave....

...and the Pandalihan Cave. Overall the caving experience was fulfilling and tiring at the same time. We almost lost all energy to judge that night.


The candidates first come out with their jeans. This is actually the "teaser" segment.

Then they get wet from this shower coming out of the stamen of a flower. This portion is called "Wet and Wild". Organizers were very creative as usual.

Individual wet and wild showdowns.

This candidate attacked all the male judges before rushing back to the stage. I call this Revenge of the "puppies".

Now the group showdown enfolds.

Slenda dance.

Even though we were far from the volcano crater, things started to heat up Mabinay that night.

Our chosen three became victorious as the champions. We went back to the resort very tired and at the same time mesmerized by the great time exploring the underworld.

Forever, Hari ng Negros.