Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park
The grandeur of Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park is now known worldwide for its majestic unique limestone formations. Sohoton comes from a waray-waray word “Sohot” meaning to pass through a narrow passageway. It was the name given to the cave because of the small alleys inside it. The Park is 840-hectare wide and is situated in Rawis Brgy. Guirang Basey, Samar.
The cave is believed to be an enchanted place. Before entering the cave, people need to knock three times to give respect to the spirits inside. As you enter the cave you can see the beautiful rock formations. There are many limestone rock formations such as, Natural Built-in Acoustical System, Mama Mary, Cascading Chandeliers, an ice cream cone, a pig’s leg, the holy family, and angels.
By the virtue of Proclamation No. 831 the Sohoton Caves was proclaimed a National park on July 19, 1935. This is to preserve its geological features and natural wonders.
Sohoton was said to be the shelter of old Basaynons (local residents of Basey Samar). There were traces of early habitation from early stone age to later Iron Age in the cave. It was also believed that the place was used as a burial site for the natives and a place for the albolario (witch doctors) to create their potions. The place was also used as a hideout of the Filipino insurrectionists during the Spanish-American war and World War II. According to the tour guide, during World War II, natives would hide in the cave and in high places around the cave to ambush Japanese soldiers. The dead soldiers would then be buried inside the cave. After the war, natives were tasked to clean up the cave. They kept finding human bones well into the 80s.
Because of fear from the supernatural the cave has been untouched for thousands of years. In the olden days, entering the caves was considered taboo, and a form of desecration. Ironically, these taboos became a blessing. Because of the well preserved nature of the cave, Sohoton has become a tourist attraction. Opening doors to a better local economy. It will surely delight the Foreign and even Local tourists.