THE MONFORT BAT CAVE

Did you know that the largest colony of fruit bats in the world is found in the Philippines? Yes! The Guinness World Record holder of such title is the MONFORT BAT CAVE located in the Island Garden City of Samal, an island city in the Province of Davao del Norte, Mindanao. This is the first stop of OLANOLOGY'S Samal Island Ultimate Adventure attended by 20 equally adventurous Bloggers and outdoors fanatics organized by yours truly in response to the "Visit Samal Island" summer campaign of the Island Garden City of Samal and the DOT-Region XI Office.
The Monfort Bat Cave also known as the Monfort Bat Cave and Conservation Foundation Park is a 24-hectare property owned by the Monfort Family located in Barangay Tambo, Babak District of the Island Garden City of Samal.
 
According to the early island settlers, the Monfort Bat Cave is just one of the 70 caves that can be found in the whole Island. Many years ago, the 70 caves of the Island were homes and shelter to the different bat colonies coming from different places in the Region. When rapid migration and growing population of the people in the Island gradually flourished, it became a huge threat to the devastation of these caves and the bats living inside it. Bat hunting became rampant. Bats became human food consumption worst a living. Slowly, it resulted to the decreasing of numbers of bats living in the caves.
 
During the World War II, the Japanese Forces used some caves in the island for their shelter and shield against their enemies. This too has contributed mass devastation of bat colonies in the caves. Sadly, the caves that were supposed to be their sanctuary became a trap for the destruction.
Today, among the 70 caves of Samal Island, only few remains inhabited by huge colonies of bats and one of those is the Monfort Bat Cave in Barangay Tambo of Babak District. Monfort Bat Cave becomes very substantial and year after year the growing number of bats dwelling in the cave increases significantly. The Monfort Family leads the preservation of these bats and spearheads the conservation and protection of these colonies in the Island.
In 2008, upon the Monfort’s persistent campaign, representatives from the Guinness World Record visited the cave to determine the specie and number of bats dwelling in the caves. It was found out that it is the specie of Geoffrey’s Rousette Fruit Bat that lives in Monfort Bat Cave. Surprisingly, it was discovered that their colony inside the cave is estimated to be of 1.8 million. With this enormous number, Monfort Bat Cave is a certified Guiness World Record holder that houses the largest colony of fruit bats.  Yes, Monfort Bat Cave is a Guinness World Record holder!
One may ask why must protect these creatures. You see, the presence of fruit bats is very essential in our ecology. These bats eat various fruits and in the process, they distribute seeds in our forest and in the wilds. The process is called pollination. This significantly resulted to the increase of trees and seedlings in our forests. For this reason, Monfort Bat Cave and Conservation Foundation is dedicated for the protection of the bats in the area.
 
This year, it is estimated that the number bats inside the Monfort Cave increases to 2.4 million. This great increase has inspired the Monforts to continue its mission to protect these nocturnal mammals. They are now starting to improve their facilities and soon turn the whole area into an eco-park that will focus on the bat conservation and further research.
MONFORT BAT CAVE is truly a great pride of the Island Garden City of Samal. A great place worth to visit. After all, who wouldn’t, it is a Guinness World Record holder.

HOW TO GET THERE:
From Davao City, take an Island Express Bus going to Samal Island then drop off Babak District. From Babak, take a single motorcycle (habal-habal) going to Barangay Tambo where Monfort Bat Cave is situated. No worries, all Samal Folks and habal-habal drivers knows the place.



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23 comments

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April 24, 2011 at 3:14 PM delete

I passed by this bat cave in Samal Island, but I wasn't able to visit. maybe next time. Thanks for sharing this. Nice blog. Cheers!:-)

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April 24, 2011 at 3:23 PM delete

Wow, didn't know that! Tons of bats... what an eerie, amazing sight!

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April 24, 2011 at 3:24 PM delete

great photos idol.
walay migawas nga bat mobile Lan?

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April 24, 2011 at 3:35 PM delete

nice photos as always.. :)
hmmm... makapunta nga dyan minsan..

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April 24, 2011 at 4:03 PM delete

@ Nonoy - You're welcome. It's time to visit Monfort Bat cave now kasi umabot na sila ng 2.4 million sa dami. :)

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April 24, 2011 at 4:04 PM delete

@ Pinay Travel Junkie - hahaha. eerie but indeed amazing. :) byaheng Samal na. :)

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April 24, 2011 at 4:05 PM delete

@ Leo - thank you Leo Bess... :) paniki mobile naa. :)

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April 24, 2011 at 4:06 PM delete

@ Jasmine - Thanks Jas. Sige, sabay ka sa amo ni Lyntot. :)

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April 24, 2011 at 5:08 PM delete

(^_^) hi lan

so sad wasn't able to join you going at that cave... do you think the area is accessible by someone who uses crutches?

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April 24, 2011 at 8:42 PM delete

been here before and was totally amazed. would love to go back to samal island.

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April 24, 2011 at 8:52 PM delete

@ Aice - Hi Aice. :) Monfort Bat Cave is just perfect for you. Crutches friendly. :) for sure you can make it. :) i will make a repeat of this trip sometime May and will definitely include you on it. :)

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April 24, 2011 at 8:54 PM delete

@ AdventurousFeet - nice to hear you like Samal Island. Truly a gem of an Island. :)

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April 25, 2011 at 11:19 AM delete

@ Pinoy Adventurista - Yeah. Hand down for the Monfort Family for preserving this. :)

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April 27, 2011 at 12:05 AM delete

@ adz - you're welcome Ian Monfort. :)

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May 6, 2011 at 2:08 PM delete

Nice shots Olan, puro lagyo akoa mga shots sa bats uy hehehe... Salamat ani na adventure, i really had fun and learned something too... :)

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May 15, 2011 at 10:00 PM delete

My jaws just dropped after seeing that photo of the bats. I'm jealous...

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July 11, 2011 at 4:53 PM delete

I just have to comment on this post because the bat photos gave me chills in my spine.

They look weird! And i feel weird watching your photos of them. hahaha

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May 14, 2012 at 4:46 PM delete

Hi Mr Olan,

I amazed your photo shots about fruit bats. I just want to share the new exciting discovery batcave in my home town Sen. Ninoy Aquino. According to the local study more than 2 million bats found inside the cave. and also I want to share our world class cave known as LAGBASAN Cave according to American Speleologist.If you are interested to see. Contact this No. 09398668880.

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June 8, 2012 at 10:34 PM delete

We are visiting the Manfort Bat Cave this weekend during our first trip to Davao and Samal. Thanks for sharing :-)

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February 10, 2013 at 11:16 PM delete This comment has been removed by the author.
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