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The Hinatuan Enchanted River is one of the beautiful places located in Surigao del Sur. Also known as Hinatuan Sacred River, this river springs from the jungle and travels a short 600 meters to the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It has a depth of 80ft and the source of its water is still unknown, but the winning theory is that it derives from an underground cave system. Adding to its mystery are local legends that surround it.
The most popular local legend about this enchanted river is about fairies that dropped sapphire and jade stones into the river, which gave the river its unique colors. Other story tells about engkantos and other supernatural beings that dwell there and act as its protector. Local fisher folks also report seeing fish in the river that cannot be caught through any means.
The first exploration of the Hinatuan Enchanted River was made by Alex Santos in 1999. However, the major exploration to the cave system started eleven years later in February 2010. The exploration was led by Dr. Alfonso Amores. This exploration led to the discovery of a hidden cave opening at 98ft depth.
Succeeding explorations have been made that led to the discovery of the underwater cave's chamber, called Mayor's Chamber. During their sixth expedition on June 2014, Dr. Amores perished after failing to exit the narrow entrance to the cave due to cardiac arrest at 130ft depth inside the Mayor's Chamber. Exploration have continued in March 2015 and is now led by Bernil Gastardo, who is also a part of Dr. Amores' team.
Today, the diving gears of Dr. Amores are displayed at a small spot at the entrance of the river park. This is to commemorate the researches made by him.
Here is a video of one of the Hinatuan River expeditions.