The Japanese Cave House, Samal Island, Philippines.

The cave at the The Japanese Cave House is a tangible link to Samal Islands wartime past, this cave was said to have been used as a storage depot by the Japanese for their ammunition and supplies. Other more remote caves on Samal Island were used as hiding places by the Filipino inhabitants. I was last there in September 2017 and noted many improvements including an outdoor restaurant area.

Japanese Cave Samal

The cave at The Japanese Cave House is a link to Samal Island's second world war history as it was used said to have been used by Japanese soldiers as a hideout and perhaps storage area. It would have well suited for this purpose as the entrance is narrow and well hidden, in fact it would be hard to spot if you walked past it. It was rediscovered sometime after the war by treasure hunters.

The cave itself extends to some twenty metres or so and there are a few artefacts such as inert bullets and shells but these are not the main purpose of your visit. The thing to do is sit quietly in the depths of the cave and absorb the atmosphere and mull over how things must have been both for locals and Japanese soldiers in those troubled times.

When you stand in front of the cave entrance you will see there is a sweeping uninterrupted view of the land in front leading down to the short sea crossing and Davao City on the other side. I do wonder if there was not a Japanese gun emplacement here during the second world war, but if there was there is no trace of it left today.

During the second world war the Japanese forces heavily fortified the Davao City area including Samal as they expected an allied landing from the Davao Gulf, however the allies had learned the lesson of Singapore and the main thrust of the attack came via land. The battle of Davao was an important part of the campaign to free Mindanao and was carried out in May 1945, final victory was to the allies but at a large cost of human life and suffering on both sides.

You can read more about the Battle For Davao at this excellent Wikipedia article : LINK

Click HERE to see it on Google maps.

The cave itself is not marked on Google Maps but it is located on your left just before Camudmud Barangay Hall which is marked, and the entrance to the cave site is well signposted.