Monte Cueva, Maasin, Southern Leyte

Up in the hills at Brgy Rizal, at an elevation of 172 meters above sea level overlooking Maasin City, the capital of Southern Leyte, is a small cave which was developed by its original owners into a shrine with a quaint chapel inside it.

Over the years, the Monte Cueva de la Virgen Shrine has become a site for pilgrims and devotees and has become one of Maasin’s popular tourist destinations.

It’s not for those afraid of heights nor for those with weak knees…

When I first got to the site together with a group of tourism officials about 2 years ago, I faced the prospect of a laborious climb up the hill via a zigzagging concrete stairway consisting of more than 400 steps! Having had no sleep the previous night after a long trip from Surigao, I politely declined the challenge and handed over the camera to my wife who was up to the dare to conquer the hill.

Later, upon seeing the pictures she took, I was regretful I didn’t join the climb. Next time, I told myself.

Last Friday, we were in Maasin and my mind was made up I had to make THE climb. Upon reaching the site, I saw some improvements, notably the construction of a new concrete stairway which local folks say is more difficult to climb due to the steep design. And more steps than the old stairway. So, we took to the old, but reliable stairway, zigzagging and snaking its way up beneath a cool canopy of trees.

We were soon amply rewarded…



Climb up via the old route of zigzagging stairway of more than 300 steps…



Inside the cave at the top of the hill…










The view from atop the hill, 172 meters above sea level – Maasin City:


The new stairway… 400+ steps down…


View more photos of Maasin, Southern Leyte:



~ by gerryruiz on 12 October 2009.

13 Responses to “Monte Cueva, Maasin, Southern Leyte”

  1. So that’s why your new photo here makes you look a bit older-ha ha
    You need some spa time at San Pedro

  2. Great pictures of Monte Cueva, I can’t wait to make that climb myself. Maasin City will be my home in the near future…salamat kaayo sa photo’s.

  3. Wish I’d brought my camera when I was there… maybe next time. 8)

    Great pix! And thanks for sharing… 🙂

  4. Thanks very much Gerry for these scenic and inspiring pictures.

    Believe it or not my childhood friends in downtown Maasin explored this undeveloped cave in the mid-1950s. My family’s household helper was a native of Aguban, the village located at the back entrance of this cave. We learned from her about the existence of the Monte Cueva.

    In 1992, two of my nephews, their childhood friends and I visited this Monte Cueva through the front entrance which faces the road going to barangay Rizal. I took pictures and videos using a professional 35mm Nikon camera and a Sony 8mm camcorder. I made a 20-minute video in VHS and DVD portion of the Monte Cueva which I believe will be a collectors’ item because my prediction came true.

    If only I had the funds in 1992, I would have asked the Chung family that we develop their property over 17 years ago. My idea was to develop it into an inter-faith retreat chapel and conference center. The inter-faith center will have attracted more tourists, visitors and religious devotees from the Philippines and foreign countries. But since it is a Roman Catholic chapel, the millions of other Christians in the Philippines and other countries will not visit or utilize the Monte Cueva.

  5. need to be visited when i get home

  6. I went there 2 years ago. And I absolutely like Monte Cueva and other tourist attractions of Maasin.

  7. nakapunta ako dyan hinde ko matandaan kung anong taon. mahirap pa ang daan noon, ngayon nagulat talaga ako, ang ganda na! sana makapunta ulit ako dito.

  8. I grew up here in this small town. I know there are numerous other beautiful places in Maasin City which remain undiscovered. Anyway, nice site! Have a good day!

  9. Life altering experience. Absorb every second if you go there. Bath yourself in the waters.

  10. I love Monte Cueva… super, it’s more beautiful than ever!!!

  11. Seeing these fabulous pictures, I will definitely climb these steps even though I am a physically-challenged person – I know it is worth the sacrifice.

  12. oh my God it’s really beautiful. excited naq mu ad2 hahahaha… it really proves that it’s more fun here in the Philippines.

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