Cavite Offers P200,000 as Reward for Finding Lost Tunnels

Time to download Google Earth and unleash your inner armchair archeologist.

More than 100 years ago, from 1896 to 1898, Katipuneros in Cavite used a network of tunnels to evade capture by Spanish forces during the Philippine Revolution. The tunnels were instrumental in the successful defense of Cavite during the Battle of Imus in September 1896, which was the first major battle of the Philippine Revolution. The tunnels were once again tested two years later in 1898 in the Battle of Alapan led by Emilio Aguinaldo, which resulted in another Filipino victory against the Spaniards.

Aguinaldo and his men kept the tunnels a well-guarded secret, and for very good reasons. They used these tunnels not only to outflank the Spanish forces, but also to move around Cavite undetected. The tunnels may have been used to resupply besieged Filipino forces, which could be a reason why they outlasted Spanish forces. Without the tunnels, the crucial Battle of Imus and Battle of Alapan could have resulted in Filipino losses.

Now, the tunnels’ entrances and exits are lost and the City of Imus wants help in finding them. The city council approved in principle the “City of Imus Culture and the Arts Council of 2019 Ordinance.” According to Councilor Hertito Monzon, the ordinance calls for the city and the citizens to preserve and conserve the Filipino historical and cultural heritage and resources. “The retrieval and conservation of artifacts and Filipino culture and history shall be vigorously pursued,” said Monzon in a report by the Manila Bulletin.

Alex Advincula, Representative of the Third District of Imus, put up the P200,000 reward to hasten the search for the Lost Tunnels of Cavite. In 2015, he posted a P20,000 reward, but no one was able to find the tunnels then.


How to Find the Lost Tunnels of Cavite

If you want to take a shot at finding the lost tunnels of Cavite, you can start by downloading Google Earth on your desktop or mobile (we prefer desktop). We know that the tunnels were used to move people and supplies in and out of Imus and Alapan, so you should try scouting and dropping pins on ideal entrance and exit locations around these towns. Look for disturbances in the terrestrial features (luckily, Imus has plenty of farmland that will make this task easy) that could indicate the presence of tunneling or caved-in tunnels.

Do not underestimate the usefulness of Google Earth, because serious archeologists have made some of the greatest discoveries using the app. In 2010, professor Lee Berger of Witwatersrand University in South Africa discovered a new species of human by scouting for possible caves and tunnels locations using Google Earth.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
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