Suhot: A Place to Chill

Up fathomable....deep, deep, second underground cave.

Unfathomable….deep, deep, second underground cave.

So, why don't you come and take a quick dip?

So, why don’t you come and take a quick dip?

Morning is still and calm, the water is so tempting!

Morning is still and calm, the water is so tempting!

 At 6am Chilly, crystal clear spring water is waiting for you..

At 6am Chilly, crystal clear spring water is waiting for you..


View from the top.

View from the top.

Suhot Cave- located just at the foot of enormous Panginraon mountain on Dolores, Dumalag, Capiz. “Suhot” ( sue-hoot/ to crawl under), cave or ” suhot” spring is a popular swimming hole for the people of Dumalag and its neighboring places. spring wAter coming from an underground rocky source and is believe to feed the fresh water needs of the entire town, also for agricultural use. The cave itself is the main attraction, however, not necessarily people is brave enough to enter and explore it.
Visitors flock outside the cave just to escape the summer heat, Suhot spring has a large shallow to up to the neck deep swimming pool, the water level is constant throughout the entire year, and only becomes unswimmable on rainy season when it gets flooded and muddy.
the main cave is very old, it has huge opening, very dark, but I haven’t heard or read a formal exploration report about it. There are three caves to see, but people there are more interested in cooling off than to get in those dark, bat infested caves.
The first cave is located on the top of the swimming area. It is a very large, with a church like main entrance that resembles a cathedral. But if you are facing toward the cave, it looks dark, and spooky. Just like other caves, It has an old remnant of ” stalagmite”and “stalactite” formation. Sadly, those formation was chopped off for safety purposes. I myself have not really entered the cave.
The second largest cave is located below right to the swimming area. Again, I don’t have the nerve to swim in it because it is obviously deep. The third cave or the smallest Entrance lies just few inches below the water level is no longer reacheable…because for the last two decades, it disappeared because a dam was built around the swimming pool area to make the pool a little bit larger and deeper. Along time ago when I was a kid,I remember that we were able to dove down, hold our breath, just a few feet under the water and able to enter the smallest cave. And in order for you to get out, you have to swim out toward the larger second cave, from inside. you only have a few feet of crawlspace above you between solid rocky ceiling and the water. It felt super awesome, the water is very cold, Crisp, and refreshing. Although the water is crystal clear, I don’t remember seeing the bottom below, or how deep it was.it because nobody was able to correctly measure the bottom’s dept.
I visited suhot spring every year. in April 2014 was my sixth year, and my observation, there is a constant increasing number of visitors that come in and enjoy the chilly water of suhot. A Long time ago, coming to this place is free of charge. Now it is closely restricted, gate entrance is guarded by military police 24/7. people can come in and pay 20 pesos Per person. And can enjoy swimming, hang out with family and friends all day long.

Try to come as early as possible....@ 5:00am, you will enjoy swimming at Suhot better, by 0700, bunch of naked men will be soaping themselves already!

Try to come as early as possible….@ 5:00am, you will enjoy swimming at Suhot better, by 0700, bunch of naked men will be soaping themselves already!

The cottage.

The cottage.


My family while taking a quick swim in the evening:-)

My family while taking a quick swim in the evening:-)


Water gets murky in evening, disturbed sands just a reminder that a hundred children and adult alike just had their fun swimming in it.

Water gets murky in evening, the disturbed sands just a reminder that a hundred children and adult alike just had their fun swimming in it.


An overnight stay is very convenient for the entire family especially with young kids. They have cottages for rent and air conditioned rooms. The perk will be is that you can go swimming very early in the morning, where nobody is around, and the water is so clear. Then One can lounge and relax on the cabana or hut all day long if You want to. visitors can also enjoy that slightly interesting walk about the cave near the main entrance next to the grotto. during summer time even if it’s humid and sunny, just be aware that mosquitoes are all over the place, since it is located just at the foot of the mountain, bugs like mosquitoes are present. So just don’t forget to bring your own bug sprays or some sort of insect repellent. The short walk is a little bit uphill and inclined, with just little bit of difficulty.
Just above the cave is the best place to reflect and enjoy the peace and quiet, where you are surrounded with tall trees, maybe some local birds, suhot cave is a safe place. It is guarded by a private military police run by the city. It has it has an air-conditioned rooms and cottages complete with indoor toilet, and it can be reached via tricycle or jeepney on the main road just five minutes from Dumalag town public market.
Visitors can bring their own food and drinks, or they can cook barbecues on designated grilling area. The place also have Karaoke bar available for a fee, and they have those rubber tubes for rent if you want to be safe with with little ones swimming. Visitors, year not only to swam but the spend time with their families on holidays, Class reunions and birthdays. Visitors from all over the place comes around eight in the morning and throughout the whole day, doing nightfall it becomes a party place you wouldn’t imagine, but not in a chaotic way. So, where do you want to be?
The slightly steep stairway to the top of the cave.

The slightly steep stairway to the top of the cave.

Another view from the far end cottage.

Another view from the far end cottage.


Early morning , the crystal clear, chilly water is waiting for you.....

Early morning , the crystal clear, chilly water is waiting for you…..


My nephew and nieces, enjoying the evening.

My nephew and nieces, enjoying the evening.

Dumalag: Back to My Hometown

Panginraon mountain peak

Panginraon mountain peak


Me and my Little Man:-)

Me and my Little Man:-)

Dumalag, Capiz.( Western Visayas ) A small town located in Panay Island just an hour via bus commute from Roxas city, Capiz. It is surrounded by vast mountainous lands of Tapaz, rice fields of Dao, and cuartero. Dumalag is also an alleyway to Iloilo and Roxas city. Everybody can visit via Roro from Luzon, or an hour plane ride via roxas city. Dumalag is a couple hours away from Iloilo city. Philippine railway used to be running everyday to haul sugarcane, goods, cattle and humans, but sadly it is non existent today. My Hometown now is very quiet place. Crime rate is almost none existent.
Today people mostly live and work on rice fields, owns a small business, stores and some so-so jobs just to get by, many relies on family graces from abroad. However, back in the 1970s, to 1980s people especially families owns sugar land or cane fields. In those days Men in the family works in Santo Niño Sugar Mill, or ” arozera”, where sugarcanes were processed and turn obviously into sugar. Our hometown is surrounded by sugar cane fields, in addition to rice fields. And as far as I remember, there are a lot of many reluctant rich family that belongs to this town, if you walk around the neighborhood especially in town, Spanish era home designs still exist. I remember growing up as a kid, our town has one movie theater, were Filipino movies are shown on certain days, and even then some places in town houses own little movie houses, and play some Betamax tape movies whether it’s American or local Filipino. That is the main form of entertainment for us if you can afford to pay for it. We have No mega malls, not even a small shopping center. I do remember that we also have a cock fighting place or arena, Cockfighting is another form of entertainment, sure they can use ” tradition ” as an excuse. Rich, and poor came to pay and see cockfighting, everybody was happy money was pouring down.
We had a busy Post Office, where we received snail mails, and packages from relatives. Yes kids. We used to write letters and put them in the envelopes, lick the stamps and put it the post office mail box..and if you want to be technically fancy, we had what they call a ” telegram” service. An equivalent to text messages, except you pay the service per word, never mind… We will get to that later. These all happened back when Internet service was not around yet.
And then, back in the mid-1980s, for some reason a typhoon ( Undang, circa November 5, 1984) ravaged the entire island of region 6 and everything pretty much went downhill..people stop coming to town and everything seems to be so slow, no major activities. Everything halted just because of one event. To me, obviously it was the change of administration:-).
To this day, Dumalag town still have its beauty just like I left it about two decades ago. Just like any other towns in Capiz, this town has its public markets I believe it’s open during pretty much every day, and especially during Sundays. Our town pretty much sticks to its old, traditions, like people still go to church on Sundays, and still practices typical traditional Filipino holidays. Regardless of what they say the boom on Internet and computer age, I still believe this town have its own original traditions ( the ati Atihan, and the barrio fiestas).
I left this town in 1989, Although I was born up north, I consider myself as
” Dumalagnon”. As soon as I graduated from college in 2005, ( took me a decade to do it ), I made a promise to my Grandparent’s resting place that I will try to come and visit them every year. compare to other places in the Philippines, my hometown doesn’t really have anything special to show off, except to me, everything is still special. Just like being here in United States where you have Central Park in New York, or the Great Smokey Mountain up in the Appalachian in Tennessee, my home town have Suhot Springs, or Suhot cave, where a many people from other county or “barrios” go to to escape the heat of the summer. my hometown is, on my last visit looks the same except for obvious unfortunate damages still remains from destructive hurricane Haiyan back in November last year of 2013. according to the locals, they were happy and lucky to be alive and only a couple sadly lost their lives.What really makes heart leap is that people around there is so resilient and in my observation, they maybe poor, but they seemed contented and behind all devastation around them, they just get up and do whatever they needed to survive. something for me to be thankful with, knowing how hard life threw at me where I am at now, I just have to think about them and smile, ” they survived, and so maybe I can too”.
With all the same homes in shambles, of coarse I saw a lot of changes, some homes lined up along the main street in town were huge, and obscenely extravagant.I felt like the streets are getting to narrow, and more and more people scattered in and out. I was there for 3 days. My main event was to chill with some family members I took with me. I took many photos of the Plaza, and some were from my ancestral home in Sto. Angel, and of coarse, Suhot Springs. were everybody go during summer time.

Yes, most of the ambitious young Dumalagnons left the town, so they can find a better place, a better life to live. Only a handful, probably not too many come back and stay for good. However A former resident like me, would love to come back and enjoy the site, taste home grown foods, the smell of the air over and over again and I’d love to do that..

Landmark town water fountain

Landmark town water fountain


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Dumalag town Plaza
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During my visit, my family and I loved to stay in Suhot resort, I choose that place because of its close proximity to the water, and we can chill in their rented huts and air conditioned rooms.
calm in the morning, mad party place at noon:-)

calm in the morning, mad party place at noon:-)

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It looked like Jose Rizal's statue. The famous Filipino Hero hanged ( pls.correct me if I was wrong), during Spanish-Filipino war. But I can't remember this statue being here when I was a kid.

It looked like Jose Rizal’s statue. The famous Filipino Hero hanged ( pls.correct me if I was wrong), during Spanish-Filipino war. But I can’t remember this statue being here when I was a kid.


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I call this " little Pitoy boys", I just don't know how long they have peeing here..wish somebody could tell me:-).

I call this ” little Pitoy boys”, I just don’t know how long they have peeing here..wish somebody could tell me:-).


Saint Martin Church.

Saint Martin Church.