Punduhan ng mga Dumagat, Sitio Suha, Brgy. San Mateo, Norzagaray, Bulacan.
We arrived at around past 11:00am at Sito Suha , Barangay San Mateo , Norzagaray after a brief stop over to take photos at the Ipo Dam and Pinagrealan Cave .
Brother Martin Francisco
The group were greeted by Brother Martin Francisco and Agta- Bulos community. The place is known as Bato sa Bitbit Cave or more popularly known as Monte Cristo Cave. There were a lot of people who would visit the site especially during ” Holy Week” season or during summer months. Aside from nature and community immersion activities . One of the more popular activity is spelunking , caving or trekking.
Spelunking is the term used in the United States and Canada and potholing in the United Kingdom and Ireland
This is a few kilometers away from Bitbit river hence people would also refer this cave system as Bato sa Bitbit Cave. The best time to visit the cave system is between 6:00am to past 10:00am , this was according to Brother Martin Francisco .
motorcyle rider group
We saw several motorcycle rider group taking photos at the cave, some of them have visited the cave system several times.
Agta-Bulos child holding lamp
“The primary objective of this eco-tourism project is forest protection. We want to preserve our forest. When we first came here, we thought this was a virgin forest, but we’re wrong. The place was already destroyed by the illegal loggers, charcoal makers, and even treasure hunters. The Agta-Bulos were first afraid to go inside the cave system since it is where “Sabkal ” spirits dwell, The Agta-Bulos consider the cave system as Palanas or holy ground , where spirits lives. The group is also accompanied by several Agta-Bulos children with lamps.
Monte Cristo rock looks like the face of Jesus Christ
We made the rocks in Monte Cristo habitable and we made a prayer visit [stations],” said BSMP missionary and Sagip Sierra Madre Executive Chairman, Bro. Martin Francisco, BSMP.
So far we explored the 4 areas , Monte Cristo rock , Kalye Diablo , Lungga ng Pitong Demonyo and some parts of Level 4 which is a multi-level story cave system believed to be hiding area for the Japanese. This is mostly reserve for those with proper gear and equipment for rock climbing and rappelling . Some parts of the cave system is about 5 to 7 story .
Kuweba ng Poong Nazareno
They developed 4 out of 8 caves as pilgrimage sites, which was originally named the “Sagip NPC Project Site”, later on becoming the “Punduhan ng mga Dumagat.”
Lungga ng Pitong Demonyo
The cave system is not yet fully explored , However some of the biggest parts were hiding and sleeping space by the Japanese soldiers during the second world war . Some of the cave system were badly destroyed by illegal treasure hunters thinking that there were hidden treasures that lies within the cave. Aside from treasure hunters, There were also people who would get the stalactites and stalagmites .
climbing gear left by treasure hunters and rock gatherers
land snail are found inside one of the cave system
“The Sagip Sierra Madre is not only an NGO, this is also a community-based organization with different tribes as members. We want the Dumagats to empower and organize themselves. We are teaching them on leadership training and how to be an independent,” Francisco added.
group photo at Monte Cristo
Note : All photos are taken by the author , please this blog link
For those who wanted to join our group , We will have a an organized tour and a community outreach project on May 29 Sunday . The Agta -Bulos community also needed some basic commodities like clothes, canned goods, school supplies , biscuits among other things.
Here is an FB event page Minsan Pa sa Piling ng mga Dumagats for those who wanted to join the tour . This is a whole day affair .
For Booking & Inquiries:
Globe – 0975 733 6464
Sun – 0923 346 7575
Viber – (+63) 975 733 6464
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org