One of my favorite swimming destinations is Timoga, a sitio in Barangay Buruun, Iligan City.
This is the place where cold spring water runs a river of abundance. Contrary to the belief that the water comes from Lake Lanao, Timoga springs from an underground source. Its volume magnificent enough that it is estimated to support thrice the population of Iligan City.
Choose from Different Pools
There are a number of establishments around the area, cold spring resorts, sea resorts, some restaurants and small eateries lining up the highways. You can choose from the many resorts which opens from around six in the morning up to eight or ten in the evening, where tables and cottages can be rented for 50 to 100 pesos. Some resorts offers an overnight package on their own hotels. There is Holiday Pool, Spring, Dela Mar, Main, Marvillas where I learned how to swim scientifically, and Mimars which has an olympic size swimming pool that caters to swimming enthusiasts and athletes.The stores lining the highway sell puso – rice steamed inside woven coconut palm fronds, lechon manok, steamed bananas and camote and the ever delectable lechon baboy.
Best time to Come
It is best to come to Timoga early in the morning during work day where there are still a few guests. The water in the pools flows from its source and out into the river and the nearby sea. It is relatively cleaner and fresher compared to most commercial pools with stagnant and chemically treated water. I still opt to come early in the morning for a little privacy. At mid-morning guests will start to arrive. Ideally, you should be done lapping by now to avoid the voyeuristic crowd and just sit and eat.
At night, after office hours, most guests have left. There will be a few coming in, mostly swimmers and student swimmers with night lessons or employees who have just gotten out from work. I learned to swim on a night class. During closing time, the water inlets are closed and water is drained and the pool is cleaned ready for the next day.
The pools’ bathrooms and dressing rooms are amply supplied with free-flowing water. After having stayed in Baguio where water is scarce, I panicked seeing a frightening volume of water left overflowing. I attempted to close all the faucets only to realize valves were not installed on purpose. I surmised that if valves were attached they would only burst from the force of water coming out of its source.
How come the used water are not harnessed to supply the population of Iligan City who hardly have enough for laundry needs?
Timoga is a proof that nature has it way to gift abundance. This has ran for centuries and for as long as the grounds are protected and the trees left to hold and keep the water, Timoga Cold Spring will spring eternal.