Visiting Mindanao wouldn’t be complete without going to one of Philippines’ cultural landscapes – Lake Sebu. According to UNESCO, a cultural landscape destination is a geographical area that had successfully combined the works of nature and that of man.
There are three lakes found in the town where the legendary Lake Sebu lies. Lake Sebu is the largest measuring about 600 hectares while the other two are Lake Lahit and Lake Seleton. More than 50% of the inhabitants in Lake Sebu are from T’boli tribe who are known for their craftsmanship as well as their gentleness in tilling the land. Aside from their craftsmanship, agriculture and aquaculture are the main sources of livelihood in the area.
The serene Lake Sebu is enclosed by hills and mountains. Its serenity provides a good area for businessmen to start their own resorts along the side of the lake. Famous cuisines offered in Lake Sebu include one from their locally cultivated Tilapia fishes.
Lake Sebu 7 Falls
Deemed as the must-see famous attractions in Lake Sebu is its Seven Waterfalls. Here are the T’boli names of the Seven Waterfalls found in Lake Sebu with its corresponding meaning:
- 1st – Hikong Alu – Passage
- 2nd – Hikong Bente – Unmeasurable
- 3rd – Hikong B’lebed – Zigzag Coil
- 4th – Hikong Lowing – Booth
- 5th – Hikong Kefo-I – Wild flower
- 6th – Hikong Ukol – Short
- 7th – Hikong Tonok – Soil
If you have the endurance, you can trek the trails to see closely the majestic wonder of these waterfalls or if you want an easier way to see these waterfalls without the need to track the hard trails, then go for a zipline adventure where you will be flying over the second up to fifth waterfalls.
T’daan Kini Falls
Lake Sebu is known for its seven falls but these falls are not good for swimming because the water came from lakes which is the home of tilapia cages. While T’daan Kini falls is very clean and undeniably cold. The water that flows on the falls came from the spring above the mountain which is very clean and suitable for bathing.
Situated few kilometers from Lake Sebu proper is the Lake Seloton. It is the second biggest lake which has an area of 48 hectares and at more than 200 meters deep. Most of the lake is occupied with tilapia fish cages which is the main source of livelihood in the area. Sunrise Garden Lake Resort is the only resort can be found in the area
School of Living Tradition
Positioned on a hill with a picturesque view of the serene lake in South Cotabato, School of Living Tradition is the best place to experience authentic and well-preserved indigenous T’boli tradition. The school is to be found in the village of Lambanig in Lake Sebu and showcases several T’boli culture and arts through the Helubong Cultural Dance Troupe and its huts which are made from bamboo and cogon grass.
Accomodations at Lake Sebu
Unknown to many, Lake Sebu has hidden gem located about 3 kilometers from the town proper – The Lake Seloton. This is the deepest lake in the area which has a lot of fish cages on it. Tilapia farming is the main source of income of the locals.
Punta Isla Lake Resort
Punta Isla Lake Resort should without a doubt be included in your bucket list in visiting Lake Sebu. Punta Isla portrays an important role in developing Lake Sebu as South Cotabato’s premier nature sanctuary. It is situated less than a kilometer away from the town proper of Lake Sebu and is highly regarded as an ideal place for fun, food and leisure. Furthermore, Punta Isla is popular for its naturally sweet and luscious tasting tilapia which will surely fuel your appetite. Plus, if you would like to spend a relaxing night in the place you may opt to stay in their VIP rooms, family or dormitory type rooms.
Owned and operated by Integrated Cooperative Towards Unified Service, the Mountain Lake Eco-Resort promotes environmentally friendly, culturally conscious and oriented travel experience to its visitors. The 8,000 square meters resort is very accessible and not difficult to go to especially that it is just seven kilometers away from the center of Lake Sebu.
Although this resort so near from the lake, it offers a spectacular view to visitors because it is situated at an elevated area. Visitors can see in full view the wonders of both the beauty of Lake Sebu and the mountain ranges around it.
In terms of standard, there is nothing to question about Dolores Lake Resort’s credibility especially that it holds the distinction of being the only resort accredited by both the city and national tourism offices. It belongs to one of the many Dolores hotels and resorts operating in Mindanao.
What is there not to love about this resort? Located at Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, this resort has literally seen the development of the lake from being a secluded getaway to its prominence as a top tourist destination nowadays. Read this: the resort has been in business since 1992.
Are you looking for an exhilarating and unforgettable experience while staying at Lake Sebu? Well, a perfect accommodation is what you are looking for, exactly what Lake Sebu Mountain Log Resort has in all its humble splendor.
Merl Garden Spring Resort
Considered as one of the highly-esteemed resorts in Lake Sebu, Merl Garden Spring Resort has earned its spot as the must visit resorts in South Cotabato. It takes pride for its affordable accommodation rates with a 7 feet deep clean spring swimming pool, an exciting zipline, cottages which are perfect for overnight stays and a function hall that is ideal for special events and gatherings.
How to Get There
There are various routes for you to reach Lake Sebu. From Manila or Cebu, you can take a plane ride going to General Santos. If you are coming from any point in Mindanao, you can take a public transport going to General Santos. From GenSan, take a bus ride en route to Koronadal. From Koronadal, take another bus ride to Surallah, South Cotabato and from there, ride a van to bring you to Lake Sebu. If you can’t wait for the van to be filled up with passengers, you can take a single motorcycle to take you to Lake Sebu.
Lake Sebu offers its visitors with a lot of scenic sights to see. You may opt to have a local guide to tour you around or you may have your DIY tour. You can rent a boat that has a seating capacity of up to 20 people. The boat tour will give you a glimpse of the famous Lake Sebu wherein a local guide will be acquainting you with the history of the lake and other important information that you need to know about Lake Sebu.
In a nutshell, Lake Sebu is completely different from your usual kind of vacation as it gives you not only the beauty and wonder of nature but also the richness of our culture that successfully remained despite continuous modernization – undeniably, its untainted splendor is simply one of a kind!