Lake Sebu, South Cotabato: The Landscapes of Lake Sebu
Many photographers have proven before and again that Lake Sebu is a lens man’s wonderland. It’s not a question of “who”, but a matter of “why”.
Lake Sebu does not refer exclusively to a single inland body of water but to an entire town in South Cotabato, which in fact has three, each one distinct from the other. The gorgeous lakes, however, are merely an overlay to a myriad of scenic landscapes endowed to the T’boli town.
The town was named after the largest of the three, Lake Sebu, which spans about a quarter of the entire Pasay City of Metro Manila. Island and islets freckled the placid basin abundant with tilapia. The flourishing tilapia industry provided livelihood and steady income for the locals residing on its banks. These are the men who watches over the fish cages. When dawn breaks, these fishermen paddle on their dugout canoe, sliding gracefully across the glass-faced lake, toward their fish pens – a mundane scene that tells a story about this unique town, but beyond just words.
Lake Sebu maybe the widest, but with a lakebed at 200 feet, Lake Seloton reigns as the deepest. Similar to Lake Sebu, the Lake Seloton also serves as a breeding ground for tilapia. But Lake S’loton’s unobstructed location makes this part of town a perfect vantage point to watch the sunrise – well, technically. But in my opinion, wherever you are in Lake Sebu, these roseate sunrises and fiery sunsets are the momentarily events of the day that will make photographers cringe, definitely.
The picturesque features of the town is not limited to Lake Sebu, Lake Seloton, and the smallest of the three, Lake Lahit. The marvels extend high up to the soaring peaks, obscured by fog and mists. And when temperature drops, so does the haze, sweeping through vast plains and ricefields. Don’t let the cool weather and chilly breeze get in the way – wear warm clothing when shooting.
The relentless waters plunging down from the colossal heights of Hikong Bente sends a thunderous roar that echoes within its gorge. The powerful drop envelopes the atmosphere with mists. Taking pictures may be quite challenging but capturing the magnificence is just irresistible. Oh, by the way, Hikong Bente is only 1 of 7 of the famed Seven Falls of Lake Sebu. Six more awaits.
In Lake Sebu, the possibilities of capturing great vistas can stretch as far as one’s imagination can reach. Serene lakes, towering mountain ranges, broad plains, seven waterfalls, not to mention the festival of hues at dusk and dawn – Lake Sebu is a montage landscapes put together by nature in one charming town.
1. Directions to Lake Sebu, South Cotabato: Nearest airport to Lake Sebu is General Santos City. From General Santos City, take a bus or a van bound for Surallah Terminal. Buses and vans bound for Cotabato City or Tacurong City also passes by Surallah Terminal. In my case, I came from Isulan which has direct vans to Surallah (P50.00). From Surallah, you could take a van to Lake Sebu, or you could take the jeep (P35.00).
2. Where To Stay in Lake Sebu: There are plenty of resorts in Lake Sebu that caters to any travelers. I stayed at the following places:
a. Maria Todi Homestay – beside the T’boli SIKAT School. It costs P250 including a breakfast. You could also arrange for dinner and lunch. Call or text prior to your stay 0906 634 53 67 or you could walk-in. But I think it would be best to call first.
b. Ma-Fil’s House – located at Brgy. Tasiman. Ma-Fil’s place is a bit far from town so it would be best to buy food for you. It would be nice have something to share also when you get there. He doesn’t have a fixed price but a generous donation would be great. It’s advisable to call him first 0935 812 92 62 or 0905 111 35 66 or you could visit the tourism office at the Poblacion.
c. Sunrise Garden Lake Resort – located at Brgy. Seloton. Rooms costs from P150.00/head (dormitory) to P1,800 (family room). However, in my case, I was alone so I paid P250 for the whole dormitory. There’s wifi, pool, restaurant. For inquiries, call 0936 416 93 44 or 0917 556 77 63
d. Tourism Lodge – at P60.00 – P100.00 per head, this is the cheapest in town. I stayed here for 6 days. And personally, I think the tourism lodge has one of the most spectacular views of Lake Sebu. Call +639206033554 or you could also visit the Tourism Office, which leads me to my next tip.
3. Visit the tourism office first. They could help you with your lodging and itinerary. They also provide visitors with habal-habal rates. All the destinations and its corresponding fares are all listed down.
4. More about Lake Sebu series.
6. More destinations in South Cotabato
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8. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter
9. Be safe and happy travels.