Getting around Lake Sebu is a total breeze (I mean literally!). You see, the province's local transportation itself known as skylab aka habal-habal is an exciting road trip experience that's definitely worth a try. Unlike other provinces, the place serves no tricycles or public utility jeeps. It's either you bring your own car or hop on the skylab experience!
|lake house at Lake Sebu|
Lake Sebu is best explored with an eco-tour in mind. See sights, discover the culture and feast on its local food. Have your room reserved for a 2 days and 1 night stay, rent a skylab for a day tour, bring along a good quality camera and some good ol' travel-loving buddies and your off to go to the highlands of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
Having stayed here (for almost a month) at the coolest mountain lake province in Southern Mindanao, let me share with you my recommended itinerary for those wanting to stay for two days and 1 night.
Day 1 (day tour)
Wake yourself up with the day's fresh air and cool breeze in a serene lake water. Alarm your clock around 5am to catch glimpse of the golden sun plus its the best hour to start doing your lake photo shoot. I love this time of the day because it gives me that certain drama and mystical look to my photos - the soft rays of the golden sun as it touches the lake, mountain and the wild plants. Fog is also very much visible at this hour, thus it is also called the "Fog Lake". Don't know where to stay? Check out a list of Lake sebu resorts/lodging houses below.
- Visit Lake Sebu's Seven Falls
To get to Falls 2, you have 3 options
option a: fly via the zipline ride
option b: hike the 700+ steps
option c: ride the skylab to take you to falls 2 entrance
- Lunch at Punta Isla (never to be miss is the variety of tilapia dishes, Lake Sebu's freshest and old time favorite cuisine)
- Boat trip at Punta Isla
- Side trip at the church
- Back to resort
Lake Sebu doesn't have that "night life" appeal especially those seeking for a fun, glittery evening seen at some key destinations in the country. What makes Lake Sebu different is its peaceful relaxing ambience especially at night time when all you can hear are the sweet hum of birds and the exceptional chilling cold brought by the fog.
- Resort Hopping
- These are some of the resorts/lodging houses worth considering:
Balben Family Cove is a lodging house that also offers a private feel of the lake and an array of vibrant indigenous plants.
Ictus is located beside Balben Family Cove and is currently under construction; it provides a great view of the lake and has a lake bridge below the main building; you can also check out a number of solar panels within the area, talking about Green Technology here huh.
Monte Cielo Resort - although not a lake side resort, this property is very much visible from the main road because of its high elevation; the feel of this resort is like having a picnic while enjoying the panoramic mountains of Lake Sebu.
Mountain Log Resort boasts a towering structure that gives visitors a wider view of the lake. It also offer lakeside huts for dining and enough space to stroll embraced by huge pine trees reminiscent of Baguio.
Estares Resort is one of the pioneering resorts at Lake Sebu. It also provides lakeside huts for dining and boat trips.
Punta Isla Resort being the most famous of all the resorts takes pride at its Floating Restaurant, massage house and T'bolis usual appearance at the resort.
- COWHED which stands for Cooperative of Women in Health Development owns the T'boli Trade and Crafts, a souvenir shop selling a wide range of handcrafted items, t'nalak fabric, brass sculptures, local embroideries, beadworks and a lot more. This shop is located at Tuko-Fol, Poblacion, Lake Sebu just few meters from Punta Isla Resort.
- T'boli Museum stands a few meters from Cowhead and is a humble structure patterned to a typical T'boli house. It displays anything and everything about the T'boli Tribe.
How to get to Lake Sebu
1. From General Santos city, take a bus that will bring you to Koronadal (1 hour trip)
2. From Koronadal's yellow bus terminal ride another bus to take you to Surallah (about 30 minutes)
3. From Surallah you can either ride a jeep or van to take you to Lake Sebu. (about 30 minutes) I heard that last trip is around 6pm.
4. Final stop is at Poblacion area, right after the church. From there, you can ride the skylab to take you to your preferred lodging.
|south cotabato map courtesy of southcotabato.gov.ph|