I've been postponing Mindanao trips due to the stigma brought about by news on terror group or armed rebels' activities in many parts of this southern archipelago. Lately, I've been seeing travel posts and magazine articles on Lake Sebu - and since I was planning a Bukidnon climb trip, I thought - why not a side trip. Few checks and googling and I quickly felt comfortable about security and safety of South Cotabato (but I was warned about relative stability issue to the North).
|the calm Lake Sebu (one of the 3 lakes here), with hundreds of Tilapia fishpens. Each resort-restaurant would have more than 10 Tilapia dishes in their menu|
From CDO (my end-point of the climb trip), I hopped on a plane bound for Davao. There's currently no direct flight from CDO to General Santos City - the usual gateway to Lake Sebu. Coming from Manila, that would be possible.
From Gensan, it's an easy and short ride to Koronadal (aka Marbel), maybe 1hr or less. I took the Yellow Bus Line (it seems well established), and at Marbel bus terminal, the van /shuttle terminal called 'Denmark' is just a mere 100m walk. Van takes passengers either directly to Lake Sebu terminal, or to Surallah (w/c will require another ride). From "LS" terminal, one needs to ride a motorcycle called 'habal-habal', I paid 20php for a ride to Punta Isla Resort.
Here's more picture-story of my 2-day trip...
|no.2 falls of the 'Seven Falls', the largest of the 7. This is just below #1, a bit of walk to see the falls' head, or by habal-habal to get to this picture-spot. Falls are natural connections and drains of the lakes around Lake Sebu|
|Falls no.1. Still big but smaller than no2. Other falls are located far and away and are not normally visited.|
|T'boli coffee - just to complete the experience...|
|entrance to Punta Isla resort, one of the more known but old resorts in town. I got single rooms for 800php/night. Expect natural creature sound during the night, like camping in a nearby forest or lake.|
|at Isla's restaurant waiting for my Tilapia meal...|
|Another view of the lake from a floating restaurant in a nearby resort|
|T'boli dance - performers in their traditional outfit|
|Ahhh... chicharong Tilapia, and buco-pandan (without milk) drink to complement it|
|Inside a small museum in town... They also sell few items, I bought a few beaded necklace (also to help the local artisans)|
|T'boli traditional long house, no rooms, windows opened like a bridge-gate, elevated|
|T'boli women harvesting shellfish from the river|
|At COWHED (cooperative store), here, beads artwork - you'll never run out of options...|
|brass work... casted then decorations are hand-made. bought a few pieces and several small spherical brass bells|
|Embroidery is another specialty of the T'boli artisans...|
|The entrance to the COWHED, one should visit the place to buy souvenirs, to help local artisans and preserve T'boli's culture and heritage. Plus it's cheap to buy here... (this place is a few hundred meters from Punta Isla).|