It was 3 years ago when I first stepped on the land of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato. Oh I remember how our jeep from Koronadal struggled to climb the 300m elevation to Lake Sebu Market then taking a habal-habal to take us to our resort. It was a memorable journey as we met locals during the jeep ride who shared us some caramelized bananas for snack. The place exceeded my expectations and it’s only fitting that we hold our third Backpack Photography here in Lake Sebu and share the wonderful sight we ourselves came to appreciate.
Who the hell in their right mind would wake up in the wee hours on a cold morning up here in the highlands of Lake Sebu? I would rather sleep through the morning but Backpack Photography Lake Sebu is all about exploration and taking photos at the ideal time of the day. We also had to give credit to our friend, Allan of Lantaw who hails from Koronadal who helped us on the logistics of this photo tour. He had done an extensive documentation project on Lake Sebu and the Tboli so he’s the right guy to consult about getting that authentic Lake Sebu experience.
The Sunrise Garden Resort at Lake Seloton was our first destination for the day. We opted to just let the van windows open for that chilly morning ride that took round 20 minutes. We were of course the first visitors of the resort. In the deep blue dimness I scouted around the area to find a good spot to take pictures.
The scenery was like a painting being created in front of my eyes as the morning light and the mist slowly lifts to reveal the details. I was delighted that nothing much has changed except for some raft placements and improvements on the cottages and landscaping on the resort. The lake is still mirror placid.
Locals venture early on their boats to tend to the nets. Even sleepy eyed children join their parents do their morning ritual of checking the nets and attending to the fish pens. It’s such a bucolic life here in Lake Sebu that I could get lost in its simplicity.
As soon as the sun was high enough and our tummies signalling for attention, we had our breakfasts at one of the cottages. The food at Sunrise Garden resort was also good. We shared our food with our guide Jonathan and Diana associated with ILO (International Labor Organization). They would be the one to show us around and tell us more about the T’Boli culture.
Sunrise Garden Resort, Lake Seloton
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.