The prospect of waking up at 3:00 am for a 4:00 am hike back to the Lake Holon Receiving Area might seem improbable, but a midday event at Lake Sebu necessitated our prompt departure from this enchanting crater lake. Venturing back through the Salacafe trail – the easier yet longer 9km route – we commenced our journey, putting in the effort to tackle the continuous ascent from the base camp. By 5 am, we reached Salacafe Viewdeck, where the morning sky painted the landscape in captivating hues. Recognizing the opportune moment, I launched my drone, capturing the sublime beauty of Lake Holon at this early hour.
Sometimes it’s disheartening to see a place change. There are times when places are best not seen again as not to ruin the initial perception of a place. Like love at first sight, when emotions run high and the amazing sense of bewilderment how something could captivate your being without understanding. Sometimes it’s beyond words, like how the placidness of a lake can calms one’s inner being. How a wisp of mist gently dances above the water can hypnotise. How the light plays with your vision. Such is the morning at Lake Seloton when I first experienced the place. However, things have slightly changed on my recent visit.
Lake Sebu has seen its share of development in the years. Apart from the tranquil three lakes in this land of dreamweavers, the Lake Sebu Zipline has been a big draw — being the highest in the country and personally the most scenic as well. The #TravelMindanao team of course wouldn’t miss experiencing this one. Even if I had rode the Lake Sebu Zipline before, I was still excited to try it again. The group headed to Hikong Alu, the first of the seven falls in Lake Sebu where the jump-off for the zipline is stationed.
I will never get tired of this place. The nippy air, the sight of canoes slowly cutting through the placid waters of the lake, some egrets and other bird species suddenly landing on a leafy branch nearby and catching the changing hues during sunrise. Marvelling on how the light falls on the water and spread into the low mountains and hills. It is mornings like this, sitting by the porch in front of our room at Punta Isla Lake Resort, I’m at the front seat as nature unfolds before me. It’s no surprise I would be back in Lake Sebu for the third time. On this trip, I’m accompanied by my #TravelMindanao buddies.
I was looking forward to those oh so comfortable chiropractic beds from Microtel when I heard we’ll be staying at their new branch in General Santos City. Microtel by Wyndham is no stranger to me as I’ve already stayed at their branches Baguio, Tarlac, Puerto Princesa and Boracay. The good thing about this chain hotel is that I can expect the same comfort I’ve enjoyed all through their branches, which is the bed where I’ve always felt rejuvenated waking up even with only a few hours of sleep. Microtel General Santos is no exception.
The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly kind companion.
Three scenic lakes, seven captivating falls, a bunch of endearing T’boli people, fascinating culture, pristine beaches and historical sites – what more reasosn can one ask for to visit South Central Mindanao? Of course I still get those “Aren’t these places dangerous?” or “We might get kidnapped for a ransom!” a lot of times until now. I’ve been saying this over many times, Mindanao has some insurgent spots but not the whole area. Lake Sebu, General Santos and Sarangani are one of those safe places to visit in Mindanao. I’m sure you’ll be aptly rewarded from your gutsy decision.