General Santos is the gateway to South-Central Mindanao. We passed through the city going to Lake Sebu and also Sarangani. Our companions from Backpack Photography took off a day earlier than us so we had to find a place to stay for the night. Tierra Verde, was my choice from Jen’s Peter’s Philippines Travel Guide. Bidding farewell to our friends at KCC Mall, we took a cab going to National Highway and was pleasantly to find the said mentioned hotel is under a new management and no goes by the name, Tierra Montana Hotel.
I was careful not to step into the water getting as close as possible to capture my subject. It was early morning and the light was perfect. The placid water only interrupted by the slow moving boat while a gentle mist lifts up on its surface. A boy, probably at least ten in age, sitting on the edge of the lake signature narrow boats was tending the nets. It’s a familiar scene on this part of the world known as Lake Sebu, yet a welcome and relaxing sight for a city dweller like me.
The towering second falls of Lake Sebu, Hikong Bente teases with is raging waters cutting through the mountain vegetation clearly seen from afar as we went down the second zipline. We took a rocky habal-habal ride up to first falls Hikon Alu to get our gears and sprint back to Hikong Bente jump-off. Even from afar, we started taking pictures of Hikong Bente.
I must admit, I was thinking, “What the hell did they do to they do to the Seven Falls?” first I heard about a zipline being set up there. Marring the amazing sight of the falls with wires was the image that came to mind. But then again, I’ve heard and read from people how they enjoyed the zipline but I wanted to see it first and make sure they didn’t do anything drastic to the natural landscape. So the recent Backpack Photography gave me a chance to experience the getting famous Lake Sebu Seven Falls Zipline.
We climbed up the stilted T’Boli long house said to be the home to a National Living Treasure Awardee, Lang Dulay. She wasn’t there yet but the large airy long house, has portrait images hanging on one side of the room and written literature about her life and accomplishments. I heard someone going up the stairs, emerged is a small old lady garbed on a beautiful and colorful T’boli garbed. She doesn’t look frail from her old age, she has lines of experience on her face, but the lightness on her face and seemingly contented eyes makes her look younger than her years. So here’s a National Treasure right before us.
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.
On the heels of the recent BP Batanes Travel and Outdoors Workshop and BP Banaue Photography 101 Workshop, we’re up on another unique Backpack Photography Experience. Join us, as we explore Lake Sebu’s T’Boli Culture and Natural wonders on Backpack Photography Lake Sebu Photo Tour to be held on August 21-23, 2010, Lake Sebu South Cotabato.