|finally, a clear morning view of Lake Sebu. Good day everyone!|
Sunrise Garden Resort
Situated at the western side of Lake Seloton, Sunrise Garden Resort is appropriately named as such because of the beautiful unblocked view of the sunrise one could get here. We decided to stay in this resort because we wanted to see the sun rising up in the morning with the lotus flowers in focus (and they also had the cheapest rooms and the first to reply to my queries via text). We were hoping for a nice weather because the previous two days we spent at Lake Holon was quite sunny. I woke up 4AM the next day to the sound of heavy raindrops. I immediately checked news updates and alas, another tropical depression headed for the SOCCSKSARGEN area. I decided to stay in the cottage area of the resort, hoping that I would still be able to take those lake sunrise photos I have longed to have.
Hours after, the weather seemed to improve a little, though the rain showed no signs of stopping. It didn't seem to change the daily routine of some local fishermen in the area. Few men braved to ride on their dugout canoes checking if there are any fishes that can be catched that early morning. The soft splash of water plus the rain made it a zen moment for me. It was the perfect time to reflect and appreciate the beauty of nature around me despite the gloomy skies.
|view of the cottages and rooms at Sunrise Garden Resort|
|they have pools wherein you could also have a view of Lake Seloton|
|the heavy rain didn't stop me from taking pictures...|
|and so did the morning routine of the local fishermen in this barangay with their owong or traditional canoes|
After a hefty breakfast at the resort (oh yes, their food was good too!), me and my two companions deliberated if we still wanted to explore Lake Sebu even with the rain. Since my friends are leaving early for their flight at GenSan, they still wanted to see The Seven Falls and try the zip line, and also get a good last view of Lake Sebu.
|lotus flowers of Lake Seloton|
Punta Isla Resort
Our next agenda was Punta Isla Resort, probably the most famous resort in Lake Sebu. As soon as we entered the premises, we heard the soft T'boli music and it prompted us to follow where it's coming from. We noticed that there was actually a musical performance being held that time. We went near them but some of the staff told us "Di po kayo pwede, sa susunod na lang po." We settled in and ordered some food for lunch and the performers approached our table and repeated the same gig. Turns out, they will ask you to give 'donations' afterwards, of course we felt stupid if we won't give them anything. I know they are doing this for a living, but it somehow left a bad impression to our group. We remembered that time when we saw these kind of dances being performed for us as an act of kindness and hospitality in Lake Holon and at Maria Todi's house and the feeling was different. We also saw that big floating cottage which I wasn't really fond of. After thirty minutes, our order finally came.
|view of Lake Sebu at Punta Isla Resort|
|children performing a traditional T'boli dance of courtship|
|tilapia burger for the vegetarians|
|tilapia pancit, anyone?|
|care for some tilapia chicharon?|
Mountain Log Resort
I also tried the T'boli homestay experience and the kids there suggested that I also go to Mountain Log Resort, so the next morning, I set off to visit there. The area was full of pine trees that gave of that Baguio-ish vibe. The high watchtower of the resort will enable you to have that 360 degree view of the town and Lake Sebu, only for the fee of ten pesos! The sun finally decided to show up that day so I was able to take some shots of blue skies. I wish I had one more night and I probably would love to stay there too.
|this is safe btw :)|
|refreshing view of Lake Sebu's rolling hills and mountains|
One thing that I noticed is the large number of fish cages not just in Lake Sebu but also in Lake Seloton, I know that it helps in the livelihood of our dear fishermen, but it affects the quality of the lake and also diminishes its aesthetic component. My friends couldn't help but to compare it to Lake Holon which we saw a few days before, but for me, each lake has their own charm and mystery and I would love to visit both of them again if given the chance.
One of my regrets while spending time here at the lakes is not being able to have a proper boat tour of Lake Sebu, though I know I will surely be back another time to try it, the important thing is to have time to appreciate the beauty and serenity of the lakes and how important they are to the culture and livelihood of our brothers in sisters living in this quaint municipality of South Cotabato.
Where to stay at Lake Sebu
Sunrise Garden Resort - 09277500888; 09179608559
(dormitory and family room available; price ranges from 500-1200 per room. rooms are with TV and shower, aircon rooms can also be requested)
Punta Isla Resort - 09194515015; 09052895134; 09239115053
(room for two and family room available; price ranges from 600-1350 per room; other activities available such as boating , kayaking, etc)
Mountain Log Resort -09175746729; 083 2361052
(room for two and family room available; price ranges from 600-1200 per room)
How to go to Lake Sebu
There are two easy options if you will be taking a plane, either by landing to General Santos City or Davao will do. In our case, we visited Surigao del Sur first then headed to Davao.
From General Santos City
Take a transfer, either by taxi or jeepney to the bus station and look for buses heading for Koronadal/Marbel (Yellow bus line). From there, there will be buses heading for Surallah. And from this town, you can take jeepneys that will go to Lake Sebu. There are also habal habals available.
You can take a bus heading for General Santos or Koronadal/Marbel (also Yellow Bus line). From there, you may take the similar directions above.
Habal-habal drivers (whole day rate is 500 pesos, half day is 300 pesos)
Kuya Paning - 09057163942
Kuya Enteng - 09364175139
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