Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Checklist of Things To Do in Lake Sebu

Now emerging as one of top eco-cultural tourist spots in Mindanao, Lake Sebu is bound to surprise you with experiences that will combine nature, culture and adrenalin rush in one go. This vibrant municipality of South Cotabato is blessed with natural wonders that will surely keep travelers busy for a day or two. These activities are some of my recommended items that you need to keep in mind when visiting this part of the country.

lake seloton
Rain, rain did not go away and came back again on my second day around Lake Sebu

1. Learn about the indigenous tribes of Lake Sebu
Lake Sebu is home to Mindanaoan tribes such as Ubo, Tiduray and T'boli. One of great ways to see the treasures of these people is to visit T'boli Museum. For a minimal entrance fee of five pesos, you would get a glimpse of the traditional clothing and musical instruments that they have for display. You can also try and live with the locals by doing a homestay.

lake sebu tboli dance
the children at Maria Todi's traditional house doing a witch dance as their grandmother amusingly watches by
tboli dance
I totally loved this dance move (or more like a "flirting move") from one of their courtship dances

2. Meet The Dreamweaver, Lang Dulay
One of the most colorful aspects of the T'boli culture evolves around its delicately woven clothing. The t'nalak is a type of textile woven with tie-dyed abaca fibers and also features intricate designs mostly derived from animals and other aspect that have significance to the T'bolis. Lang Dulay has been given the title 'Dreamweaver' because according to locals, spirits talk to her through her dreams, from there she was able to derive concepts and designs that she applies through her weaving. It has also been said that all her creations are unique and no pattern has been repeated! She now trains more T'boli women to continue this legacy.

lang dulay

3. Fly above the Seven Falls
Nature and adventure? Yes, you can find experience both of them in Lake Sebu. No any other unique way to see these waterfalls but to fly like Superman! You can also reach by foot Falls 1 and 2 for more intimate viewing.

seven falls lake sebu

4. Support T'boli crafts and products
There are tons of shops that sell various products that showcase the T'boli culture - textile, beadworks and other accessories, all of these are locally produced in South Cotabato.

5. Tilapia food trip!
Tilapia is one of the largest source of livelihood around Lake Sebu and other parts of South Cotabato. Try all the different kind of dishes of this fish - steamed, fried, grilled, even chicharon-style. After all, you're sure that your meal is fresh! My favorite still would be the sweet and sour tilapia. :D

Tilapia burger, why not?!

6. Catch the sun rise with the blooming of lotus flowers
Wake up early and wait until the dawn breaks and the flowers achieve its full bloom. Take this time to also observe the daily morning routine of the local fishermen around the area.

lotus flowers lake sebu

7. Take landscape photos of the three lakes of Lake Sebu
What better way to experience Lake Sebu than to see the three important lakes that surround this sleepy town. Lake Sebu, Lake Seloton and Lake Lahit are not just a source of living for the locals but also a vital part of their culture. You can also explore around the area with a big boat or with the owong, the traditional wooden canoe, or better yet go resort hopping so you can get different angles and views of these lakes.

lake sebu

8. Relax and enjoy!
One of my fondest memories of Lake Sebu is one habal-habal ride uphill while the droplets of rain were falling to my body and face and light wind blowing through my hair. At that time, it seemed like no one else cared and nothing else mattered. There is no easier way to have fun in Lake Sebu but to forget about your problems and the modern world for a while and just reflect and take pleasure in the serenity and beauty of Lake Sebu.

lake sebu south cotabato

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.

From Davao
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

Day 0: T'boli
Traveling to South Cotabato

Day 1: T'boli
Mt.Parker and T'boli Locals

Day 2: T'boli
Lake Holon

Day 3: Lake Sebu
Tour of the Lakes

Seven Falls

Day 4: Lake Sebu
More of the Lakes

What to do at Lake Sebu

Day 5: Gumasa - General Santos City
Gumasa Beach

Food Tour

5 Day Trip
Itinerary & Budget

T'boli Culture

More of Mindanao here


  1. Wow. I honestly never heard of this place,Im glad Ive read this because it sounds amazing.. will add this on my dream place to visit:)

  2. now I have to include this in my must-visit place. feels like a place to escape from stress and the chaos of the world. :-)

  3. This is a very helpful article. Now i know what to do when I managed to visit the place. Thank you for sharing!


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