Aching to see towering waterfalls in their majestic glory without having to exert much efforts? Or a sunrise and sunset view at lake side? Or just natives garbed in their colorful T'nalak costumes?
|photos from www.southcotabato.gov.ph|
For those too lazy or tired to see waterfalls deep in the forests, the town may just be the place to visit now that access roads towards the "Seven Falls" have been opened to further attract local and foreign tourists.
As the name suggests, the town has seven waterfalls distance apart from each other, of which the tallest is the second waterfall.
With water cascading powerfully at an estimated 70 feet, the second waterfall can now be accessed by a 15-minute walk after hopping down from a vehicle parking space.
Only the first and second waterfalls are now easily accessible for tourists to admire, the others have yet to have access trails.
Until the development of the waterfalls through funding from the Provincial Government, with contributions from New Zealand, accessing them requires about 45 minutes of walk.
The entire development cost for the waterfalls is estimated to reach P20 million, where view decks, picnic areas, a swimming pool with a water-heating machine, among others, would dot the landscape.
At the moment, a canopy walk involving steps and railings connecting the first and second falls was in place in the area.
The entire seven waterfalls when finally connected have an estimated length of three kilometers and can be trekked altogether within two to three hours.
You can now also use zipline over a 700 meter point to point from Falls #1 - to Falls #5 and take the 400 meter zip from Falls #5 to Falls #2. The amazing thing about the zipline is the awesome view over the waterfalls.
The development of the waterfalls is part of the bigger plans to fully exploit the tourism potentials of Lake Sebu as a major destination in Central Mindanao region.
Lake Sebu town's tourism potentials are not only pinned on its lakes and waterfalls but also through the culture and the arts of the local people.
South Cotabato's provincial government said they want to also package Lake Sebu as the "Land of Dreamweavers."
The town has the age-old traditional T'nalak weaving industry by the women of the T'boli tribe.
Nestled some 700 meters above sea level, the bucolic Lake Sebu town spans 891-square kilometers and derived its name from a lake known as Lake Sebu, where perhaps one of the world's sweetest, most delicious Tilapia species thrive.
Scores of foreigners, as seen in past several years, are attracted to this locality because of the rich heritage of at least six tribes of indigenous peoples, majority of which is composed of the Tbolis, the traditional weavers of the Tnalak.
Local tourists come here because of the cool temperature, ranging from 20 to 25 degree Celsius. Because of the cool climate, the municipality has been likened to Baguio City, the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
Lake Sebu has earned the monicker the "Summer Capital of Central Mindanao" because of the temperate weather. At the middle of the year, tourists are advised to bring sweaters to protect them from the cold weather, and wear them especially at daybreak.
At Lake Sebu, one can revive his spirit or invigorate himself to meet the challenges awaiting him in the workplace.
The ascent to the place alone is a treat for those who are always sweating it out in the warmer lowland areas. One will be greeted by thick vegetations, towering bamboos, delicate fern trees and cool winds that will literally make your spine shiver.
Be it on a passenger jeepney or the indispensable "Skylab" motorcycles, be prepared to be caressed by the cool breeze.
Along the roads are series of souvenir shops where traditional, beautiful handicrafts are displayed prominently, giving visitors easy access to the bounty.
The travel time from Koronadal City, the capital of South Cotabato, takes 50 minutes, or a distance of 42 kilometers.
Perched slightly above the lake, lodging houses have cottages where visitors can appreciate the view of the 365-hectare Lake Sebu.
The traveler may choose from among four affordable lodging houses: the Estares Hillside Resort, the Punta Isla Resort, the Artacho Resort, and the government-run Lemobong Resort, popularly called the Tourism Lodge.
At these resorts, the tilapia fishes are kept in net-enclosed bamboo fishpens. They are taken out only as you order, guaranteeing the freshness of the catch.
When ordering, one can choose to have them cooked over live charcoal.
Another recommended menu, another must at that, is the Chicharong Tilapia. A deep-fried delicacy of tilapia meat, with thin breading. It is as crispy as the pork chicharon but a healthier alternative to the latter since it contains less cholesterol.
Other tilapia treats include Kinilaw-- a vinegar-soaked delight of tilapia cutlets or cubes spiked with the fiery siling labuyo and garnished with fresh cucumbers and calamansi slices--, paksiw, sinigang and the prito variant, which has a matching toyo-mansi sauce.