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Sunday, March 6, 2011

7 Waterfalls at Lake Sebu



As I rest my head on the window of the van, half tired from lack of sleep I caught a glimpse of the scenic Lake Sebu and while my view was being blocked by a smudgy glass - it didn't mattered, as the scene of a thick forest complimenting a tranquil body of water is hard to ignore. Soon, my weary body started to jolt with pure anticipation and excitement. The thought finally rested and crested solidly in my head. I am finally in Lake Sebu in South Cotabato.

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Since I started to take traveling seriously in 2007, I still haven't imagined myself to be exploring this part of Mindano this soon. I grew up listening to my favorite folk band "Asin" and their song "Cotabato" is one of my favorite songs of all time that speaks of conflicts, religious indifference and a shout out to action to attain lasting peace. 

                                             "Ako’y isinilang sa isang bayan ng Cotabato
                                                Kasing gulo ng tao, kasing gulo ng mundo
                                     Dahil di magkasundo sa relihiyon at prinsipyo, nagkagulo"

It also didn't helped at all when media continuously paints a deadly reckoning image of Cotabato as a whole. It's true that there are still parts in Mindanao - just like in every place in the world, where peace remains elusive - BUT mostly it is the opposite.

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We went to the jump-off place where one can chase the 7 waterfalls found nearby and whose cold water flows forever into the three lakes with Lake Sebu being the largest by encompassing 354 hectares, Lake Selotin measuring at 48 hectares and Lake Lahit completing the lake menage a trois with 24 hectares.

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We rode the zipline in tandem and flew over the river where the number 2 waterfalls flows along and the scene was unlike anything I've seen before. There was a total of 2 ziplines, the one measuring closely to 800 meters and the other was about a half of the first, however the second zipline we took brought us over this cascading third waterfalls called the "Hikong Belebed" or the zigzag falls and from the zipline above I was able to catch a magnificent sight.(see first photo)

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Lake Sebu is a thriving cultural community where many T'boli tribe members have been residing for many years dating back to pre-Mohamedanism and the Spanish conquest in the 15th century. Both movements wasn't able to convert the T'boli members, making them live in peace and unaffected by religious indifference. Today, they continue to flourish and live simply through the abundant supplies of agricultural and fishing products and their contributions in their community, backed up by a solid pro-environment, cultural driven and ecological balance campaign of the Provincial Government, has made Lake Sebu as one of the premier destination in Mindanao. 

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Listening right now as I write this to Asin's "Cotabato" I am feeling a bit of pride that a song like that could reach out and endear to many. There are places you need to reach and experience in order to see the whole picture and not only to rely on songs and press reports and TV coverage of Abu Sayaf bandits brandishing their hostages while armed to their teeth.

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I had a prevailing notion of South Cotabato when I stepped inside the Cebu Pacific plane bound for General Santos last week. In a span of few days I left and went back to Manila with a totally different impression of South Cotabato.


While peace may still be elusive in some parts of North Cotabato, great thing is, its not really that rampant and the people of South Cotabato are gearing up for an exciting future. I wanted to be part of that exciting tomorrow. I will definitely go back to South Cotabato, Sarangani and General Santos City on a whimp. Give me time and I'll pack my backpack again.

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And as these waterfalls continues to flow mightily along the river banks and unto the three lakes of Lake Sebu. The promise of South Cotabato just waiting to embrace people from all over also never ceases, it remains still, just as it quickly silenced my fears and caressed my skin not like needle pricks but by a soft angelic hands of a long lost lover.

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If these "falls" could talk, it will probably be yelling "pack your backpack to this part of the world" right about now.


*****
Special thanks to Sir Avel Manansala (of Gensantos.com and Soxbloggers.com) for organizing the SoccSarGen Experience Tour II (SEX II) and countless others, new friends who like me also love to travel. See you all again next time on the road.

The SEX Tour was organized by the Soccsksargen Bloggers (www.soxbloggers.com) with GenSan News Online Mag (www.gensantos.com) spearheading the project.


This is my entry to the November 2011 edition of the Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival. The theme for this month is "A Bliss Called Mindanao" (which aims to present the real picture of the whole of Mindanao island as a place of fun loving people, rich culture and history, savory dishes and beautiful places) hosted by Olan Emboscado of The Travel Teller.


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19 comments:

Ed said...

was able to shuffle back and forth in Davao and Cotabato when I was still 12 years old.

nice shot of the! zip line! the falls is really inviting marky! need to put lake sebu as part of the list too. glad you met olan, very accommodating right? :D

Laurence said...

Great piece fantastic photos. . . . . . and if you ever decide to come back, the person who drove you to the airport will be there to fetch you and welcome you once more for a fun and exciting adventure in this part of the country. :)

Robbie said...

Wow. 7 waterfalls talaga????
Wish I could go here someday. :D

ganda ng photos. the real life view must have been really amazing.

olan said...

Hey Marky, very glad to read your post about South Cotabato. Yeah, sometimes PRESS RELEASES for Mindanao or some parts of Cotabato are overly hyped that oftentimes frightened travelers/tourists to see/experience the many hidden treasures of the Province, yet, when you got here, things are in place and in order. I'm glad to know that somehow your notion about Mindanao has changed because of this recent trip to Lake Sebu. Twas nice meeting you Marky. Next time, Davao Oriental tayo ha. :)

@ ED - Hahahaha. Sayang nung andito ka dapat sumama ka sa amin kasi LIBRENG trip lang yun sa Davao Orinetal. :) haaaayyyyzzzzz....

lakwatsera de primera said...

Awesome scenery! I will surely pack my backpack to this side of Mindanao if I get the chance.

Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

I guess I really need to book for GenSan, nice photos!

monette said...

nice place and great pix...another place for me to explore.

fetus said...

mukhang nakakatakot tong zipline na to ah... hehehe

Con Tour Blog | A Philippine Photo-Travel-Blog said...

great post with changed notion about cotabato. thanks for this marky. Cotabato is just right at the back of Bukidnon.Great experience, indeed.:-). Definitely we will set a schedule to visit this place with the Bukidnon Bloggers Group, soon.:-).

Pinoy Boy Journals said...

nice one, buddy. awesome post on south cotabato. you just proved everyone wrong about this province! ang saya namaaaan!

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

ang ganda ng falls, nainggit lng ako! :)
tama ka jan, minsan kase maxado napapalki ng media ang balita tuloy, madame takot pumunta ng Pinad, minasan din mga kapwa PInoy na asa ibang bansa ang naninira sa bayan naten.with this post you've just shown the beautiful Mindanao.

Markyramone said...

@Ed, the zipline puts you over where the river flows and the second zipline gives you a clear view of the 3rd falls. Yeah Olan was a cool dude, fun to be with.

Markyramone said...

Sir Laurence, thanks again for bringing me and Cai to the airport...next time ulet ikaw ulet taya sa kwentuhan haha...

Markyramone said...

@Robbie yeah 7 waterfalls, you'll have to do more hiking to chase the other falls. Ganda dun you should come.

@Olan, nice to meet you there too. Yes, Davao Oriental is on my list too, waterfalls, surfing at Matti beach...etc..

Markyramone said...

@Claire, tara lets plan for more Mindanao trips

@Christian and Monette - Go go go!

@Fetus, katakot zipline pag simula lage...

@Bonzetti - try to hook up with the GenSan bloggers they were the one who organized this trip

@Jeric - yeah i was proven wrong myself and was glad that i got corrected by the real South Cotabato

@Gael - sadly some Pinoys don't know much about their own country...hope that'll change soon

Pinoy Adventurista said...

gusto ko din mag sip line dyan... sana makapunta ako dyan, soon! thanks for sharing...

bariles said...

Thanks for this post Marky! We're so fortunate to have you join the SEX Tour with us with the way you presented the first in a series of PITSTOPS in our journey to discover SOCCSKSARGEN.

Couldn't wait to read the rest of your posts on your 3-day adventure here.

And by the way, you haven't explored SARANGANI yet so plan your return trip asap! :)

Ayo-ayo! Don't forget to tag me (www.gensantos.com) and the Sox Bloggers (www.soxbloggers.com). Awts! Hehehe!

Aileen Siroy said...

I certainly want this kind of adventure!

I've been in and out of Mindanao before (for work), now I want to go back and see the place in a different light.

Awesome story and pictures, Marky! :)

Markyramone said...

@Sir Avel, yeah I'm starting to blog about the other places we went to.

@Mervz, sama ka sa SEX III sa Tuna Festival sa Sept

@Aileen, I remember you told me you were sent to Mindanao as part of your United Nations job before...this time visit it for fun and adventure...sama ka :)

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