Lake Sebu High 5's

South Cotabato

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | May 09, 2013

text and photos by Louie Bryan Mirafuentes Lapat

The bucolic town of Lake Sebu in the Province of South Cotabato exudes an enchanting charm. Lodged in the southern central part of Mindanao, this quaint town radiates with rustic bliss which sets it miles apart from other tourism destinations in Mindanao.

From General Santos City, one has to travel for a couple of hours to this amazing town. But this doesn’t mean a boring trip as the rural landscape fill your eyes with endless wonder: from rugged landscapes to the fields of corn and rice and the majestic view of Mt. Matutum. While it can be told that the journey is fun, nothing is more marvelous than stepping into Lake Sebu itself.

The cool and rustic clime of Lake Sebu is a pleasant escape from the tropics. The moment you alight from the bus at Punta Isla Lake Resort, you will feel the same aura felt by the visitors of Tagaytay. T’boli music welcomed us at Punta Isla Lake Resort where we are billeted for a night. From their viewdeck, one could not help but be amazed by the panoramic vista that is uniquely Lake Sebu. From this point, one could affirm this place deserves the distinction as one of Mindanao’s prized tourism gems.

I listed some of the exciting things you can do while you are in Lake Sebu, to wit:


This is undeniably Lake Sebu’s main attraction: the gravity-defying Zipline. But it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. Our initial descent was slow, but it began to pick up great speed in just a few seconds. It was a sensory overload: feeling the cool South Cotabato wind against our faces, watching the thick forest canopy and three waterfalls below us, and enjoying all of these while dangling approximately 200 meters off the ground. The first leg of the Seven Falls Zipline is 740 meters long and the second leg is 420 meters long. At a height of more than 180 meters, the exciting ride is the highest in Southeast Asia.


While some of the waterfalls can be viewed in seconds as you try the zipline, nothing compares to the feeling of watching it up close. It’s truly a great feeling to hear the sound of falling waters and to see the lush greeneries that are abound in the area. e 7 waterfalls have T’boli names that pretty much describe them: Falls 2 is known as Hikong Bente or "immeasurable waterfalls." Falls 3 is Hikong B’lebed meaning "coil or zigzag falls" Falls 4 earned the name Hikong Lowig meaning "booth" Falls 5 is Hikong Kefo-i or "the wild flower" Falls 6 is Hikong Ukol or "short falls" Falls 7 was given the name Hikong Tonok, meaning "soil"


The lake, considered as the ancestral domain of the T’boli is composed of three magnificent mountain lakes – Lake Sebu, the largest; Lake Siluton, the deepest; and Lake Lahit, the smallest. The local tribesmen rely on the lake for their food, as evidenced by the many fish pens used to grow tilapia, hito and freshwater shrimps. As you take the tour for a minimal fee of 500 pesos/boat (maximum of 15 persons), you could see up close the activities around the lake.


Lake Sebu’s main product is the tilapia fish. In Punta Isla Lake Resort, one can choose from the more than 50 tilapia dishes on their menu. One could vouch to the freshness of the tilapia that is being cooked because you can see the resort’s staff getting them from the lake itself. You could indulge on a food trip in their respective cottages overlooking the lake. Better yet, try eating in their floating restaurant.


Lake Sebu is definitely a pleasant escape from the tropics; a stark contrast to the busy atmosphere back in the city. The place offers a relaxing and a laid-back feel which is a perfect spot for reading a good book in one sitting, writing a note, to reminisce the good old times. Or better yet, to wander in your respective dreamlands. The next morning when you wake up, watch the beautiful sunrise over the lake and the activities abound in the area.


If you’re coming from Davao, Bukidnon or Cagayan de Oro, take a bus bound to General Santos City. From General Santos, ride a bus bound to Koronadal. From Koronadal bus station, take another bus bound to Surrallah. From Surrallah, there are jeeps or vans going to Lake Sebu. Once there, you'll find an abundance of resorts and hotels that cater to tourists.


There are many resorts in Lake Sebu but one resort that stood out is the Punta Isla Lake Resort. The resort’s tagline sums it all: this place is “where life blends with nature.” You can have your reservation or inquiries through the following contact details:

Email Address: [email protected] Mobile Number: 09194515015 or 09052895134

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