LAKE SEBU | LAND OF THE DREAMWEAVERS | TRAVEL GUIDE
Lake Sebu, dubbed as the Land of the Dreamweavers has been on my bucket list. In fact, together with some friends, we were planning to visit the place earlier this year. Unfortunately, our schedules never meet. Until one day a private message popped at The Happy Trip Facebook Page. The message came from Jonallier Mana-ay Perez of the Mindanao Tourism Council inviting me to join The Provincial Government of South Cotabato’s “The Land of the Dreamweavers Escapade”, a fully hosted familiarization/technical trip for Lake Sebu.
“The Land of the Dreamweavers Escapade”, was participated by the inbound tour operators and travel bloggers mostly from SOCCSKSARGEN region, Davao and myself as the lone blogger outside the Mindanao Region.
South Cotabato is a land of both relaxed and daring adventures. It is a province in the Philippines located in the SOCCSKSARGEN region in Mindanao and its capital is Koronadal City.Contrary to the notions about scary peace and order situation in Mindanao, South Cotabato is peaceful and tourist friendly. I even explored alone Koronadal City on my last night and tried their street food.
One of the most popular places in South Cotabato is the Lake Sebu. Lake Sebu is a first class municipality in the province. Its 92,450-hectare landscape was declared by the Philippine government as a protected area having one of the most important watershed areas in the country.
This Land of the Dreamweavers offers a unique taste of Filipino culture in its most colorful and exotic form. With its amazing vistas, beautiful people, a vibrant culture which is deeply rooted in its history and exciting adventures, Sebu Sebu has claimed a famed spot as one of the must-see destination in the Philippines.
Here’s a travel guide designed for the would-be travelers to the place.
WHAT TO DO IN LAKE SEBU
with the bloggers and tour operators during the Lake Sebu Cruise
CRUISE AT LAKE SEBU
Tourists can explore Lake Sebu through a cruise offered by some resorts in the area. While sailing at the placid lake, you will be entertained by the indigenous sounds and dances of the Tbolis while enjoying your meal.
MEET THE DREAMWEAVERS
Known as the land of the Dreamweavers, Lake Sebu takes pride of its ancient art of T’nalak weaving. Not your ordinary fabric, the T’nalak fabric made from abaca fibers is very much respected and is considered as sacred amongst the Tbolis. Visiting communities doing this craft will make you more adore this art as you discover the intricacies of weaving this cloth by the Tboli women known as the Dreamweavers.
with the Tboli women in their traditional attire
IMMERSE WITH THE LOCALS
Tbolis has rich and colorful traditions. While Lake Sebu’s charm is primarily due to its temperate natural beauty, tourists will surely be fascinated by the ethnic vibe of the local T’boli Tribe. While at the place, take a time to talk with the locals, better yet, spend a night or two at a homestay to have the firsthand experience of the locale’s way of living.
Brass casting is one old art form found at Lake Sebu. Visit a community doing this craft and see how these charming pieces are created from the making of the mother mold, casting and finishing. Don;t forget to buy a few pieces to support the local industry.
beautiful vista from Evelandia Lake and Vista Resort
COMMUNE WITH NATURE
Land of the Dreamweavers offers many surprises for nature lovers. This green destination offers trekking paths and wide navigable lake water. Trying a Tboli Canoe to explore the lake will give you a chance to bask in a tranquil aquatic environment. You can also go for a morning stroll near the lake and see for yourself the beautiful pink lotus bloom in all their splendor.Upon the hills of Lake Sebu, hikers will be greeted with giant trees in a secluded rainforest.
The Tboli Museum is just a small place, yet filled with interesting pieces which tells the heritage and rich culture of its people
VISIT THE TBOLI MUSEUM
Visit the T’boli museum and see a collection of antiques and artifacts housed in a traditional T’boli house. I recommend, that guests will hire a local guide to walk you through while seeing the exhibits.
GO TRIBAL WITH THE TBOLI’S TRADITIONAL ATTIRE
Get the feel of the royalty by wearing a traditional Tboli Attire. At the first falls of Lake Sebu, you will find some locals renting some costumes for the guests. Take this opportunity to have yourself photographed in a flamboyant traditional Tboli attire. The colorful traditional Tboli Attires are elegant and their accessories are elaborate. You would know that a T’boli woman is approaching by the tinkling of numerous little brass bells adorning her belt, bracelets, and anklets.
Kale Sebu 7 falls Zipline: a must try experience
GO ZIPLINE AT THE 7 FALLS
Another highlight of Lake Sebu is its majestic Seven Falls, but only the first two falls have been developed for tourists’ access. The Falls are located at Barangay Lake Seloton.
Experience an adrenaline rush while riding an exhilarating zip line at Lake Sebu.Claimed to be the Southeast Asia’s highest zip line giving screaming riders a spectacular bird’s eye view of the magnificent falls while passing over a lush greeneries.
EXPERIENCE TBOLI’S MUSIC AND DANCES
The tribe’s culture is very much connected with nature, inspired by its natural environment. Some of their dances imitated acts made by animals like monkeys and birds. Their music created through ancient instruments composed on a row of small, horizontally-laid gongs, instruments, knobbed gongs made of brass instruments, the hegelung, a wooden two-stringed lute and much more.
You will be impressed hearing a gifted Tboli woman doing a chant. The chanters oftentimes deliver an extemporaneous rhythmic phrase which tells a story, a prayer, advice or even a lamentation.
Tilapia Roll offered at Sunrise Lake Graden Resort
TILAPIA GALORE EXPERIENCE
Tilapia culture 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, chicharon and much more.
inside the COWHED Souvenir Shop
Loom Weaving at COWHED
BRING HOME A PIECE OF THE TBOLIS
Numerous shops offering various products that showcase the T’boli culture such as textiles, beadworks accessories, and other souvenirs are found all over Lake Sebu.
A must visit souvenir shop in Lake Sebu is Cooperative Women in Health and Development (COWHED), located at Tuko Fol Poblacion near Punta Isla Resort and T’boli Museum.
WHERE TO STAY IN LAKE SEBU
As of this writing, there are no 5-star hotels found in the place. However, there are numbers of places to stay that offers the basic comfort for every traveler.
If you would want a more experiential stay at the place, I suggest trying a homestay that offers an eco-friendly retreat best for visitors who want a raw experience of an intimate stay.
Must read: List of Hotels in South Cotabato
Evelandia Lake and Vista Resort
LIST OF RESORTS AND PENSION HOUSES IN LAKE SEBU
TOLENTO LODGE & RESTO (DOT Accredited Pension House)
Sitio Tukoful, Brgy. Poblacion, Lake Sebu
(083) 236 1056 /0906 717 186
General Manager: Emily Agnes Tolento
MOUNTAIN LAKE ECO RESORT(DOT Accredited Tourist Inn)
Brgy. Bacdulong, Municipality of Lake Sebu
(63)(83) 826-1009 / 09173113071 / 09189622209
SUNRISE GARDEN LAKE RESORT(DOT Accredited Tourist Inn)
Brgy. Lake Seloton, Municipality of Lake Sebu
DIVINE MERCY RETREAT HOUSE
Sitio Florens, Brgy. Lamdalag, Lake Sebu
Proprietor: Ms. Linda Brasileno
Manager: Mr. Jesus Equinan
Brgy. Poblacion, Municipality of Lake Sebu
Contact Person: Ms. Josephine Baluran
EL GALONG WATERPARK RESORT
Brgy. Poblacion, Municipality of Lake Sebu
Owner: Ms. Judy Artacho
EVELANDIA LAKE VISTA RESORT
Brgy. Takonel, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
Proprietor: Dr. Evelyn Diosana
0905 570 7306
HOW TO GET TO LAKE SEBU
The nearest airport in the place is located in General Santos City.
From General Santos City
From the airport take a taxi to the bus station and look for buses heading for Lake Sebu.
From Davao City, 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.
Getting Around Lake Sebu
The mode of transportation at Lake Sebu is the Habal-habal (Motorbike) or popularly known at the place as Skylab. The most convenient for any traveler is to hire a motorbike to bring them to their desired destinations.
Pakyaw Whole day – PHP 500
Pakyaw Half Day – PHP 300
Lake Sebu to Tboli Overnight – PHP 1,000
Lake Sebu to Tboli (waiting) – PHP 800
Lake Sebu to Tboli (drop off) – PHP 500
For more details, please contact:
Association President (Habal-Habal) – 0905-8240 725
Dispatcher – 0975 – 4366 – 735