I still can’t believe that I’ve made my way through the mountains. Well, it isn’t really my first time but it’s my first to be trekking a higher one – all just to see a lake.
On a whim, just to try something new, my college pals and I decided to go to Lake Holon – situated in the mountains of T’boli, South Cotabato. We went with one of my friend’s friend and her brother and cousins. Good thing we tagged along because I don’t think we’d survive if we were entirely on our own.
We did the climb over the weekend and there were really a lot of people. The campsite was full. Not advisable to go there on weekends if you’re the type who wants a super quiet environment.
Nevertheless, quiet or not, for sure, you will enjoy the lake. Aside from its already existing rich folklore, the place holds some magic in it.
We went thru Sitio Kule on our way. Its jump off point is almost an hour and half habal* ride from the tourism office (where everybody needs to register first). They said it’s the difficult one of the two trails, but I guess we didn’t care that much. He-he. That or we weren’t just aware of what awaits us.
Fast forward after 3 hours ++ minutes, we finally arrived at the viewing deck** which is only accessible thru the Kule trail.
It was really an achievement of some sort, especially for us noobs, to have reached this point because we are not the outdoorsy type. Well, may be in our dreams and we try to do something new once in a while but yeah. This point is where I go speechless and just go “Thank you Lord!” 😀
My favorite part of the day was around past midnight, I guess, when there was total silence and darkness. Thankfully I woke up and was able to savor the quiet I needed for some time.
The morning greeted us with clear skies, beautiful calm lake, and people packing up their tents. I was kind of surprised how early other people trekked again. I guess I was spellbound that I forgot we still have 3+ hours to get back to the tourism office. We trekked thru the Salacafe Trail this time as it’s more convenient.
We spent the remaining time taking pictures because hello! IG! Lol The place is just really magical and photogenic.
Is it just me or beautiful locations aren’t without risks? He-he. One wrong move and we could fall into a lake with a depth that is still unknown! Thinking about it now, it was kind of scary! Ha-ha.
It was a really an awesome experience. I kind of miss the feeling of being there trekking and just feeling the pain and sweat. Chos! Kidding aside, there’s something about climbing mountains that makes you wanna do it again. I now kind of get it why some people are really passionate about it. 😀
And then, there’s the journey. We really used the hours of trekking for catching up chika. Our tour guide, Tata, also told us stories about the lake although he didn’t spill the legend of the guardians of the lake. (See what I did there? He-he.) I guess that story was reserved to be told by a storyteller, who, according to Tata, does this task every pilgrimage trek aka the annual Hugot Trek which happens every March in celebration of the community’s fiesta, if I’m not mistaken.
We also spotted some kids we were waving us hello as we passed by their house. They were game for some picture-taking, too!
You can buy food and souvenirs at the receiving area of both trails. I think I just ate the sweetest kamote-que. Galit ata sila sa asukal. Bawal tipid! lol
The experience is really one for the books. And just like everybody else, it’s really worth the climb. 😀
*motorcycle , **Our tour guide told us that they’re starting to make way for a view deck via via the Salacafe Trail