April 24, 2009

2nd Falls
Falls #2 of Lake Sebu's 7 Falls

Falls #2 is becoming a very popular destination in Lake Sebu nowadays. The road leading to the Falls 1 and 2 is well developed - a far cry from what it used to be (although I would advise you go there on either a 4x4 vehicle or a motorcycle). Falls #2 has become the official "face" of the Seven Falls, primarily because its the tallest of the 7, and the glen where it is located is much bigger than where the others are.

The provincial government of South Cotabato spearheaded the effort to develop the place. Today there are walkways and trails, bridges, clean comfort rooms, a souvenir shop, a parking lot, and a camp site near the falls.

We went there early after our breakfast in Lake Seloton to avoid the crowd. I was expecting a lot of folks to go there since it was Maundy Thursday.

I visited the falls last year but confined myself near the bridge. I wanted to venture closer to the falls this time. Even from afar the mist that comes from the falls can easily ruin your shot but I guess that is part of outdoor photography.

There is a narrow trail on the right side of the river that leads to the catch basin of the falls. The trail is cemented but slippery due to the moss. I noticed piles of tulya (small river clams) shells that littered the sides of the trail. It brought back fond memories when we used to hike here back in the days when there was still no passable road. We would bring a small pot and some lemongrass then collect tulya from the river and boil them with lemongrass. Instant clam soup.

few meters downstream from the falls

Near the falls you'll see rock walls whose patterns were etched by water eons ago. The walls are constantly being blanketed by a thin mist from the water spray of the falls.

Where the River Runs Wild
rock walls

From this vantage point you'll be able to appreciate more how majestic the falls is. The mist is surreal and the thundering waterfalls sound is deafening, yet surprisingly soothing.

Falls #2 (Lake Sebu's 7 Falls)
morning sun shines through

I wanted to get much more closer and decided to cross the cold raging stream to get to an exposed bed in front of the falls. Twice I was nearly toppled over by the strong current.

Too Close for Comfort
too close for comfort

The blast of wind generated by water pounding on the catch basin was really strong. And the water spray felt more like a drizzle. I was able to take a few shots before my lens filter was really fogged up and wet.

mist generator

More info and trivia about Falls #2:
  • The road that leads to Falls 1 and 2 is near Lake Lahit (before you reach Lake Sebu). There a huge signboard on the left side of the road.
  • Entrance fee is now Php 20.00 per person
  • Its safe to camp there, they have security personnel that guard the area 24x7
  • A rainbow always forms on the mists near the falls around 3PM as long as the sun is not hiding behind clouds. I've already seen pictures of such rainbow but have yet to take one myself.
Up next: Want to skip the resorts in Lake Sebu and stay with a T'boli family? There are home stay accommodations there were you can experience Lake Sebu in a more intimate way.

Update 2009/7/14

Recently found out the names of the falls in local dialect:

  • 1st Falls - Hikong Alu - passage
  • 2nd Falls - Hikong Bente - unmeasurable
  • 3rd Falls - Hikong B'lebed - zigzag, coil
  • 4th Falls - Hikong Lowig - booth
  • 5th Falls - Hikong Kefo-I - wild flower
  • 6th Falls - Hikong Ukol - short
  • 7th Falls - Hikong Tonok - soil
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