Lake Sebu: the land of the 3 lakes and the 7 falls. It is a place that abounds in natural beauty, culture, and tradition.
Lake Sebu is home to the T'boli and Ubo tribes. The small municipality, located on the mountains on the north of the Allah Valley, is blessed with three lakes (Lake Sebu, Lake Seloton, and Lake Lahit) and countless springs, and majestic waterfalls, seven of which are cascading on the same river system (thus named the Seven Falls).
I grew up in a town about 30 kilometers from Lake Sebu and was able to frequent the place at an early age. After several decades, nothing much has change in this quiet town. Progress, the (destructive) kind we know of, crept.
Mt. Matutum bathed in golden light at sunrise
Visiting the place is always a treat. The sinuous mountain road offers great view of the valley below. If your timing is perfect, you'd see the sun peeking behind Mt. Matutum (the province's iconic peak) at sunrise.
Lake Sebu's natural beauty remains (relatively) pristine. Although lately the provincial governmenthas constructed zip lines in the vicinity of the second falls. One runs downstream from the first falls and passes the drop of the second falls on the way to a hill on the other side of the glen. In the process they have to clear the hill of some trees and also managed to "pollute" the scenery of the second falls. Weird sense of "eco-tourism".
fisherfolks in dugout canoes
Progress has not affected the T'boli's idyllic way of living. Farming and fishing remain to be the main source of livelihood. Their method of fishing and farming had not change much.
The indigenous culture is alive and well. The T'boli's made sure their arts and crafts are not lost. Songs, dances, and the art of weaving T'nalak are passed down from generation to generation.
I met the youngest dreamweaver (as one book calls the T'nalak master weavers because the patterns they weave are inspired by their dreams) during one of my visits. At the young age of 12, Divina was already producing astounding T'nalak with complex design patterns.
Lake Sebu is being actively promoted as an eco-tourism destination nowadays.. I just hope that with the influx of outsiders the town's beauty and charm, which had endured for years, will continue to do so for decades more.
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