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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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April 24, 2009

lake sebu: hikong bente (falls #2) up close

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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escape said...

you featured it last year but the photos in this set are just awesome. awesome philippines!

galing ng mga kuha dito parang ito ang hindi ko dapat palampasin pagpunta ko sa gensan.

Lantaw said...

Oo bai, even if I'd been there countless times already its still a nice place to go to once you are in Lake Sebu.

Let me know if you can swing by Lake Sebu, I can give you tips to maximize your trip there

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

This looks like a wonderland. I must visit this place; coordinates please :)

And not to forget to mention that I am glad you are the photographer who painted these beautiful pictures.

Detailed Leaf Structure

Mark said...

Great shots , would love to visit . Is the region safe in general ,whats the security situation? if you take the usual precautions ?

Lantaw said...

Bhavesh, Thanks! Unfortunately I didn't have a GPS with me that time. You may search it via wikimapia. If ever you are in Lake Sebu, there are a lot of road signs pointing to the direction of the falls

Mark, Security is very good. South Cotabato is a safe region. Fly in via Davao or General Santos City (best option). Transportation from General Santos to Lake Sebu is not a problem

atto aryo said...

great place, made even more fascinating by a great fotog! galing ng shots!

ms firefly said...

as usual, great shots!
i've never been to lake sebu. weird eh? ^-^

Marites said...

huwaw!! guwapoha ooy....my friends were able to get to this place years ago. pero, pinakaguwapo jud imong pictures. awesome!! A must-see place!

Reena said...

there is a waterfalls there?! we didn't know. huhuhu...hmm...kelan kaya ako balik ng mindanao? :(

Tin said...

I like the rock wall shot. I wonder when I could get to Lake Sebu. Seems like a very beautiful place.

Garando said...

That's one of the best waterfalls in the Philippines I've ever seen. Ganda!!

Ishmael F. Ahab said...

As always, what I can I say is WOW!

It is nice that you are photographing the beautiful places that you visited throughout the country. I commend you as one of the bloggers that help boost our tourism industry and inform us, your fellowmen, that the Philippines is a wonderful beutiful country.

Oman said...

sabi ko na nga ba eh. security is very good there. i was not able to explore the 2nd falls kasi the person who invited me there prohibits/warned me of going solo in this place. naubusan naman ako ng oras eventually to go to other places pero i guess its for safety reasons naman. besides, it adds up another reason why i should go back to lake sebu.

the photos are just fantastic. parang paintings.

Lantaw said...

r-yo, Thanks bro! I guess I am lucky to be from a hometown near Lake Sebu

ms firefly, oh?! you should go there with your hubby next time you're in town

Marites, Thanks! :) You should visit, kahit over the weekend lang

Reena, There are a lot of waterfalls there aside from the more popular 7 Falls :)

Tin, I hope it would be soon :). Tourists are already flocking to the place. You should see it while its still pristine

Garando, Thanks! Dami pang waterfalls dun since mountainous ang area.

Ishmael, I try to do my part in promoting eco-tourism :). Thanks!

Oman, Naku sayang bro! I am not sure why the person who invited you would say such a thing. Come back there soon :)

kegler747 said...

Ang cute naman nitong falls #2, parang mini Ma. Cristina Falls :)

Lantaw said...

kegler747, yup cute ... until you get real close hehehe

sheng said...

Oh no, this is what we have missed, grrrrrrrr... Nice pictures...very lovely...

Shobe said...

wow. super wow philippines! :D

redzlan said...

Great Waterfalls photography.
I love that silky-water slow speed effect.

Unknown said...

I've heard so many accounts of the lake and your photos really gave justice and I can now understand why it's a legend.

Sylvia K said...

Those are some of the most awesome shots I've ever seen! What an incredible place! Absolutely breathtaking! Thanks so much for sharing these. Have a great week!

alicesg said...

Wow the waterfall looked so beauitful and magnificient. The surrounding scenery is fantastic.

Inday said...

Our country is never short of wonders. I hope the local government of South Cotabato governed and protect and look after its people well than the national government. It's good that they are getting more and more innovative these days and that the people there give their best shots to cooperate. You are very good!

The Explorer said...

Thank you for sharing this, because of it I discover another great place here in our country...c")

By the way, your photos are stunning.

Jenn said...

SO! How come a lot of us didn't get to go the 2nd falls??? :-( I never even knew, I think. Love the rock wall!!

Lantaw said...

sheng, You are lucky you are near the place, you can always go there ;)

Shobe, wow philippines indeed!

Tabib, Thanks for the visit!

Pacey, Twas once one of South Cotabato's best kept secret (maybe until now). The place is still rustic and unspoiled until now :)

Lantaw said...

Sylvia, Thank you for visiting! glad you enjoyed the photos

alicesg, thanks! it was a challenge to shoot :)

Bonnie, It never is! We are very very lucky! The local government is doing its best to develop the place while preserving the rustic nature. Thanks for the visit.

The Explorer, Glad you can "travel" through my photos :)

Jenn, Time to go there :)

Regina said...

Beautiful place. I wish I have seen it before. Nice shots as always.

Erin said...

beautiful captures as always...love the se falls and the rock formations...is the water really cold or temperate? you always have such wonderful adventures.

Jane Hards Photography said...

Outstanding images and a wonderful narrative.

Marites said...

tuwing punta ko rito, i have mouthgaping episodes:D grabeh ganda ng pics mo and tama iyong comments, it's really commendable that you show this to the world. Pinas is really beautiful. Pang-world class.

Lantaw said...

Regina, Thank you!

Erin, The water is quite cold even in midday. Thanks for the visit!

Babooshka, Thank you!

Marites, hahaha. So much more to discover sa ating beloved Philippines. We are becoming a very popular destination for eco tourism.

Dexter said...

wow this is such a breathtaking place. I have no idea that this place exist in Mindanao. My colleague who is from Gensan mentioned it to me just recently.

Dexter said...

By the way, you have great photos here. may i know what camera are you using? I am planning to buy an SLR but i don't know how and what feature it must have to get quality photos like yours...

Lantaw said...

Dexter, Thank you! We still have a lot of undiscovered nooks in Mindanao :)

I'm using an old Nikon D50. If you want to shoot landscapes, get a wide angle lens (10-20mm) and get filters like ND8, CPL, and GND

Dexter said...

Oh I see..obviously i have to work first so i can afford to buy these stuff...LOL...

Lantaw said...

Dexter, your gears does not have to be top of the line and uber-expensive. I have learned to compensate with my gears' limitations.

Dexter said...

well, that is one good advice....thanks for this tips migo...maybe if i happened to have a stop over either in Singapore or Hongkng i will see to it what my very low budget could afford..everything here in French Polynesia are so expensive....

Anonymous said...

You are a professional. Many things I can learn here. I have visited the photos in your gallery of TL, but this site is more complete. I like all the links I can visit from here. Outstanding! Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

very nice photos and guide sir. would be visiting this place this weekend since nasa gensan lang naman ako. =)

Rainier Medina

Anonymous said...

..........heYy guy's don't you know that not only a 7 donggon water falls are falls in lake sebu?hmMmf as a t'boli living at the said place,im telling you, there is also an another falls which is found at Brgy.Lamcade(one of the 19 Brgy's in Lake Sebu)called "TEMON".Ang problema nga lang mahirap mag-ride papunta doon,isa pa hindi kasi well known ang sinasabing falls.Im hoping that someday isa ito sa mga sikat na water falls in lake sebu....im sure magugustuhan din ninyo iyon kasi ang linis at linaw ng tubig,ang sarap maligo doon.....tAnx....!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

this is the place that what i have been looking for....

it's so very nice.nice place..^^

Anonymous said...

....guy's ganda ng place namin noh..? hmMmf it's nice to take your summer vacation there,anG lAmig kasi nG pLace nAmin...!! see you there..!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

sir youre just great...
its because of this photos that i will be visiting south cotabato...this august
hope to meet the awesome fotograper!

Lantaw said...

Thanks, but you won't see me there in august as I am based in Manila :D

Lourlin Jean Pino said...

Hi Mr. author. Nice bunch of photos.. Would it be fine with you if I post one of your photos in our website? It's about nature travels about Gensan. To be specific, the photo I would like to use is your lake Sebu photo. Don't worry about the attibution, I'll include your name there.
And please let me know if you're okay with that. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

A must see place, puntahan ko talaga ito sa march yun nga lang kayanin kaya ng senior mom ko trekking dito? better yet pa-inumin ko xa ng flanax hehehe before i regret to witness the beauty of this fantastic place...

Lantaw said...

Don't worry both the 1st and second falls are very accessible, not much trekking, just a short walk, more precisely a stroll

Anonymous said...

finally, 2 more weeks to go we can witness the beauty of this spectacular place...hoping my senior mom can still ride a habal habal, hoping also that it's a safe plsce to go as you mentioned sir lantaw

Lantaw said...

@Anonymous, the road going to the falls is not that bad so I think your mom would be able to handle it :). Lake Sebu is a safe place.

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