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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 16, 2009

lake seloton: lake sebu's sunrise lake

Green Lush Valley
Lake Seloton in the morning

Can you count how many are the words "lake" in the title? That is the number of lakes in the town called Lake Sebu. The town bears the name as of the largest of the 3 lakes there (the 3rd one is called Lake Lahit).

Lake Sebu may be the more popular of the 3 lakes, but Lake Seloton bears the distinction of having the best POV (point of view) for sunrise. An enterprising local put up a rustic resort on the western bank and aptly named it Sunrise Garden Lake Resort.

I visited the place last year but went there in the afternoon due to time constraints. I vowed to return again for the sunrise if an opportunity arises. And one did, last Maundy Thursday, when a fellow photography enthusiast expressed interest to spend the day in Lake Sebu.

We were already on the road by 3:30AM Thursday morning. My home town of Koronadal is about 40 km from Lake Sebu and it will take us about 45 minutes to reach Lake Sebu via snaking mountain roads. Lake Seloton is another 2km of rough road from Lake Sebu town proper.

By 4:30 AM we were already in front of the closed gate of the Sunrise Garden, honking our horn. Thankfully my friend's wife knew the resort owners. Soon we were inside the resort, scouting for a good location. I opted for one just beyond their cottages, a few meters outside the property boundary.

sunrise in Lake Seloton

As dawn breaks one could see that the place manifest the very essence of the word "serenity". It was as if everything stood still, cherishing the start of a new day.

stillness of Lake Seloton

Even the lotus flowers and lilies of the lake seemed frozen. Without a morning breeze, there's not a ripple on the lake. The air was fresh and cool since the place is situated 1000 metes above sea on the mountains of the Allah Valley region (South Cotabato, southern Mindanao).

Lotus reflections

The lakeside stirred into activity as the sun rose over the hills on the eastern side of the lake. Folks went around, on their dugout canoe, doing their daily chores of tending to the fish pens (tilapia).

Seloton T'boli Man on Canoe
T'boli man on dugout canoe

We saw some locals casting their nets near the shore. A group of kids pulling their net gamely posed for a couple of snaps.

Catching Breakfast
Fishing for breakfast

The place is also teeming with wild life. We saw hawks and egrets (some Lesser and Cattle Egrets) fishing for a free meal near the pens. Although the owners of the fish pens are not particularly excited to see egrets and hawks delving inside their pens, they usually just leave the birds alone.

Seloton Cattle Egrets
Cattle egrets looking for a free meal

And for our breakfast? Fried tilapia, freshly caught from one of the pens.

Up next:

A closer encounter with the 2nd falls. Aside from the 3 lakes, the town is also blessed with countless streams and falls, just a few minutes ride and/or hike from each other. The 7 major cascading falls used to be known simply as the 7 Falls, now its called Dongon 7 Falls most probably in the interest of commerce (only Falls 1 and 2 are easily accessible to tourists). The Dongons are supposedly the interim caretakers the area, others would claim otherwise. What ever the case is, it is their name that is on the billboards now.
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atto aryo said...

the place is serene indeed. just wanna ask: is it safe to travel there?

Lantaw said...

r-yo, yes its perfectly safe to go there. let me know if you plan to visit lake sebu, I can help you plan your itinerary. You can skip the resorts and opt for a "home stay" accommodation - best if you want a real cultural immersion.

Mys Lyke Meeh said...

wow...really beautiful.... i posted ur picture on my sight....@ photoblog section....lemme know if like it....stay cool.

Unknown said...

wow, that's a fantabulous world there...that's my new word to describe the place. wish i could visit it too.

sheng said...

Now, this is what i am waiting for, just sad that we were not able to join you in this trip.

escape said...

this lake is really enchanting. beautiful scenery plus really good photographer equals amazing shots.

i didnt know that there are actually three lakes. something i can take note of.

Reena said...

i've been to lake sebu a few years ago. but we didn't stay long. i just remember buying lots of souvenir beaded necklaces that the local t'boli makes. but i never wore any of them. hehehe...i sold them though. :)

i like the lotus photo!!!

Lantaw said...

Mys Lyke Meeh, cool! I like it thanks!

Pacey, hahaha, thats one for the dictionaries :D. thanks!

sheng, next time a, mag coastal areas naman tayo :)

Dom, oo bro, there are 3 lakes there are countless falls, if you happen to be in Gensan, you can take a day trip to Lake Sebu

Reena, their handicrafts were great, were you able to buy tinalak? An overnight stay there is ideal, makes you experience the enchanting side of Lake Sebu during dusk and dawn

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Your beautiful photographs have shown how wonderful the lake is. Thanks for sharing.

Forehead Stamp

Lantaw said...

Bhavesh, Thanks! Glad you liked the place.

The Islander said...

amenable. stillness photo is dramatic. it is so alive.

Ishmael F. Ahab said...

Great! My favorite is the third photo. It is as if the lake is one Big sheet of glass mirror reflecting the sky. Ah! The world is indeed beutiful as the Lord has made it.

Oman said...

the images of the lakes are still fresh in my mind. one of the best places i have visited.

point and shoot lang dala ko non ng pumunta ko don pero for keeps pa rin mga kuha doon.

and of course, who would ever forget the many different ways of cooking tilapia.

Tin said...

Nothing beats fresh tilapa, especially when fried, for breakfast. My father often catches some from our pond. It's the family's favorite!
The place looks very humble and still but serene. And as always, the sun shot is my favorite. :)

Jen Laceda | Milk Guides said...

As usual, lovely photos! My fave is the lotus reflections!

Lantaw said...

The Islander, Thanks bro! Lake Sebu is truly a beautiful place

Ishmael Its a nice place for a retreat. Every nook there is peaceful. Thanks!

Tin, Yup, nothing beats fresh tilapia! Lake Sebu has not changed much as far as I can remember it, and I hope it stays that way

jen, Thanks! Its one of the favorites too :)

Jenn said...

How cool is that? You live some 45 minutes away from one of my favorite place! Was in Lake Sebu some 10 years ago and have often wanted to return. The lotus pond just mesmerizes and they've got one of the best falls as far as I remember. Can't wait to see how you captured it. Beautiful egret shot!

Lantaw said...

Oman, maganda yung place talaga, daming POVs na magical :)

Jen, Unfortunately my work takes me to Manila :(. But I make it a point to visit Lake Sebu if I'm in town. My wife and kids always go there for weekend picnics :)

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

What a great way to entice me to go to Lake Sebu! (The photo of the lotus seem to pop out from my screen) I want to go there next time I'm in the Philippines but pls. tell me about the homestay accomodations.

Gaelyn said...

Certainly worth getting up early. The sunrise is spectacular, as are the reflections. The flowers look like their in the sky. Awesome captures.

Marites said...

huwaw!! ganda! i so love your 3rd pic. My friends went there several years ago and raved over it especially the tilapias:) Really want to go there..hopefuly someday soon!

Marites said...

pwdeng sumama sa inyo next time you go some place? :)

demeter said...

great photos of a serene lake seloton! pang national G! more power

chrome3d said...

Your story was just getting better and better with really amazing photos. those lotus reflections were too cool to be true!

Inday said...

Our country is not only rich in NATURAL RESOURCES but also rich in its own nature's glory unique in its own setting. How can we be so unlucky with our (?) Do I need to spell it? Thank you for your most eloquent description of your beautiful hometown and how thankful I am to My World and the people behind this photoblog that I am able to see parts of my country where I have never ever been to. Damo guid nga Salamat Utod. Baw, kadasig guid sang imo nga journalistic talent. Sige lantaw pa ko sang iban mo nga obra.

Louise said...

A big WOW to the sunrise and following shots. The reflections are amazing.

Erin said...

absolutely beautiful series of shots...loved the entire post and commentary.

Arija said...

Your world is truly beautiful and you capture if so well. A lovely post.

lagal[og] said...

miss ko na itong lake sebu. napaka-calm at napakaganda talaga nito.

so, dongon 7 na pala ang tawag talaga sa 7 falls. we met the dongons when we were there. salamat for the update bai.

Lantaw said...

Nomadic Pinoy, I'll try to sort the details and post them later. Thanks

Gaelyn, The water was really still that morning. Thanks!

Marites, Try to go there before the summer ends. Sure sama ka. saan ka naka base ngayon?

demeter, thanks!

Lantaw said...

chrome3d, Thanks! Those reflections sure are surreal :)

Bonnie Bonsai, Yup we do have a lot to be thankful for, and I hope we preserve our beautiful environment. Ilonggo ka man gali? From where are you from?

Louise, Thanks! Those reflections are a big hit :D

Erin, Thank you! Glad you like the write up too

Arija, Just lucky to be near that place :). Thanks!

Garando said...

Love the photo with the red bangka because of the reflection on the water was simply amazing.


INDESCRIBABLE! I'm at awe! Simply amazing. Wow!

Photo Cache said...

Its a joy to watch your photos.

arriane somido said...

its our pleasure that our resort had been blessed of a true serene ambience. thank you for appreciation and comments..

Unknown said...

I am able to visit Lake Sebu but never had the chance to experience the zip line but the experience of being with the nature, it rejuvenates my life. it's a paradise. I hope I can go back and experience the wild adventure.

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