Towering mountains that kiss the blue sky, a long and winding road that challenges even the strong, an array of flora that makes for a botanical study interesting, and simple people whose faces are a ray of sunshine.
These are some of God’s marvelous creations that you will meet along the way as you try to conquer one of SOCCSKSARGEN Region’s pride, the majestic Lake Holon.
Situated in the Land of the Dreamweavers, South Cotabato, particularly in T’boli town, the lake which forms the crater of Mt. Parker, locally known as Mt. Melibengoy, offers not just an adventure to climbers but also a wonderful site that could even feed a naturalist’s hungry soul.
The mirror- like lake framed by verdant foothills and blanketed with a cold breeze is an enchanting venue to free yourself from stress and hardwork.
Aside from site- seeing, trekkers could do extra activities the place offers. You can go boating or kayaking around the placid lake and survey the panoramic scene of the Lake Holon and its crystal clear water, recognized as one of the cleanest inland waters in the entire country.
Moreover, there are areas in the breathtaking lake where you can go fishing for Tilapia for an appetizing lunch or dinner that would definitely leave you craving for more of the popular freshwater fish.
If you want to have a relaxing moment while being in a paradise, you can try the lake’s fish spa, in a very natural way.
All you have to do is to sit on the boulders by the lakeshore and gently dip your feet into the lake’s frosty water. Voila! hundreds of fishes would be nibbling on your feet.
You can also plunge into the lake's ice-cold water for a refreshing swim.
At night, spread your sleeping bag, lie down on a carpet-like grass and relive those childhood times of counting stars and tracing and identifying constellations. Deep into the night, the lake seems magical at it reflects the stars and fill the calm water and surrounding environment with a luxuriant light.
Lake Holon, South Cotabato
In the morning, the fog will be the first to welcome you. It’s as if it was set on standby mode ready to hug your awakened soul. Sunrise in the area is around 9:00 to 10:00 in the morning as Mr. Sun plays hide and seek with the tall mountains bordering the lake. How to get there and savor its natural endowment.
Riding a ‘habal-habal’ (motorcycle) for almost an hour is the first taste of adventure going to to the famous Lake Holon. The somewhat gutsy ride starts from the town proper of T’boli to the village of Salacafe.
In Salacafe is a guest center where you could take your meal using traditional Tboli utensils made of wood and bamboo. It is also where you will be briefed on the basic details of Lake Holon as well as the dos and don’ts when you are in the area.
It is in Salacafe where most of your adventure begins! The time you step out of the guest center signals the start of your three- to four- hour walk up to the captivating lake.
The only community that you could pass by during the trek is Sitio Nabul. It is a small community with only 23 households. Houses are made of light materials mostly bamboo.
Its simplicity is a reminder that happiness lies in contentment. This is because, the community is surrounded with beaming and contagipus smiles of the Tboli villagers. From Sitio Nabul to your destination, your comrades would be the chirping birds, the dancing trees, the swaying grasses, the wandering insects and most of all, the blooming wild flowers. Rolled into one, it’s as if you have a fairy accompanying you and making you forget the tiresome walk until you reach the lake.
The first time you take a glimpse of Lake Holon, after all the herky- jerky motorcycle ride and long hours of walk, the feeling is surreal.
Seeing its beauty at the center of the woodland would make you feel at home. The happiness of being at home is tantamount to the happiness of embracing the vastness of God’s perfect creation.
The adventure doesn’t end there, because leaving Lake Holon is another journey. This time, it will be a travel of an eye-opening story from you to those who haven’t seen the must- see, who haven’t experienced a wonderful escape over the mountains and into the majestic lake. (SJDuerme-PIA12)