Sunday, April 17, 2011

Conquering Lake Holon

Under the scorching heat of the sun, we conquered Lake Holon after more than a three-hour journey by foot from the jump-off point at Salacafe. Situated in T'boli, South Cotabato, it is known to be the cleanest lake in the Philippines . This lake is actually part of Mt. Parker and is also known as Lake Maughan.

Few kilometers from the jump-off point
The jump-off point at Brgy. Salacafe
Holon is a T'boli term means "portal to heaven". It's name is derived from a legend. There was once a witch who gathered tribesmen to follow her to heaven before the end of the world will happen. She led them into the lake and promised them to have the eternal life if they all jump there with her. It was told that the tribesmen were influenced by her and did what she told them to do. No one has ever heard of them since then.

The road to Holon is not that as hard as I can imagine. The fist portion of the route is passable because of some T'boli villages along the way. We even passed a pumping station wherein we filled some of our empty containers with potable water. On the later part of the walk, we passed through a thick forest. It looked enchanted but amazing with its lush green flora and some rare species of flowers. We trekked on until we reached the peak. We can almost see the lake from above and the view is really marvelous. After some going-ups, our guides told us to get ready for another twenty minutes more of going-down to another challenging trek towards the lake. It's like going down to a bit of a cliff so we need to cling strongly to the roots of the giant trees in order for us to successfully reach the finish line. 

Getting ready for the going-down trek towards the lake
Here we are at last! Our hardships was rewarded with a magnificent view of the tranquil lake. Nothing beats its natural charm as we can all forget what we have gone through just to reach Lake Holon's embrace.

Resting at the side of the lake after the long hours of hiking
We arrived at Holon around five in the afternoon. We then fixed our tents while some cooked our dinner. The night is cold but refreshing maybe because of the clean fresh air  kissing the lake. The moon looked so bright that night and the stars enveloped the skies like fireworks for our grand welcome to this hidden paradise.

After a very serene sleep, the day in Holon started with the soft, calm rays of the sunrise. It's so nice to wake up in this stress-free morning fronting to the inviting waters of the lake. Lake Holon, should I say, is best viewed at early morning where in everything is fresh and sweet.

Meet & greet the sunrise
Say hello to the fresh morning
Friendship bond under the morning light
Good morning good fellow
This is the fresh start
The colorful tents as my background
Serenity at its best
Embrace the new day with a smile
Residents of the blue tent
Our stay in Holon is picture-perfect, so we didn't miss to capture nothing but photos and memories as our immortal souvenirs. We even tested its cold waters & took a dip on it. Nothing beats the fun that mother nature can offer!

With my good friend Janjan
With a bubbly friend who called himself Lyka
Picture perfect by the side of the lake
With the rest of the gang
After breakfast pose by the lake
Playing hide & seek with Holon's side
Colorful tents on the rise
With my dear friend Endhey
To the camp site
With my best friend Alper
There were some thing that I've realized as we conquered the place - that all the best thing in life is free and you will just need a little pinch of sacrifice just to enjoy its glory.

My personal recollection
What lies beneath & what lies beyond


  1. such beautiful pictures.. what a GREAT PLACE! would love to travel here one day.:)

  2. You are invited to explore South Cotabato. It's a peaceful place!