Lake Holon and Mt. Melibingoy (Mt. Parker) in South Cotabato, Philippines

“Remind me again why we’re doing this” were the only words that I managed to let out in between gasps as I turned around to face my fellow travel bloggers. They were battling their own breathlessness.

“We have no idea,” they answered with synchronized laughter while trying to scale another sharp slope.

With all that I had been through during the trek, a pointer would help me reclaim the focus that has slipped somewhere along the trail, possibly during the moments I lost balance, slid down, and scratched all my limbs. There was a teensy part of me that wanted to back out. The part, however, was not only cowardly  but also dumb for I had come a long way.

A long, long way.

We had spent practically four hours trekking under the fickle skies — in some cases threatening us with the looming rainclouds, other times frying us with the harshest sunlight. Not counting the full hour we were carried by a habal-habal on the bumpiest — no, bounciest — ride I had ever had a pleasure of surviving. The magnitude 8 trembling of my knees and the intensity 10 profanities I involuntarily cried would have been for nothing if I turned back. The only chicken this day was going to see was the one I had for breakfast that morning.

Tired but completely awed
Little wounds and scratches
Blogger sandwich! Fellow bloggers on a habal-habal ride before the trek
But I still needed a reminder. even just a peek of our destination? snälla rara?

It wasn’t like we had not been pampered by the mountain the past hours. It had, actually. Along the way, we found some of the tallest trees, the smallest nepenthes (pitcher plants), and the sexiest clouds that I laid eyes on. After all, we were there for a reason.

Vad är täckt i den här guiden?

Lake Holon and the Allah Valley
A path rarely Trodden
The Reclusive Calm of Lake Holon

Fler förslag på YouTube ⬇️⬇️⬇️Related Posts:

Lake Holon and the Allah Valley

Located in T’boli, South Cotabato, Mt. Melibingoy towers over the town with its highest top at 1,750 meters. A dormant stratovolcano, it harbors a crater named Lake Holon, which was formed after an eruption on January 4, 1641. The mountain and the lake are also known as Mt. Parker and Lake Maughan, in honor of American surveyors whose plane crashed at the webbplats. It has also nurtured wild, endemic flora and fauna.

Lake Holon feeds Allah River that flows across South Cotabato all the way to Maguindanao. It is a main source of food and livelihood in the Allay Valley, an area shared by South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

Allah River meandering in between cliffs
Allah Valley has been battling floods because the 1990s. To create a solution, a group called Allah Valley Landscape development alliance (AVLDA) was formed. They discovered that one of the problems was the environmental degradation in the highlands because numerous locals are forced to cut down and burn trees to earn a living. funded by LGSP-LED, a collaborative program between the Philippines and Canada, they are formulating an eco-tourism program as a much more sustainable alternative source of income for the people. AVLDA and LGSP-LED invited bloggers, myself included, to try their proposed tourism circuits to help them better the program with our feedback and spread the word about South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

A path rarely Trodden

It wasn’t my first time to trek, but it was my first trek to a not-so-popular destination. It shows on the trail itself. Thick moss blanketed numerous parts of the trail, which was also fringed with overgrown turf and flowering shrubs.

It was both frightening and encouraging. Frightening, because we knew we were going the narrow, slippery way. (Later, I would find myself unintentionally stepping on a moss-covered rock and sliding three meters down, injuring my arms.) Encouraging, because the tougher the trail got, the much more we realized we were in for a treat — the pristine, practically untouched kind. and we were right.

Lois of We Are Sole Sisters
Mossy ground, sunny skies
Pretty little things that caught my eye
A man building a home and a small community along the trail to Lake Holon
The Reclusive Calm of Lake Holon

A wound and 34 scratches later (yes, I counted), I finally reached the edge of the lake. As if all the fatigue vanished magically and with renewed energy, I ran to the banks and danced with the wind. The music: that distinctly amplified songs of the cicadas. The audience: the ghostly clouds kissing the peaks of Melibingoy and the tall turf that swayed lightly, which were reflected perfectly on the mirror-like surface of the lake. It was so clear and serene that a fly dipping a toe would send ripples across it and I would see it from where I stood.  No wonder, it has been awarded the Cleanest Inland Body of Water in the Philippines for two years.

Three conventional canoes were docked in one corner, as if waiting for us all this time. KlättraIng Mt. Melibingoy gjorde andningen svår, men Holon Lake tog helt andan och sprang med den.

Kanot hanterar detta? Spegla himlen
Lois tar sin tur till kanot, för hon kan. kanot.
Gay of Pinay Travel Junkie och Edgar från Eazy Traveller
Trött, vem? Ingen av oss brydde oss om att vila. Vi var bara pappersklipp som dras nådelöst till den enorma flytande magneten framför oss. Vi knäppte bort, pausade då och då för att beundra tyst, som om de dyrkar.

När mörkret äntligen besegrade det minskande ljuset var middagen klar. Den kalla, kalla vinden främjade en atmosfär optimal för reflektion. Men med någon som serverar ett glas rom varannan minut, var den enda reflektionen som hände lamporna från min telefon som studsade av mitt oljiga ansikte.

Ostörd vatten
Kall, ljus morgon vid Lake Holon. Foto av Gael Hilotin från Pinay Solo Backpacker
Nästa morgon var jag en av de första som stod upp. Liksom reflex, marscherade till kanten av sjön och gick i den milda solen. Jag satt på en stenblock och tänkte på den svåra klättringen dagen innan och fruktade vandringen ner. Varför gillar vi att vandra och klättra i bergen i timmar även i otydligt väder? Två lokalbefolkningen – kanot, fånga fisk – passerade och krusade sjöns yta som skimrade graciöst med varje våg. Det finns ingen bättre pekare än Lake Holon.

Hur man kommer till Lake Holon: Från staden T’Boli, åker du en habal-habal till Salacafe. Restiden är cirka 1 timme. Från Salacafe är det en 3-4 timmars vandring över robust terräng till Lake Holon.

Fler förslag på YouTube ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Relaterade inlägg:

Taal Volcano Crater: Trek till de eldiga tarmarna i Batangas, Filippinerna

Chocolate Hills: Tales of the Giants of Bohol, Filippinerna

Rafting i vit vatten i Davao, Filippinerna

De hängande kistorna vid Echo Valley: Sagada, Filippinerna

Bomod-Ok Falls, Sagada: Vad kan man förvänta sig

Första smaken av Marang Fruit – South Cotabato, Filippinerna

Lake Kawaguchi: Under stavningen av Mt. Fuji, Japan

10 Nyfikna saker om Batanes och varför du inte ska äta kokosnötkrabbor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *