Thursday, February 5, 2015

South Cotabato: The Lake Sebu Seven Falls Zipline Experience

I've been planning to visit Lake Sebu this year. Though I live in Mindanao and have been to some places all over the Philippines, I've never been to this eco-tourism gem of South Cotabato province. Lake Sebu is known for the lake from which the municipality got its name, its Seven Falls Zipline and the well-preserved culture and traditions of the T'boli tribe who inhabits the place. In 2013, it was named as one of the 25 emerging Philippine tourism hot spots collectively known as the "Philippine Gems".

My initial plan was to go there on summer but as luck would have it, an unexpected twist made me visit Lake Sebu earlier than planned. Last week, I was tasked to be part of the team which will inspect our client's proposed project sitr in Lake Sebu. Though it is a work-related travel, I got excited knowing that finally I would be able to explore another bucket list destination. So on a Monday morning, I was at the bus terminal of my hometown Malaybalay, Bukidnon to kickstart my long journey to the enchanted land of the dreamweavers.

When we arrived at Lake Sebu, we first went to the Municipal Hall to pay a courtesy visit to the Municipal Mayor. As I observed the place, I can't help but compare it to my hometown. Just like Malaybalay, Lake Sebu is also landlocked, surrounded by rolling hills and mountains and situated in a high elevation. I bet the weather here is cooler compared to the other places of South Cotabato. 

The municipality is home to three placid lakes, the biggest of which is Lake Sebu. The other two are Lake Lahit and Lake Seloton. Except for Lake Lahit, the lakes are all dotted with fish cages where tilapias are grown.  Aside from eco-tourism revenues, Lake Sebu's economy is also aquaculture-based.

Location map of Lake Sebu from wikipedia

From the Mayor's Office, we then went straight to the Seven Falls Zipline located at Barangay Seloton. We passed along an unpaved barangay road before arriving at the park. A few minutes walk from the entrance, a dirt road leads us to Falls # 1:

Officially named "Hikong Alo" in T'boli, it is the first of the series of seven falls. It stands at 35 feet and has a wide and powerful drop cascading down the layered rock walls carpeted on both sides with green vegetation. Its thundering sound and cool mists can be felt from afar. The river flows under a concrete bridge where tourists can have their photos taken while wearing T'boli outfit.

From Hikong Alo, we walked our way towards the first of two launch stations of the Seven Falls Zipline. At 600 feet above the ground, it claimed to be the highest zipline in Southeast Asia. It has an affordable rate of P250.00/person on weekdays and P300.00/person during weekends and holidays.

After we were strapped on to the harness and assumed the Superman position, the zipline staff told us to get ready for take-off. It is normal to be a bit scared at first but once you're off flying above the waterfalls and the canopy of trees, excitement and adrenaline rush will take over. 

The first zipline has a length of 740 meters and it will take you to the second launch station where the 400-meter zipline ride will start. Though the second zipline is shorter, I liked it more since you will be facing the waterfalls during the ride from station # 2 up to the parking area of Falls # 2 (Hikong Bente).

Lake Sebu's Seven Falls Zipline probably offers the most breathtaking view of all the zipline rides in the Philippines. Apart from the usual sights of forests and cliffs, the aerial view of waterfalls is truly exhilarating. While we're used to seeing waterfalls from down below, it's not that common to see its entirety from up above the air. That alone would make your Seven Falls Zipline ride all worth it.    


  1. ohh.. this reminded me of our SOCCKSARGEN adventure.. sudden adrenaline rush caused by the zipline glide..
    cheers to more travel...

    1. Thanks for dropping by Mountains and Beyond. Hope to be back and explore more of the SOCCKSARGEN region.

  2. I tried the zip line and was so scared but after trying it out, can't help but rave about it with my friends! :)


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