Location: Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
Types: Plunge, Fan horsetail
The first time that I have visited South Cotabato was in November 2005 in an all-expense paid, one-week trip. But I did not go beyond the city limits of General Santos as I was busy in a work. Then in June 2007, I have returned to this southerly province and have explored General Santos, Polomolok, and Lake Sebu. But in this visit, I wasn’t able to see the seven falls of Lake Sebu. Maybe it was not opened to the public at that time or I wasn’t just aware of its existence.
In the years that followed, I tried in vain to make a return trip to South Cotabato. For some considerations, I had to forgo my June 6-11, 2011 trip. Then another round-trip ticket got wasted (Feb 21-24, 2012) when I and my group were unable to return back to mainland Luzon as scheduled. We were stranded in Camiguin Norte Island and forced to stay there for three more days.
On July 2, 2012, I had a quick stop over in General Santos on my way to Sarangani. And with that, I had no time to go to Lake Sebu and to finally chase its seven waterfalls.
When my Feb 13-16 Davao City + Surigao del Sur + Samal Island Trip was finished, I went to South Cotabato to have a view of Lake Sebu‘s famous Seven Falls. Arriving early on that Sunday, I had enough time to go around General Santos City and to attend the 8:30AM service of Victory General Santos. After the service, I quickly went to the integrated public terminal in Bulaong and take a Yellow Bus going to Koronadal City. An hour later, I was in another Yellow Bus bound to Surallah where I took a jeep going to Lake Sebu.
In Lake Sebu, I haggled for a great deal with a habal habal driver. A few minutes later, we were off to the first falls. On that Sunday afternoon, there were too many visitors who have flocked to the Seven Falls, more evidently in the first and the second falls.
Going to the first falls was rather easy and leisurely. Of course, it helped that adrenaline rushed in. There is an established trail with concrete paths along the way. Reaching and seeing the first waterfalls, Hikong Alu (passage), a spectacular beauty made my jaw dropped.
A few minutes of indulging myself in the beauty of the Hikong Alu, we walked back to where we parked the motorcyle. We drove down to the second waterfall, Hikong Bente (immeasurable). The driver kept on telling me that the second waterfall is taller and more beautiful. I reserved my comments until I see it.
Lo! and behold. It really was!
It was so majestic, mighty, and powerful and quickly reminded me of Maria Cristina Falls.
Like Hikong Alu, Hikong Bente has a wide and long basin ideal for swimming and wading. But the Hikong Bente is surrounded by a more splendid rock formation. A towering fall at 70 meters in height, it was natural for Hikong Bente to generously spray mist which makes it even more spectacular.
Continuing my exploration, I told my guide that we should go to the third, fourth and fifth waterfalls. Twelve minutes later, I had a great view of the fourth waterfall, Hikong Lowig (booth). Secluded in a lush forest and vegetation, it was showing off its natural power and might.
Walking down further, I saw the third waterfall, Hikong B’lebed (zigzag). Then I realized that at its foot is the Hikong Lowig, thus forming a beautiful tier. These falls are not fit for swimming though as very steep cliffs naturally shield it from thrill-seeking adventurers. And this can be a huge blessing as the natural beauty of the third and fourth waterfalls are well preserved.
Another 20-minute walk and we have reached the fifth waterfall, Hikong Kefo-I (wild flower). Like Hikong Alu and Hikong Bente, Hikong Kefo-I has a wide basin for swimmers and picnickers. Not to be outclassed, its drops cascades powerfully as well.
Had I not been pressed for time, I would have also gone to the sixth and seventh waterfalls. I was very tired and hungry, too, that’s why I didn’t push my luck.
But nevertheless, what I have witnessed and experience in chasing Lake Sebu‘s Seven Falls were more than enough. They are all mighty and majestic, worthy to be visited and explored.
There is another way to appreciate the Seven Falls: doing the zipline. But I do not want to be robbed of the opportunity to get closer to the waterfalls so I passed that up.
Note: This is part of LegendHarry‘s ambitious travel project: Chasing Philippine Waterfalls.