About 240 kilometers from Davao City, idyllic Lake Holon (also known as Lake Maughan) is nestled at the heart of dormant Mt. Melibengoy (Mt. Parker) in T'boli, South Cotabato. It's a long trip from Manila to the far south of the country with four hours of trek up the steep mountain, but its a rewarding journey, offering a taste of serenity and isolation. The still waters of Lake Holon is cool and clean for swimming in and you can rent kayaks and row around the lake to see the breathtaking views from all angles. A sprawling campsite by the lake is available for those who'd like to spend the night and get a chance to see the spectacular sunrise over the lake at the crack of dawn.
How to get there
Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly to Davao daily. From Davao airport, ride a taxi to the Davao Ecoland Terminal where there are buses bound for Marbel via General Santos (travel time is about five hours). In Marbel, hop on another van to T'boli. Tell the driver to drop you off at the main town center by the tourism office, then ride a habal-habal to Barangay Salacafe. From the jump off point in Brgy. Salacafe, it's about a four-hour trek up to Mt. Melibengoy to Lake Holon.
Contact the Municipal tourism office of T'boli at +63912 473 1515, +63912 720 4151, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover photo is a screengrab from @lynxeiu on Instagram.
By Celia Nachura
Published October 2016