Exploring Lake Sebu's Seven Waterfalls
Visitors to the Philippines are spoiled for choice when it comes to breathtaking natural landscapes. One lesser-visited wonder is Lake Sebu in the southern island of Mindanao, an area not always explored by travelers. (In 2017, the whole of Mindanao was placed under martial law due to an ongoing conflict with radical Islamic terrorist groups. While the conflict is centered on the north of the island, many institutions are advising against all non-essential travel anywhere in Mindanao.) The lake is one of the country’s most important watersheds, and has been designated the ancestral domain of the T’boli and Ubu peoples, who believe it is God-sent and that they are blessed with a miraculous body of water that never dries up. Set around 1000 feet above sea level, Lake Sebu is known for its seven waterfalls, which comprise a popular series of treks. Recent development has introduced a new way to enjoy the waterfalls and the beautiful scenery: from a zip line 180 meters above the forest (one of the highest in Asia), giving riders a whole different perspective on the falls. Folks not seeking that level of adrenaline rush can enjoy paddling on the lake or water tubing on one of the rivers leading to a waterfall.
By Tina Lim, AFAR Local Expert
Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Philippines