How can I ever forget Lake Holon, a legend among Mindanao destinations? It is one of the most impressive creation Mother Nature has shown me. It is a gem hidden somewhere in South Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines. Its beauty is so precious that you really have to sweat out if you really want to be rewarded with its mesmerizing beauty even in just a glance
Lake Holon is a mystique place known as the Crown Jewel of the South. It is a sacred place for the T’bolis which is one of the many tribal groups in Philippines.
It is awarded as the cleanest lake in the Philippines. It is sooo clean that you can hardly spot fallen leaves inspite that it is surrounded by trees. So who cleans the lake? It is a mystery that only Holon knows.There are still lots of superstitious beliefs associated with this lake. . Either you believe it or not, you can really feel the gods in this secluded area. They even follow you in your dreams. But don’t be scared. The deafening silence will only teach you to respect and observe silence as well.
It is a place that you will learn to be courteous with nature. It lies in one of the many unbeaten paths in Mindanao, at the heart of mountain after mountains. Either you’re in a big or small group; you will really feel hesitant to disturb anything that has set in this place. You will feel deep within your heart the urge to contribute to preserve the solemn atmosphere of Lake Holon.
Don’t worry; Holon will treat you with an amazing gift. In majestic Holon, you will feel peace, reconnection with your inner self and at peace with surroundings. And do you know that whatever you wish to Holon comes true? Isn’t it worthy to include Lake Holon as one your Mindanao destinations if you’re heading to Southern Philippines?
I can only describe now Lake Holon base of what is in my mind, in my heart and in my memories.
It’s been years since I joined a Pilgrimage to Lake Holon as part of celebrating Seslong Festival way back March 13-14, 2015. It is where I experienced real camping and building tent on flat grounds of T’boli Knoon together with other campers to stay for a night. But it wasn’t the highlight yet, because the next day we are heading to Lake Holon.
From the center we were transported riding a dam-truck passing through narrow and not concrete roads. And that was under the not so sweet summertime.
We arrived at Salacafe, a small T’boli village where we were welcomed with Traditional T’boli dance followed by a boodle fight served with boiled okra/lady finger to be dipped in fish sauce with chicken adobo…and of course, rice.
With few instructions and reminders, the Pilgrimage started.
I may not remember the trails we took but I can remember the almost 4-hour sacrificial hike we took from Salacafe. It was too hot to walk with the tropical climate of Philippines. But as we ascend and surrounded by trees, the temperature became a bit cooler. The tiring hike worth it all when I was able to take a peek of Lake Holon from a mountain ridge for a rest. That was only a teaser. The idyllic scene is breathtaking. A large body of water is bordered and guarded by gigantic mountains.
It was still a long walk through more difficult trails while we were descending till we reached the camping site. With lack of sleep, walking under the sun and feeling too tired we hurriedly set up the tent when we arrived in the afternoon and I was knocked down with migraine headache.
I had a deep sleep for an hour or so and woke up to the calmness of the waters of Holon and beauty of the surroundings.
Evening came, rituals were done by the locals and some rested in their own tents. Rain came in the middle of the night maybe to add magic of our one night stay in the territories of Holon.
When the morning rays of the sun greeted us, we even more appreciated Holon until it was time to depart. Its tranquil water is glimmering.
As superstitious belief, it is a must to leave something in the body of waters either something metallic, coins or grain of rice. I went to sit on the edge, throw some coins and made a wish.
I left Lake Holon with a story to tell someday and here I am sharing to you now about majestic Lake Holon, a place I’ll never forget.
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