Sunday, June 28, 2015

Central Mindanao Tour 2015 (SOCCSKSARGEN)

My 7th travel in Mindanao and the place 
never ceases to amaze me... 

It was my second time to join the Journeying James Tours. The first one was in Fortune Island about a week before this tour. Normally, when I go to Mindanao, I travel alone and this tour was the first time I had companions. Traveling alone has its own perks and benefits. But nonetheless, for a change, I decided to join this packaged tour called Lake Sebu and Asik-Asik Falls: Culture, Nature, and Adventure Tour. 

Day 1

just arrived in General Santos

The tour was supposed to start June 11, 2015 at General Santos City. But Faty Jayme and I decided to take the Davao Airport instead of General Santos Airport for the simple reason that it was a lot cheaper. We arrived in Davao 10 pm, flagged a taxi, proceeded to the hotel (P250 only for 12 hours at the D Morvies)) and called it a night. The following morning (June 11, 2015) we went to Ecoland Terminal in Davao and boarded the Yellow Bus Lines to General Santos. Travel time was 3 hours. The fare was P170 and we traveled 131 kilometers. Along the way, we passed Digos and we were just 88 kilometers from General Santos City. Around 8:45 am, we arrived in General Santos and proceeded to SM GenSan. Exactly 9 am, we met Red Chuca and the rest of our fellow travelers.

Pineapple planation
We were fetched by the van and our tour guide that day was Mr. Roy Ungcal. From General Santos, we proceeded to Koronadal City. Travel time to Koronadal is more or less 1 hour or 51 kilometers. Koronadal to Lake Sebu is 41 kilometers.

Along the way, we stopped at the vast pineapple plantation area of DoleFil. From the said area, we were able to see also Mt. Matutum.

souvenir pictures please
We took souvenir pictures and after 15 minutes, continued to our destination.

It was my second time to visit Koronadal. The first time was in 2012.

Tri-people Monument

We headed to Surallah City and stopped at the Tri-people Monument for more souvenir pictures. Then, proceeded to Lake Sebu.

Koronadal to Lake Sebu is 41 kilometers and we endured another 45 minutes of travel.

Lake Lahit
Finally, we reached Lake Sebu and we passed by Lake Lahit. I felt the excitement in the air as we were nearing our hotel. There were only 8 of us who joined this tour and they are Raine, Faty, Gzel, Red, Nilo, Lawrence, Beck and I.

Mountain Log Resort

We were billeted in Mountain Log Resort, one of the best resorts in Lake Sebu, if not the best!

Mountain Log Resort
Contact numbers - 0917-574-6729  / 0926-629-5640 / 0917-8755-498
Tel No. - (045) - 963-2078
Fax - (045) - 961-2681
email -

The view in the resort gave us the thrill to start with the tour. And they served a very sumptuous lunch.

After taking our lunch and resting a bit, we proceeded to Lake Sebu School of Living Traditions. Part of the tour was the cultural interaction with the T' Boli. It was my first time to see the musical instruments, the cultural dance, and the way of life of the T'Boli.

Everybody enjoyed the various presentations of the T'Boli ranging  from playing their musical instruments and their cultural dance presentations.

At the end of the captivating presentation, we took our souvenir picture with the T'Boli.

Thereafter, we proceed to the house of the late Lang Dulay, the revered dream weaver and the living legend. Unfortunately, she passed away a month before our slated visit.

Roy explained thoroughly the process on how to the T'Boli weave their products called T'nalak.

Last stop for the day was at the T'Boli Museum.

Again, Roy explained the history, way of life, and the artifacts of the T'Boli. 

Past 5 pm, we went back to Mountain Log Resort and I waited for the sunset. But it was cloudy that day and I just caught a glimpse of the sunset. Louie Pacardo aka Nomad's Perspective joined us that night at the resort.

Day 2

I woke early the following morning to catch the sunrise but it was cloudy again. Faty and I climbed the tower and waited for the sunrise as it unfolded in the horizon. There was a sea of clouds!

Even though the sunrise was not that spectacular, the view from the tower of Mountain Log Resort was really fascinating. I did not mind seeing the sunrise. I was equally treated with an amazing view of  Lake Sebu.

From the tower, you can have a 360 degree-view of Lake Sebu. 

The Tower
Good thing Mountain Log Resort has this facility and the only resort which has this facility in Lake Sebu.

After watching the sunrise, Faty and I proceeded to the lake to watch the Water Lily and Lotus as they bloom in the morning.

I hired a boat for P100 and we went to the other side of the lake to see the multitude of Lotus plants.

It was my first time to have this experience. My first Lotus encounter!

Falls No. 1
After taking our breakfast, we proceeded to the main attraction. We headed to the seven falls of Lake Sebu! It took us only 15 minutes and we were on Falls No. 1

The highlight of the tour was the twin zipline ride as you hover over Falls No. 3, 4 and 5.

Falls 3, 4, 5
We documented our zipline ride through our various gadgets, action camera and cell phones. It was one awesome experience! My second time to experience the zipline ride of Lake Sebu!

Falls No. 7
After the zipline ride, we trekked Falls No. 7. It took us an hour before reaching our destination. But the effort was worth it! The trek back to the jump-off point was really exacting and taxing.

Falls No. 2
After reaching the jump-off point, we rested a bit and decided to explore Falls No. 2. But only Louie, Nilo, Faty and I joined the quest.

Lake Sebu
We took our lunch at the resto overlooking Falls No. 2. and after lunch headed to Tacurong City. By this time, we were now exchanging stories, jokes, laughs, and having a good time inside the van.

Along the way, we stopped at Sultan Kudarat Provincial Capitol for our souvenir pictures.

After 2 hours, we reached the Baras Bird Sanctuary in Tacurong City.

I have seen the bird sanctuary in Olango, Cebu and Candaba, Pamapanga. But this bird sanctuary is a must-visit bird sanctuary. The place is filled with hundreds of various species of birds.

After the bird watching, we spent the night at Tacurong City 

Day 3

We woke up 3 am, packed, and left the hotel past 3:30 am. Our last and final destination was Barangay Dado, Alamada, North Cotabato. I took us more than 3 hours before reaching Barangay Dado. The road was rugged and not cemented.

We stopped at a local's house and hired our habal-habal ride to the falls. Again, everybody, enjoyed this ride to the falls!

The habal-habal ride was already the adventure!

After 20 minutes, we reached the jump-off point and took our group picture.

Then, the trek to the falls started.

While trekking, we enjoyed the view of North Cotabato.

Good thing the trail was good and it was already cemented.
The 376 steps down to the falls was our second adventure that day.

After walking for nearly 20 minutes, we sighted the falls.

Asik-Asik Falls

Personally, this was the best part of the tour!
I enjoyed the breathtaking view.
I enjoyed the trek.
I enjoyed the cool waters of the falls as we took a swim in the falls.
I enjoyed the lunch.
Most importantly, I saw smiles written on ALL my companions.

I promised myself that I will be back and explore the other falls of Alamada.

Before leaving, another set of souvenir pictures were taken.
Hooray to Asik-Asik Falls!!! =)

After lunch, we headed back to Koronadal City.
In Koronadal City, we took our sumptuous dinner.

Day 4

The following morning we headed towards General Santos Airport. But before the airport, we stopped at famous buko halo-halo of Saravia in Konadal City. Another must-try, must-eat in Mindanao! 

We also stopped to buy pasalubong before proceeding to the airport.

Raine, Nilo and Gzel went to the airport. Beck, Red and Lawrence went to Sarangani. While Faty and I went to Davao. 

We ended our group tour in Central Mindanao. Thanks to JJ Tours. 

Day 5

Our tour in Mindanao was not yet over.

Faty and I went to Paradise Island in the Island Garden City of Samal.

Originally, the plan was river rafting. But last minute, Faty changed the adventure and decided instead to go to Samal. We paid only P200 as entrance fee to the resort.

We enjoyed snorkeling!

We explored the bay of Samal for 2 hours under the heat of the sun.

And we were treated with various specie of fish, corals and marine life. 

Past 12 noon, we headed back to the hotel, fixed ourselves, and went to Davao International airport.


definitely enjoyed our Central Mindanao Tour and our side trip tour to Davao!

Persons who joined the tour
Louie Pacardo
Red Chuca
Raine Gozon
Gzel Dizon
Loreta Baylon (Beck)
Nilo Ilagan Lontoc
Lawrence Alejandre
Faty Jayme
Jun Villegas

Journeying James Tours


  • Explore the 7 Falls in Lake Sebu or 4
  • Ride the Zipline and Hover above the Waterfalls
  • Meet the T'boli Indigenous people of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
  • Meet Lang Dulay, the National Artist for Tnalak Weaving
  • Enjoy a Buffet Meal while cruising the 254 hectare Lake
  • Taste some of the unique Tilapia Dishes
  • Trek the 376-step stairs to the marvelous and geologically-unique natural formation of Asik-Asik Falls, a 60-meter talls and 140-meter wide falls in Almada, North Cotabato
  • Visit the Sanctuary of some 20,000 migratory birds in Baras Bird Sanctuary in Tacurong City
  • Countless Photo Opportunities
For inquiries, please contact JJTours Manager Red Chuca via Viber or text/call +639985523440.