Solo Backpacking: Lake Holon

Here’s for my second leg of adventure in Lake Holon. Nyay! 😀


Originally, I planned to post to make a draft that is only good for one post. Then, suddenly, I found myself reminiscing all the memories, small and big details alike until I realized, one post isn’t good enough. Hah! So here’s for my second treat. First one if here. 😉

I ended my last post with me reaching the view deck where one could see the small portion of the Lake Holon. I was literally expecting much of a view. However, if you would wish for better view from Lake Holon, you would better chose Kule trail rather than the Monkey’s trail. It’s a man-made trail and more challenging according to the locals.

From the view deck, you’re more likely to descend more. Guess, that 30-minute descend wasn’t the one to underestimate. Mind you, my knees were trembling as we descended down the lake. All thanks to the concrete stairs on the final leg, my suffering seemed to end. 😀

Thanked God, in 30-minute time and at around 3 pm, the majestic Lake Holon welcomed me! Arrgh! ❤ <3<3

It's been a week now, yet the astonishment remained the same. #Whenintboli

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I immediately never let my exhaustion drain my energy away. I was re-charged in no time. HAHA So I put my bag in an open cabin, went down to the lake and treat myself with a fish foot spa. 😀

Unlimited fish spa. #Whenintboli

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Oh please forgive my size-ten feet 😛 They’ll surely enjoy eating off my dead skin cells. 😀 Good thing, they’re really quick to start their mission.

Mt. Parker of formerly known as Mt. Melibingoy as the background. 😉

When I arrived, lots of campers were already staying there for days. It wasn’t much crowded, though a group of students doing games and religious groups singing their worships filled in the quite atmosphere of the lake.

One thing I’ve noticed, when you’re within lake’s premises, it seemed like the clock would stop counting. I thought it was getting late, but the fact was, it wasn’t an hour over yet since I arrived, but I felt like I was already staying there for hours.

After my foot spa with the fish, I decided to roam around. The place was very solemn, thus an ideal place for pilgrimage.


I caught some one visitor with two locals paddling a wooden boat around the lake.DSC_0160

Others seemed to enjoy fishing around the corner.


Or just simply doing touristy things. 🙂


And of course, since it was too early for dinner and before it would be too late to swim, I decided to take a plunge. 😀 😀



Nah! You wouldn’t be allowed to swim without a life vest wrapped around you. So that’s a perfect excuse for me to wear one aside from my poor swimming skills. HAHA  Yoo could rent one for P50 inclusive one day usage. Since I arrived late in the afternoon, my life vest rental would be up until the next day.

I maximize my time trying to do diving. Nya! 😛

This is why my chest is flat. 😂😂😀 #Divefaceon (c) my tour guide

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That’s the perks when you had an exclusive tour guide. When your alone and so the exclusivity with your tour guide. She could join you around, take your photos, videos and helped you everything with what you need. Oh I missed the girl.

It was getting darker and so I decided to prepare our dinner. There was a free-flowing water near the cabin and adjacent to it was the comfort room. Thus, there was an easy access to the water source.

Hah! Now, here’s the catch. I never knew I was the one responsible for the guide’s meal. So technically, the food I’d bought and prepared were only good for myself. :/ Too selfish. Nyay!

Fortunately, a group of hikers whom pitched their hammocks inside the open cabin had their extra fresh tilapias (Yep, you could ask a local to catch tilapias for you in P50) and generous enough to give me some. HAHA I was like super doomed at the moment but hey, it’s bad to refuse food so I took few of them anyway, just for my guide’s sake. 😀 😀

As the night started to fall and the wind breeze getting colder, I enjoyed myself chitchatting with some strangers. It was a really cool idea to know where these strangers came from, what they do and in return, got an invitation to Bakngeb Cave River the next day.

Then when night falls..

It ain't a paint. It's a moonlit. #Whenintboli #wheninholon #moonlight

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A undeniably beautiful reflection to the lake from moon’s light made as all awake. No amount of camera would truly reflect the beauty we had witnessed that night. The rest, was all of course, remained history.

The next morning, I woke up having this view. ❤ Who wouldn’t fall in love all over again?


It was my second day and I woke up sleeping inside the tent. I went ahead, cooked our breakfast and spent the last-minute splashing down the lake and chitchats with the locals. There, they told me what happened. What happened in Lake Holon, stayed in Holon. 😉


Eugene, two of the guides and Geraldine, my tour guide

The wind made me feel so cold so I opted for a fish spa instead. We random chitchats and I, at the same time, captured this rare moment from a guy catching fishes using his fishing instrument (a pana, tirador or whatever-you-may-call-it maybe). 🙂


Getting back to the cabin, we ate our breakfast and I decided to have my assault on 9 am instead of 12 noon. It was still a three-hour trek back to Sitio Saclafe and I might be seeing my colleagues who would be trekking to Lake Holon that day.

After then, I fixed all my things and made sure to bring all my trashed with me. Leave no trace is rule here!

I bid them goodbye and it was like my separation anxiety level went up. I missed them! Aside from doing me a great favor a night before, talking to the locals, knowing how accommodating and understanding they were in my situation, boost my great appreciation and respect for the entire T’boli community. It was such a nice feeling how people, though living in a secluded area, would turn out to be the most open-minded people. Ah! I wouldn’t have this experience in any another way.



One of the storytellers of the 15 warriors in Lake Holon/Lake Maughan

Adios Holon! 😭

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We then started to hike. Thanked God the trek was far more relaxed than the previous day since it’s more on descend rather than ascend. Along the trail, saw numbers of visitors (they’re expecting 500 visitors on that day alone)experiencing the same level of difficulty as I had the day prior. Me and my tour guide, instead, chose to tell them they’re almost there then I would hear them say YES! 🙂

At 12 noon, we reached the receiving area at Sitio Saclafe. I thanked my guide and defended her the best way I could. My conscience was finally cleared by then. The girl wouldn’t have to worry at all.

I figured out my colleagues in mountaineering didn’t arrived yet. I wait a little more until 1. Then I saw a big truck with loads of people aboard. There they were. 😀


I asked them for photo before heading back to Davao- all alone. One of the locals contacted a habal-habal driver, gave me her phone number and went straight to T’boli proper. The challenge wasn’t over yet, however. For almost one hour, We were soaked by rain water as the rain fell hardest mid-trip. Along with the rain was the road the rider chose. It was more difficult, more bumpy but said to be the short cut. Nah I never mind at all.

Fortunately, I still had extra clothes with me so I hadn’t to let my soaked clothes to dry while aboard. I changed immediately as soon as we reached the terminal while the driver was kind enough to look for a van for me. Before I go, I thanked him and handed over P300 for his hardwork for the past hour.

Inside the van, it was a bit congested. I sat near the main door, so every there’s a dropped off, I had to awaken myself all over again. The next thing I knew, I was already at the Marbel. Hah! Time fly so fast when you’re sleeping (I hope Id didn’t drool 😀 ).

Then I was bound from Marbel to General Santos when an epic thing happened. I was too drowsy and exhausted when I handed my payment to the bus conductor. I knew it was 1k and I didn’t bother to ask to a change and went back to sleep instead. When we reached General Santos around 5 pm, I immediately came down the bus and went straight to buy pastel– when I realized my change wasn’t in my pocket yet.

So much of my surprise that I felt like all my nerves had awaken. I went back to where I dropped off and thanked God, the bus conductor was all over there, looking for the passenger who had left the change. Nyahaha!

After then, my whole trip to Davao went on smoothly until I arrived at 10 pm. Good God, I still had 5 hours before my shift started. The feeling’s never going away up until this writing! ❤

So I hope you did enjoy the quirks and perks of doing solo backpacking. I hope I’ll be doing this more and more in the future.

Until next then! ❤


Itinerary (from Lake Holon to Davao)

9:00 – 12:00 – Lake Holon to Sitio Salacafe

  • getting my P200 deposit for showing trash/garbages

14:00 – 15:00 – Sitio Saclafe to T’boli Proper

  • P300 transportation fee

15:00 – 16:00 – T’boli Proper – Marbel via van (Direct to T’boli) (P60)

16:00- 17:00 – Marbel to General Santos City (P95-p150) P95 for using my student ID 🙂

17:00-22:00- Gen San to Davao (P180-P200) P180 for using my student ID 🙂


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