Lake Sebu is a first class municipality in the South Cotabato and it has three lakes within its boundaries – Lake Sebu, Lake Seloton, and Lake Lahit. It is a humble town of Tboli people with its rich culture and natural resources. It’s kind of being in a state of development in eco-tourism since multiple hotels and amenities are sprouting in the municipality. However, our experience in our home stay there was unique and I think it is one of the best places to be in Lake Sebu.
School of Living Traditions, or also known as SLT, is a humble homestay for backpackers and travelers who love to immerse into the Tboli culture. It is a long house made of natural resources and designed with the Tboli culture. This place will definitely let you experience the real Tboli way.
Our experience was magnificent. We arrived in the homestay on a rainy afternoon and the place was so cold. Granting that the long house was made of nipa, it was really cold. Good thing that they provide a comfortable bed and warm beddings that could warm up the temperature. By the way, School of Living Traditions is a shared homestay. You don’t get your own privacy that much but the good thing is, you get to meet new people and share stories and experiences. In our case, we met a lovely and pretty backpacker from Bacolod, Marisol.
We stayed there for a night without electricity – for some reasons the power was down that time – which intensified our Tboli experience.
We were served with some Tboli food for dinner talong kinilaw (I actually don’t know the term), chicken adobo and leaf-wrapped rice. It was surprisingly delicious. And in the morning, we had tortang talong, sugar canes and (I really forgot what we ate that morning haha). I love the authenticity and freshness of the food. We were served with a lot of eggplants that made me think that they really do love eggplants. Haha lol. Unfortunately, we were not served with tilapia because they ran out of stock. But it’s fine, we had a lot during our Lake Holon adventure.
School of Living Traditions has these traditional instruments where we got the chance to learn and play with it. It was really fun playing with the drums and kulintang because when you thought that it would be easy, but it’s actually not! Haha! The kids of Maria Todi, the owner, were masters of the instruments and they taught us how to do it. It is hard but it’s fun. And when you finally got the beat after few minutes of learning, it was indeed fulfilling and fun.
We spent the night with Tboli stories and how rich the culture is. I was just mesmerized the fact that I am currently living the Tboli way that time. My sleep was so comfortable. I didn’t know if I sang in a choir but I really had one good sleep.
Our Lake Sebu experience would not be as amazing as it was if we haven’t stayed in School of Living Traditions. It’s a cultural immersion that needs to be indulged when visiting the place for a cheap price.
It’s been more than a month since I’ve visited the highlands of TBoli, South Cotabato and writing about this makes me miss the experience.
HOW TO GET THERE?
From General Santos City, you can ride a bus to Marbel Terminal, Koronadal City. From there, you can ride a van to Surallah Terminal, South Cotabato. Afterward, you can ride a van to Lake Sebu directly.
In our case, we went to Lake Holon first before Lake Sebu. From Tboli, South Cotabato, we rode a van to Surallah Terminal, then rode a van to Lake Sebu.
Fare TBoli to Surallah Terminal – P30
Fare Surallah Terminal to Lake Sebu – P40
School of Living Traditions – P350 (with breakfast)
Dinner at SLT contribution – P60
Total = P480.00
Note: The expenses listed does not include the other places we’ve been in Lake Sebu and it will be included in the next blog post.
School of Living Traditions
Sitio Lambanig, Barangay Poblacion, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
Maria “Oyog” Todi
0935 456 9359