If there’s one thing that made me say yes on going trekking all the way to Lake Holon, it’s the fact that I have never encountered a full time trek my entire life. And for that reason I kind of want to kick myself because even though I like outdoor adventures, trekking is not my cup of tea. Nonetheless, I give myself a big big pat on the back for doing this. So if you are not a big fan of trekking but still want to push it through, you might wanna grab a pen and paper and jot down my simple tips and tricks on how to survive trekking to Lake Holon.
BEFORE THE TREK REMINDERS:
First things first, you have to register at T’boli’s local Department of Tourism office and choose which trail to take. Now, this part is crucial! There are basically two trails (both takes 4 hours maximum of trekking depending on your walk) going to Lake Holon, the easy trail and the hard trail. Here’s the catch, the easy trail which is Sitio Lacafe or Nabol trail has 11 stations BUT there’s no view deck where you can view the whole Lake Holon 4,700 ft. above sea level while on the hard trail, which is Kule trail; there’s a 7 HARD ups and downs but oh so worth it because you’ll witness the breath taking view of the said Lake.
P.S. The head assigned in DOT can be a bit straight forward since he will evaluate if you can take a certain trail or not. P.P.S. He will tell you stories about how many people fainted and that will surely make you cringe. But, don’t fret! If you know deep within your heart you’re not capable of the hard trail, just take the easy trail. After all you can still see the Lake itself and that’s fine. Maybe you’ll get to trek Sitio Kule next time and see the whole Lake Holon from the View deck soon.
So, from the Department of Tourism office of T’boli, you will have to take a motorcycle who will then take you to your chosen trail. From there you will then have an orientation about the do’s and don’ts about everything by the locals from T’boli and there you will meet your tour guide. Personally, we had the best tour guide. During the trek, he keeps on telling us stories about the history of Mt. Parker, Lake Holon and whatnot to keep us entertained and somewhat ease our moods from walking. Kudos to Kuya!
TIPS & TRICKS ABOUT TREKKING AND ETCETERA:
Here are some tips on how I survived the four hour uphill and downhill trek:
- Exercise before hand. If you haven’t trekked your entire life, I suggest jogging everyday for a week . This is like a warm up of what you’ll be getting during the trek. And it surprisingly helps, in my case though.
- Hire a Porter. If you have extra money please do hire a porter to carry your things. Not only you’re giving work to the locals, you are also saving yourself from extreme back pain. Unless you can manage a 7 or more kilo of bag then you’re good to go. (The locals price: 20 Pesos per Kilo)
- Get the STICK! My friends keep on mocking me every time I tell them to rent a stick! I kid you not, the stick played a huge part of me getting to Lake Holon. Especially on the downhill part of Kule Trail, you will definitely need a STICK for petes sake. (The locals price: 20 Pesos per Stick)
- Wear proper Shoes. Albeit, I didn’t wore an actual hiking shoes (It’s my first and probably the last time to hike so I didn’t bothered buying one), I wish I did since the trail can be steep at times and my Rosche isn’t the best choice of footwear during the trek to be honest.
- Wear proper Attire. In my case, a HAT, a swimming top inside, a black lose shirt and long tights worked for me. Since you’ll be getting a lot of sweat what’s the point of looking fancy right?
- BRING WATER FOR HYDRATION. This is self explanatory! Though I don’t drink much during the trek since it can trigger stomach pain, I make sure to hydrate myself from time to time a little amount of water 10 mins before trekking again.
- Only bring canned goods. This is a no brainer! But my friends brought this canned paella and it was the most convenient thing ever! Never thought it worked just fine with my stomach. Yay!
- BRING THERMALS IF POSSIBLE. What Miel? Thermals? Well, in my case I should have brought one since the atmosphere in Lake Holon at night can be very ‘chilly’. By chilly, I mean straight to the bone chilly kinda way. And you bet, our ‘malongs’ didn’t suffice if you are wondering. At least bring a thick jacket, sweater, socks and something that can cover your body from the cold. Trust me on this! I am serious with the hermals! Plus it’s not heavy unlike a blanket.
- BRING PORTABLE FOAM. If the extreme back pain from trekking isn’t much for you, then try laying down on your tents rocky floor for a night. We didn’t brought a foam to protect our backs, so we did suffered the whole night. Lol. But if you can bring a handy foam with you, please do take it with you.
- Bring portable chargers. Did I mention they don’t have electricity there? But yeah, you have to juice up your power bank because Lake Holon has zero electricity. But nah, you’ll only use your phones camera and music most of the time since there’s no service in the said place. Haha! Time for some contemplating dear.
- Bring your bestest friends. Or your Squad Goals? Having someone you can relate to whilst trekking all the way to Lake holon can be less tiring. It’s like you have your support buddy with you pushing you all the way up literally to reach the next station. Also, that’s a good way to really know one another. That’s what I think though, In worst times you will really know how genuine a person is. And I think you’ll encounter bumps during the trek. Well, for me atleast. Lol
Enjoy the moment! Admit it, we are not getting any younger and as a “millenial” I need to rekindle my younger years where there’s less technology and more outdoor activity. I mean, I am honestly a social media freak and you have no idea how shamingly worried I am for not having any service in the location. As cliche as it may seem, being one with nature gave me a few realizations in life. ‘Live More’ are the words in my head allthroughout the trekking. I mean, I would love to look back on my younger years and say to myself, “Damn Miel. You freakin’ trekked that!” And that’s what I am kind of aiming in life. Being able to hoard memories. So, set aside instagram, well maybe take a few Instagram worthy photos and just live the moment and enjoy what the world has to offer! 😉
Receiving area in Sitio Kule.
Traditional T’boli attire.
T’boli locals striking a pose! Yay
Trying to keep up with our guide, but he’s a walking machine. Haha
View from a certain station overseeing the Sitio Kule.
View deck from the 4th Station over looking the whole Lake Holon & Mt. Parker! Surreal
Since it was a week day, we have the place for ourselves. Usually the place is jam-packed by tourists during weekends. Best decision to go on a weekday!
Waiting for the Sun to set.
So, a few tourists decided to show up.
Bone fire minus S’mores plus Michael Bublé jamming.
The sun rising was a surreal moment.
My Lake Holon trek buddies! It was fun bonding with you guys!!! 🙂