One of the things I have always loved about travelling is knowing how rich the culture of a certain place is. December of last year, the tourism of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato invited over Bloggers and Media to have a few days stay in the said place. The farthest I’ve been to South Cotabato is I think the time I trekked my heart out to Lake Holon. I’ve always been curious about the other side of South Cotabato; the side where there is culture, the side where there are stories to tell, the side where there are local T’bolis who preserved their ancestral homes and the side where the land of dreamweavers live.
Three days and Two nights staying over in Lake Sebu, I can honestly say how light hearted, welcoming and genuine T’bolis are. During our first day, we devoured the best of Lake Sebu’s delicacies in Boi Henwu; a floating boat that goes around Lake sebu for an hour. Isn’t that amazing? It’s like having the best of both worlds – great view and good food! Couldn’t it get any better? After the hearty lunch we had, it’s time to do touristy things! First on our list is a visit to School of Living Tradition. During our short stay there, a number of young and old local T’bolis were there to give us knowledge about their culture, policies and even showed us their dance moves which has a relevant meaning to their tribe.
Day two is my favorite! Itinerary was jam-packed from viewing 4 out of the 7 majestic water falls in Lake Sebu. We got to see the two Falls through riding the zip line, mind you guys, that was the very first time I ever tried zip lining and it was amazing and quite fast too! Haha. After the zip line experience we get to try wearing the T’boli’s local costume which was really cool if you ask me. Then came lunch time, we dined in Bob Nowong, a very modern restaurant in Lake Sebu where they showcased the best of what the place can offer. My personal fave was the Chicken in herbs and Squash Soup! Yum! After the great food we devoured, we get to visit more T’boli local houses and observed how they weave and how thet come up with certain patterns.
The Land of Dreamweavers is not just a branding tag line that the tourism made up for the tourists to be curious in a way. According to Sir Zhaun Agabe and a T’boli tour guide, In order for a T’boli woman to come up with a pattern; the goddess of abaca, Fu Dalu, must visit them in their dreams and guide them on how to create patterns and designs on the abaca such as bankirig (hair bangs), bulinglangit (clouds), and the kabangi (butterfly). As a result, a T’nalak cloth is created. Also, it may seem easy to you but the weaving process of it takes months to make! They work through manual mode with their weaving machine for weeks. And for the price of a single cloth they make, I think for effort, they should get more than what they price for weaving, tying and dying for days. The tourism really immensed us with so much knowledge about Lake Sebu – that its very rich in culture, they preserved their ancestral homes very well, adventure for the thrill seekers can be found there and its not chaotic as what people would perceive it. It’s like the chill-est place I’ve been to next to Coron, Palawan.
In Lake Sebu, the dreamers are the storytellers. Dreamers that are lucky enough to be chosen to be visited by spirits. They are the ones responsible for creating culture, history and beauty through their crafts.