#MindaNOWorNever: Lake Sebu - part 1

12:03:00 AM

Well, okay, it’s placid, but nothing like the movie! Haha! I’m talking about Lake Sebu in South Cotabato. Hannah and I went there during our #MindaNOWorNever adventure. I’ve already written about each of our stops (there were even some places that I had to write two posts for), so imagine my surprise to realise almost two years later that I hadn’t written anything about Lake Sebu! This is especially odd, considering this is one of my favorite places in Mindanao. 

It’s a good thing I have all the pictures, and everything about my experience there is seared in my memory. Lake Sebu is in the highlands of South Cotabato, within the Alah Valley region. Aside from being one of the country’s most important watersheds, Lake Sebu is the home of the T’Boli and Uno tribes. Hannah and I visited the museum and that’s where we got to play dress-up in traditional T’Boli royalty garb:
Nanay Alice, the museum guide, also played two traditional instruments for us during our visit - the two-string guitar and the kumintang (gongs). As we sat and listened to their music, I couldn’t help but wonder how many Filipinos know of this other facet of our culture. The Spaniards and the Americans have almost completely wiped out our identity as a country and as a people, and these traces are all we really have left.
The sign

Weaving is another big part of the T’Boli culture. The T’Nalak, the sacred cloth woven from mature fibers of abaca, is one of the municipality’s most popular crafts. The T’Nalak is woven by “dreamweavers,” and the last one, Lang Dulay, passed away in 2015 - just a few months before our visit. Lang Dulay weaves designs based on patterns revealed to her in her dreams by the goddess Fu Dalu. When we went there, we met her granddaughter, who is continuing the tradition. 
Lang Dulay 
Passing on the legacy
We stayed in Mountain Log Resort, which was recommended by the other Hannah (Dumaguete Hannah!). I loved it there! The staff was accommodating and very helpful. The rooms were clean and comfortable, so we slept soundly. Their food was amazing and insanely cheap. And they also had videoke so of course I sang a couple of songs while waiting for dinner - just for kicks! 
Traveling singer
Breakfast view
(To be continued)


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