I’m a big fan of Ed Sheeran and it has always been a dream to be able to watch him perform live on stage. I could always picture myself crying over “Supermarket Flowers” and headbanging to “Don’t” and“Eraser”. Oh, forget “Perfect” and all those mainstreamed songs of him. He’s more than that. So imagine what a fool I’ve been for rejecting a ticket for his concert last April. Twice. The first offer was of lower price plus a pass for Lany’s concert while the other one was care of a college barkada. Such memorable experience to miss. But life happened: I was broke as hell and emotionally unstable. At the back of my mind, I have long convinced myself that there would be other concerts coming. Hopefully.
Growing up from a poor family and not always getting what I want, allowed me to settle that some dreams may rest at the back of my mind and wait for fate to take part of its realization, even if it would take years (or never at all). This is the reason why I easily move on with life: if it’s not meant to be, then it’s not meant to be. However, unknowingly, there are some dreams that don’t die. Forgotten, but never dead.
The Land of the Dream Weavers
It was past twelve in the afternoon when one of these dreams began to unfold – to visit Lake Sebu. After that butt-cracking ride to and fro Sitio Kule, Tboli, we decided to proceed to its nearby town, Lake Sebu.
True to its name, the center of the town’s economic activity surrounds on its lake. It was quite funny because we all thought that Lake Sebu refers to a single tourist spot, where people go, take photos, and then ride again on the van then off they go; hence, the placard “Lake Sebu” was placed on the windshield of the van from Sullarah. But man, it refers to the town! HAHAHA. So imagine how knotted our foreheads were when upon arriving at the town’s terminal, where we were welcomed by tour operators (aka habal-habal drivers) who offered several packages minus Lake Sebu. I mean, we came for the famous lake, not for those other things.
Later did it sink to us that we can just view the lake anywhere in town; in fact, there are three lakes to choose from for that matter. HAHAHAHA. (Pagbigyan, may jetlag pa sa two hour bumpy and butt-cracking habal-habal ride).
When our minds finally cleared, a short discussion about our trip to Lake Sebu was presided for our destination taking into consideration the limited time we have. To touch down the religious, socio-cultural, historical, and environmental sides of Lake Sebu, we decided to visit the following places:
Divine Mercy Chapel
Anak ng kambing na may bangs! Here I thought we’re done with all those habal-habal stunts and then there goes the familiar uphill exhibition again as we go to Divine Mercy Chapel. Sa totoo lang, ano ba’ng pinaglalaban ng mga driver na ‘to? HAHAHA. Jewk. When we arrived at the chapel grounds, we were welcomed by their receptionist who gave a short input about the place and its dos and don’ts – highlighting on not taking wacky photos and the imposition of wearing of skirts.
Goodness, imagine how funny we look: drifit shirt, leggings, trek shoes, and… yellow skirts. Nonetheless, the trip to Divine Mercy Chapel pave spiritual, thanks to the short encounter and interaction we had with the workers there who shared their experiences of divine intercession.
Boi Lang Dulay Weaving Center
Several years back, Mme. G visited Boi Lang Dulay Weaving Center as part of their youthful adventures. Back then, she didn’t know the existence of the famous “Dreamweaver” Lang Dulay. After having heard of her, thanks to the National Living Treasures (GAMABA) recognition, part of plan was to finally meet the legend. Sadly, she passed away three years prior to our visit. Still, we couldn’t miss such rare opportunity to see with our eyes the making of t’nalak – a traditional hand-woven cloth made of abaca fibers consisting of red, black and natural abaca colors.
Fortunately, we met her granddaughter who was overseeing the production in the center and was able to learn more about some of their unique tradition (such of their dowry system, tribe council, and education practices). It was very tempting to buy a whole set of their costume, however, P40,000 is no joke. HAHAHA. Why that much? The intricacy of their accessories covering from brass belt, woven-bead jewels, and t’nalak cloth will prove you that it’s no easy labor. My family’s supplying and making fashion accessories for years abroad, and believe me, it’s no joke to make those beaded bracelets and anklets.
I’m a frustrated musician; hence, Ed Sheeran. So it was yet a dream come true to finally be able play kulintang; that if you call it playing – forcing an octave on a pentatonic scale. HAHAHAHA.
Seven Waterfalls of Lake Sebu
Ang tanda ko na, I said to myself when we reached the seven waterfalls. Long time ago, I have always dreamt of ziplining above the majestic waterfalls of Lake Sebu. But sparks die when we reached the place. Or probably, we were just too exhausted with the activities on the past two days. We just settled on watching Albert Martinez and his military escorts enjoying such adventure before finally concluding the day.
I would have wanted to try that lake cruise and get that “paddling-around-water-lilies at Lake Sebu” photo opportunity. However, we were informed that such activity was only available from 5 to 7 in the morning, when they are in their full bloom. I didn’t sulk much though. For me, the mere fact that I was able to visit the place was more than worth the butt-cracking ride. Who would have thought that somebody who spent most of her Sunday morning watching John Fier’s “Let’s Fiesta”, would be able to finally visit the places he has been to? Back then, I would always question the possibility of being able to visit these places – a dream waiting to happen. And then fate finally gave in. Indeed, great things come to those who wait. So Ed Sheeran, wait for me. HAHA.
Lake Sebu Budget Breakdown and Sample Itinerary
- 1:30pm – 2:00pm – Van from Surallah to Lake Sebu (P45.00)
- 2:00pm – 2:10pm – Orientation and Registration at the Terminal (Toursim)
- 4:00pm – Lake Sebu Tour (Divine Mercy Chapel, Lang Dulay Weaving Center, Tboli Museum, and Seven Waterfalls) – P500/ habal-habal (excluding entrance fees)
- 4:30pm – Lake Sebu to Marbel (P80.00)
- 5:30pm – Marbel to General Santos