Then I concluded, if the habal-habal were to flip over, we'll all go down with it. Fo sho.
Before we knew it, we were at the jump-off point.
Lunch, after being unfastened from our habal-habal, was served straight away. And we began our trek when everybody licked their styros clean.
The supposed two-hour trek on our itinerary was stretched to four. No, not because we ventured into further territory. But because some of us, myself included, got too preoccupied with our huffing and puffing (I must have asked "Are we there yet?" a dozen times). And well... Also because of our countless stops for pitcher plants, stick insects, wild berries, endemic flowers, tall trees and vines waiting to strangle unsuspecting trekkers.
How easily were we amused. We giggled all the way from Brgy. Salacafe through sleepy Sitio Nabol up until Kutong Busaw (1,500 MASL) — the view point for Lake Holon where we laid our weary bones under the roof of an open cottage that had seen better days.
The weather was more than ideal. And I called it, 'tent weather'.
The camp site was newly cleared and the scent of freshly slashed wild grass was still lingering in the air. We quickly dumped our backpacks in tents pitched for us by the support team. While the others climbed aboard wooden canoes, I sat on a rock. I watched them drift away. My mind too, drifted to far-flung places
Lake Holon reflected the sky that magically cleared.
I suddenly thought of the trek back the day after and how much more difficult it would be for me. Cause this... This is a sight that's hard to walk away from.
How to get to Mt. Melibingoy/Mt. Parker:
The municipality of T'boli, South Cotabato is about an hour and a half drive from General Santos City. Or forty-five minutes by public transport from Koronadal City/Marbel.
Mt Melibingoy/Mt. Parker hike can be arranged through the tourism office located near T'boli's municipal hall (just off the Surallah-T'boli Road).
Trip begins with a forty-five to one hour habal-habal (motorcycle) ride from the municipality center to the jump-off at Brgy. Salacafe. Part of the ride is on unpaved, bumpy road and weaves through banana farms.
Trek to Lake Holon/Lake Maughan via Salacafe trail takes about three to four hours. Remember to arrange for pick up the next day, it could be difficult to get a ride back.
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