Lake Holon Outlet Adventure 2013: Trekking the Philippines’ Cleanest Lake

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature.  It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.

~Henry David Thoreau

A few days ago I’ve written about an invite to climb and see the Philippines’ Cleanest Lake (read more here), and now I’m back again with aching muscles and an unforgettable experience to chronicle about our 2 day journey to Lake Holon.

Registration and Orientation

The journey started with the usual registration of participants and a briefing and orientation from T’boli MENRO.

Adventure ID

Adventure ID

Lake Holon Orientation

Lake Holon Orientation

From there we proceeded to start our adventure – aboard the municipal dam truck, we’re on for one of the greatest ride of our lives!

Dam Truck Ride

Dump Truck Ride

So brace yourself and here we go! A ride that will surely make you move left, right, down, and avoiding plants and shrubs from hitting you!

Rough Roads

Dump Truck Ride

Start of the Trek

Travel Philippines

Lake Holon Climbers

lake holon invitational climb

At around 10am, the trek started with quite an easy trail, mostly uphill, passing by communities along the way.

lake holon climb

Not far you’ll also pass by a water source for you to refill some of your water containers.

Water Spring

Grow a Tree with Takladtamig

where to go in south cotabato

The Lake Holon experience was made even more memorable because of the unique mountaineering experience brought by Takladtamig’s tree planting activity.


Grow a Tree

Takladtamig is founded by the group called the Friends of Holon and Melibingoy (FHM), a group of independent and solo mountaineers from South Cotabato, South Central Mindanao, Philippines, to organize Takladtamig and to give life to the intention of making Lake Holon and Mt. Melibingoy known as a prime trekking destination while promoting its conservation and reaching out to the communities.

Tree Planting

In every Takladtamig climb, the group aims to meet these three goals:

Takladtamig Grow a Tree

Takladtamig Grow a Tree

  • Grow a Tree
  • Lend a Hand
  • Be Amazed

Continuing with the Adventure

After the activity and some moments of rest, we’re off to continue the journey again.

Not far you’ll be amazed with this stunning overlooking view of the river below while standing on a cliff.

Parker River

Scary for those with fear of heights, but a rewarding experience for adventurers alike.

Mt Parker Overview

The Treacherous Trail in Muddy Grounds

After another trek pause and a light quick lunch, we’re off to continue our path. This time the trail become more challenging – steeper enabling you to at times to lie, crawl and hold tight for you not to slip.


And to make the adventure even more treacherous, the rain poured its hardest,  but the trek must continue coz it’s also starting to get dark.

Rain on Lake

The Rainbow after the Rain : Arrival at Lake Holon

But as they say, there’s always a rainbow after the rain. This time though there were no literal rainbows, but the majestic view of Lake Holon that awaits you upon arrival is surely a reward worth all the hard work.

tboli lake holon

Silen Water

Morning View of Lake Holon

The scenic view was even made more pronounced when the sun came rising the following day.

lake south cotabato

Sparkling clean water (that you could even drink just make sure you’ll get it near the mid part of the lake), luscious green, and a cool and humid atmosphere – indeed a perfect getaway to calm one’s soul and mind after a week long of work.



South Cotabato Boating

Outlet of Holon



South Cotabato Adventure

Lake Holon Outlet

Lake Holon Outlet

Friends of Holon

Friends of Holon

Lake Holon

I’m sure you could see from the photos the peacefulness they exude. If only it would be easier to get back here, I surely would every once in a while. Maybe someday if they devised a zipline from the ground up here. Hahaha!

Lake Holon Flora and Fauna

Apart from the majestic lake, you’ll also see these various flora and fauna native here in Lake Holon.

Lake Holon Flower

Lake Holon Centipede - You'll see a lot of creatures like this in the area!

Lake Holon Centipede – You’ll see a lot of creatures like this in the area!

Philippine Flower

Wild berries

Wild berries



The Trek Home

The whole trail runs for a total of 7 kilometers.

And on the way home, we thought we’d all be dry but the weather prove us otherwise again.


Travel South Cotabato

Lucky this time we’re with our rain coats!

Celebrating the Mountaineer’s Night

And to end the adventure, a mountaineer’s night awaits.

Adventuroj Brand

Here climbers from around South Cotabato got to know each other more, with a message from Sir Doms, certificate giving, lovely tshirts, and of course the most awaited foooooddd (that really goes appreciated when you’ve been from the mountains). Haha!

Lake Holon Outlet Adventure 2013 Participants

Lake Holon Outlet Adventure 2013 Participants

Until next time Lake Holon! Thanks for another adventure!

2013 Lake Holon Outlet Adventure Invitation Climb

You probably had been to South Cotabato, but I’m sure you haven’t had a chance to visit this spot yet – none other than the Lake Holon.

Lake Holon

Lake Holon: The Philippines’ Cleanest Lake

Nestled on the mountains of T’boli, South Cotabato, as the caldera lake of the famed Mt. Parker, Lake Holon is considered as the Philippines’ Cleanest Lake.

It is said to be so clean that you can drink water from it while swimming.

Lake HolonAt 1400 MASL, the water is also so cold, but even then, you will desire to swim for that rare moment when you will feel as if you were in some scene in “Crouching Tiger / Hidden Dragon”.

Surrounded by mountaintops and a virgin forest, it is so secluded and peaceful, even to the point they said that you will not be surprised if a dinosaur sprung out of the forests.

An Invite to Trek this Natural Wonder

Lake Holon Outlet

Lake Holon Outlet

So when I received an invite from the tourism department of T’boli, I instantly said yes!

The itchy feet couldn’t resist this chance of a lifetime!

Lake Holon Itinerary

Here’s the itinerary for the said trip, registration fee is ONLY 350php inclusive of tshirt, transpo and 1 dinner meal:

Lake Holon Climb

March 8, 9, 10, 2013

March 8 (Friday) DAY 1

8:00AM-4:00PM – Arrival of Participants/Registration
Tourism/Information Office
4:00PM-5:00PM – Fetch Tents Besides Tourism Office
5:00PM-6:00PM – Dinner Preparation
6:00PM-9:00PM – Free Time
9:00PM-Beyond – Lights Off

March 9 (Saturday) DAY 2 –

5:00AM-6:00AM – Wake up call/Coffee Time
6:00AM-7:00AM – Breakfast
7:00AM-8:00AM – Fixed Tent/Gear up
8:00AM-9:00AM – Orientation c/o MENRO
Jump off Poblacion to Barangay Salacafe
9:00AM-10:00AM – Arrival (Barangay Salacafe)
10:00AM-10:30AM – To Sitio Nabul
10:30AM-2:00PM – Trekking to Holon Outlet
2:00PM-5:00PM – Fetch Tent/Photo Ops
5:00PM-7:00PM – Dinner Preparation
7:00PM-9:00PM – Mountainers’ Way
9:00PM-Beyond – Ligths Off/Be considerate to other Mountaineers

March 10 (Sunday) DAY 3

5:00AM-6:00AM – Coffee time
6:00AM-7:00AM – Breakfast Preparation
7:00AM-8:00AM – Trek to outlet downstream
Going to Landslide Area
8:00AM-10:00AM – Photo Ops/See the Destruction Made by 2001 Earthquake
That causes a flashflood that affected some part of the
Province of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato along Allah
10:00AM-12:00N – Still on Landslide Area
12:00N-1:00PM – Lunch
1:00PM-2:00PM – Trek Back to Campsite
2:00PM-5:00PM – Break Camp/Pack up Logistics
Trek Back to Barangay Salacafe
5:00PM-6:00PM – Transportation (Salacafe-Poblacion)
6:00PM-7:00PM – Fetch Tent/Washed up
7:00PM-12:00MN – Giving of Certificates/Dinner
Mountaineers Night

March 11 (Monday) – “HOME SWEET HOME”

Lake Holon Trivia

Lake Holon was said to have been formed by a volcanic eruption on Jan. 4, 1641. At this time, the mountain was called Melibongoy. Centuries later, a n American surveyor pilot named Parker crashed in the mountain, and since then, the mountain has been named in his honor.

Looking forward to this! Kita kits!