After flying almost 200 meters above ground through Lake Sebu’s Seven Falls Zipline, we huffed and puffed our way to the park’s second waterfall. The path was easy enough but adrenaline was still pumping through our blood. After a few minutes, a sheer rock wall lined with layers of time led to the 70-foot Hikong Bente waterfalls. It was almost the end of our Lake Sebu tour and all our weariness of riding the habal-habal motorbike all day seemed worth it.
|HIKONG ALO, THE FIRST WATERFALL WITH A HEIGHT OF 35 FEET|
I have read a lot about the Seven Falls Zipline and the famed seven waterfalls of Lake Sebu but I actually have no idea how we would proceed about it. Do we have to hike from one falls to another like at Negros Occidental’s Seven Falls of Mabukal, do we see all the seven waterfalls by riding one zipline, or do we actually zip from one waterfall to the next?
It turned out to be a combination of the three.
|HIKONG ALO FROM A CONCRETE BRIDGE SPANNING THE STREAM THAT IT PRODUCES|
The first waterfalls, dubbed as Hikong Alo—which literally means passage falls in T’boli—can be reached by walking less than five minutes from the park’s ticket gates. It was quite accessible so it was easily the most popular of the seven. We actually saw some visitors going back to the exit right after taking a photo of the falls since the second, Hikong Bente (immesurable falls), can only be seen either via a 774-step path or taking the zipline.
|THE 7 FALLS ZIPLINE STARTING POINT|
And of course, we didn’t want to hike. We paid the requisite fees and strapped down for the zipline. The ride is said to be the highest and longest one in the Philippines. It soars 180 meters from the ground and 300 meters from the sea level, Lake Sebu being situated rather high itself.
|THE VIEW FROM ABOVE|
Guests are set Superman-style and the 740-meter ride lasts for about 40 seconds long (well, depending on how heavy or light you are) from the second waterfalls to the fifth one (you actually just pass hundreds of feet above them). We were allowed to bring our cameras with us, at our own risk, of course, and we were glad we risked it. The view of the lush forest below dropping down to the basins of the third (Hikong B’lebed or zigzag falls), fourth (Hikong Lowig or booth falls) and fifth (Hikong K’foi or wild flower falls) were literally breathtaking.
|APPROACHING THE END OF THE FIRST ZIPLINE|
Unfortunately, it was finished as soon as it started. It was way too short, really! We literally didn’t know where to crane our necks since the view was simply astounding. In the end, we were even wondering where the waterfalls were until the last few seconds when we turned our heads back, it was right by near the base of the zipline we came from!
|SECOND AND THIRD WATERFALLS? QUITE CONFUSING, REALLY|
Good thing, there was a second zipline ride back below the original station. This one’s shorter at 420 meters from the fifth waterfalls to the second one. It lasts only 20 seconds, but it was far better than the first since we can completely see the multi-tiered waterfalls below.
|GUESTS ROCKETING FROM THE ZIPLINE, SUPERMAN-STYLE|
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with the zipline itself. I thought we’d be zipping from one falls to the next, but instead, we got a 4-in-1 falls for the ride. No doubt, it was an exhilarating experience, but one I would gladly pass off the next time I visit, I’d probably try the hike route instead (or maybe not, haha). I would highy recommend this for first time visitors and zipline freaks though.
|PATHWAY TO HIKONG BENTE, THE SECOND FALLS|
|THE SECOND WATERFALL FROM UP CLOSE|
On our way back, we dropped by the the second waterfalls, Hikong Bente, which can be accessed via a winding downhill gravel path from where the end of the second zipline stands. Up close, it was more majestic than the first waterfall, its height reaching to about 70 feet high. A scarred sheer rock wall stands on its left while a menagerie of colourful flowers and shrubs clings on the right wall.
|T’BOLI INSPIRED SOUVENIRS AT ONE OF THE MANY GIFTSHOPS ALONG THE GROUNDS|
The catch basin of the Hikong Bente is obscured by a low rock outcrop, but one can wade through the waters to get a closer view. But us, we were too tired for such. We enjoyed the view of the gushing waters from the comforts of dry land while trying out the kubing, a bamboo jew’s harp, we bought from one of the souvenir stores inside the park.
|LOCAL FISHERFOLK ALONG THE SECOND WATERFALLS RUNOFF|
We asked our guide where the sixth (Hikong Ukol or short falls) and seventh (Hikong Tonok or soil falls) waterfalls were, he said it’s quite far from where we were, like several hours far by foot. Do we really want to see it? He asked. From his smile, we already knew that he already knew what our answer was gonna be. No. Lol.
7 Waterfalls Zipline Lake Sebu
Address: Barangay Lake Lahit, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
Contact Number: (065) 8281-1761
Entrance Fee: PHP20.00 Adults | PHP15.00 Seniors
PHP10.00 Students | PHP5.00 Children 12 below
Zipline Fee: PHP250.00 Weekdays | 300.00 Weekends
GPS Coordinates Map: 6.245779, 124.727996
Recommended Lake Sebu Tour Guide: Eric Aguilar
(0935) 970-1986 | PHP500.00 per day