DO-IT-YOURSELF HIGH-IN-THE-SKY AT LAKE SEBU, MINDANAO
The mountaintops of Lake Sebu provide the perfect stage for a zipping adventure. The high-thrill act is now whizzing the mountain wild of the lakeside villages of Lake Siloton and Lake Lahit in Lake Sebu, considered the summer capital of the province of South Cotabato.
I hired a habal habal (motorcycle) for P30.00 (one way) to bring me to the zip line area.The zip line only operates along the second falls up to the fifth since the first, sixth and the seventh falls are 1.2 km off the four falls. The Seven Falls is a series of river plunge along the mountain forests of Lake Sebu.
There is an entrance fee at Falls Number 2 set at P 20.00/ head. I had photo ops near the falls, then went to the zip line area but nobody was there. My habal habal driver decided to fetch the zip line crew upstairs. When he came back, he told me to wait for a little bit longer because the crew members were eating their merienda (snacks).
Then the zip line moment came! Whew! Nobody is in line. The rain has just stopped. That is why I have the zip line all to myself! Wooooot!
"You are up here in the Seven Falls,” said one of the crew members. “And we assure you that it’s going to be a unique and happy experience. No athletic ability is needed here,” he assured me.
The harness drapes around my back, chest, legs, and hooks onto the metal trolley. I asked him what the weight limit is for the harness. He said the limit is 170 kilos. So I am safe.
This is the Seven Falls Zip Line.
As I hang with the 3/4 inch cable above me along the 700-feet-deep foliage, I wanted to scream, but nothing came out of my mouth, except for ha ha ha! With my body extending forward like superman, hands slumping, hair raging in the gush of misty winds, I flew at 120 kilometers per hour toward a hardly visible spot in the distance. I saw a carpet of trees and bushes in fiery colors of green, hill-walking trails and the regal falls opened up beneath my feet with no structures to break the spell in an area inhabited by bird-monkeys, butterflies and tarsiers.
LUPAD (native dialect for flying)
For that first zip, I looked to my right side to see the mesmerizing falls, then I looked down and marveled at the wonders of nature. “Dear God, you’re truly amazing!” is all I can utter. It was an exhilarating feeling! I can't explain the happiness I felt.
Flying high at 700 feet deep, 700 meters long zip line
As I get to the other end, the zip slowed down and rocked to a stop, the jolly crew cheered. And asked me if I am all set to do it again at the other tower.
Lake Sebu’s zip lines provide thrills for young and old alike, as long as the riders have no fear of heights. They said you have to be intimately involved with the cable in order to achieve bliss.
At the view deck after my first zip line wala lang parang tanga lang ha ha ha!
The first zip ride took only 38 seconds, but why rush it? The crew suggested a slower ride with an appropriate wind breaker to slow down the speed in order to better appreciate the sights. On the second zip, the ride was full of sights of more trees, falls, falls, falls and falls—the sight of the gushing falls below. It’s over, finally, in 15 seconds.
Zip at the second line 400 meters long, done in 15 sec.
Zip-lining is a sport that requires floating through the thick forest while linked to a network of solid wires strung between stands.
Combined weight of up to 170 Kilos is allowed.
In between, the zip line hits the speeds of 100 kph. The dual zip lines, one traverses 700 meters and the second, 400 meters, strung over mountains, trails and seven falls at 700-feet deep—the record-holder among zip line operators in terms of height.
The slant of descent, the length of cables and the aerodynamic form all go to the speed and length of the ride. Added amenities hang over the zip line such as the trailing, bridges, rest rooms. Now that they have laid down the foundation for zip-line touring in Lake Sebu, the provincial government is already looking to expand and enhance the experience.
In the next months, they said they plan to open further expansions such as cable cars, a gazebo, stick insect and butterfly farms, and tarsier and bird-monkey watching in their own sanctuary as the new adventure outpost.
The twin zip line ride will cost you P250 per ride on a weekend, holidays, fiesta/ anniversaries. Entry fee to the waterfalls is P20 per person and the landowners get a 15-percent monthly share from the provincial government. They are likewise given priority for future employment.
You ought to try it too! Come visit Lake Sebu and experience the warmth and hospitality of the Tboli tribe and eat the freshest and biggest Tilapia you'll ever see. Visit the Philippines!