Mt. Parker Mountain Range (also known as Mt. Melibengoy) is one of the longest and highest mountain range in Tboli, South Cotabato. It encompasses the areas of Baranggay Tudok, Dlanag and Salacafe in Tboli South Cotabato. It is located 31 kilometers away from poblacion. On its crater lies Lake Holon or Lake Maughan. Here’s a Google Map of Lake Holon Campsite:
Why Mt. Melibengoy/ Lake Holon?
The addition of Kule Hunter trail elevates the climb difficulty of Mt. Parker/Lake Holon Places of interest along the Kule trail, like the El Kini hot and cold springs, the Nabanhagan view deck , made Lake Holon hike even more appealing.
- One of the cleanest lake I’ve seen
- Boast of a campsite far unrivalled for its serenity and appeal.
- Two well established trails to suit your “hiking preferences”
- Streamlined booking and easy access makes Lake Holon a popular overnight destination for hikers and campers.
Why trek via the Sitio Kule Hunter Trail
- T’boli cultural immersion you’ll experience at the Guno Bong or Kule Receiving Center is superb.
- New trail highlights and pit stops, like the hot/cold spring, the view deck that were never open to public before.
- A good training hike with 3-4 hours of all terrain, trekking fun!
What can you do in Lake Holon?
Let me clarify this first. Lake Holon is sacred to the Tbolis. According to the Tboli folklore, Lake Holon is believed to be the golden roof of the house of the Tboli deity Tud Bulol. This golden house is guarded by 15 demigods that will punish those who threaten the place. As such, Lake Holon should be accorded the utmost respect or we risk the wrath of Tud Bulol and his guardians. Loud voices and music are definitely a no no.
There’s the usual swimming you can do at the lake. Tboli LGU provided new sets of rubber rafts and kayaks as well as life vests for boating/kayaking.
Or, you can simply meditate in the serene silence of the lake camp. Amateur photographers will definitely be delighted with changing light landscapes and night photography opportunities at Lake Holon.
I am doing this post to help hikers, campers and amateur photographers enjoy their hike to Lake holon via Kule trail. Since I’ve been asked several times about Lake Holon and how to prepare for this hike, I might as well include preparation essentials. Note that while the hike to Lake Holon via Kule Hunter Trail is still considered a minor climb, the key to enjoying this place is in the preparation. This will some how also lessen your chance of getting injuries and avoid the dreaded delayed onset muscle soreness that may happen after the hike.
So those who have been asking me for eternity, here’s your preparation essentials for a traverse hike to Mt. Parker-Lake Holon via the Kule Hunter Trail!
CAMPING AND HIKING
A 35 liter backpack with adequate waterproofing should be enough to carry your hiking stuff for an overnight camp in Lake Holon. A well padded belt bag for your camera/gadget is also a must for photographers. Bring a lightweight tent with water repellent rain fly, sturdy pegs and strings for anchoring. This is a lifesaver for the usually unpredictable Lake holon weather. I would recommend a sleeping bag and an earth pad to insulate you from the cold ground at night.
Bring two sets of clothes, one set for hiking and the other for sleeping. Add a warmer, raincoat/jacket, bonnet for cold protection. Rash guards should be a nice sun protection but is not a necessity. Wear a lightweight but sturdy mid ankle cut hiking shoes. The downhill hike from Mt. Parker wreaks havoc on your toes so unless you want blisters ordead nails, wear hiking shoes!
Use new, clean and unpunctured black garbage bags to line up the inside of your backpack. Also make sure your gadgets and cameras have waterproof pouches or bags. This is why I advocate a bigger bag even for an overnight camp. So I can easily place my gadgets and camera inside when its raining.
Carry 1-2 liters of water during hike. There’s flowing water in some points along Kule trail. Refill along the way.
Basically your packed lunch, some source of carbohydrates like chocolates and gelatin bars. You can have your food cooked at the Kule Receiving Center prior to hiking.
Hiking to Lake Holon nowadays is easier thanks to the establishment of a community base hike assistance arrangements. It’s not yet perfect but I’m quite excited at the initiative done by DOT 12, Tboli LGU tourism, and the local Tboli community. Guides and porters are already provided and meals can be prepared traditionally by Tbolis. Try Naluts, a chicken adobo cooked in bamboo stems the Tboli way.
Fresh Tilapia is now available at the Lake Holon campsite.
Cooking your own meal is a decision you should make before hiking as the added load will be significant if you choose to cook your own food. Cook set, portable stove, fuel and raw food could weigh a hefty 5 kgs! Choice is yours.
Lake Holon campsite now have a toilet to serve your earthly needs. You can also take a bath here since there’s piped in flowing water near the toilet.
(More photos on my flicker account here >>>https://flic.kr/s/aHsktaeyzG)
Obviously this one varies depending on your technical abilities and gadgetry. But yes, if you’re serious about night photography here, this should be your checklist
I usually bring my multitool Leatherman, a duct tape and basic medical kit. Insect repellant and sunscreen should be a nice addition too. An identifiaction card with contact numbers of people and your blood type is necessary too.
Basically most of your expenses hiking Mt. Parker and Lake Holon goes to the local Tboli community. This community based, culturally enriched Kule Hunter Trail hike to Lake Holon are initiatives of the local Tboli community, Tboli LGU Tourism and DOT 12. The “Kule Tbolis” built the receiving center from scratch, on their own. Tourism helped by providing other needed logistics and training the locals for home stays and food preparation. Personally the amount you pay for their services is quite insignificant to the cultural immersion that you get.
- Climb Fee: I joined a pilgrimage in this hike so I paid 300Php/person reg fee. Inquire at the Tboli Tourism office for the regular climbing fee. This is paid at the Tboli Tourism Office after you log in your hike.
- Transportation: Single motorcycle (Habal Habal) accredited by Tourism Office ply the routes from Poblacion to Sitio Kule Receiving Area. One habal-habal cost 450 Php oneway and carries 2 people plus bags comfortably.
- Guide Fee: 600Php (One guide per 10 people)
- Porter: 20Php/ kg weight minimum of 5 kilos one way.
- Kule Receiving Center boarding fee for overnight stay: 150Php/ person
- Food prep fee is negotiated upon arrival.
Rodel Hilado, RSW
Tourism Officer, Municipality of Tboli
CP #- 09395780151
The number of hikers/campers in Lake Holon and on its trails is being limited by the Tboli LGU obviously for conservation reasons. Walk ins and on the spot hikes are discouraged. Book your hikes well ahead by contacting the Tboli Tourism office.