How to go to Lake Sebu South Cotabato


The municipality of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato exudes with raw appeal that you’ll quickly forget its lack of powdery white sand and turquoise beaches.  Getting here may require a little adventure but once you feel the warm welcome of the T’boli people who have deep respect for their culture and heritage, you’ll surely agree that  it’s worth taking the trip.

Although majority of the locals in Lake Sebu are descendants of the T’boli tribe, it is also a melting pot of other indigenous cultures such as the Manobos, the Ubos and Tirurays. Lake Sebu is fringed by vast plantations of pineapple, corn and other vegetables. Its mist-filled mountains plunge into sun-sparkled lakes adorned by gorgeous lotus flowers.

Here’s a quick travel guide to help you plan your itinerary to Lake Sebu:

How to get to Lake Sebu in South Cotabato:

  • From Manila (By Plane)

Step 1: If you’re coming from Manila, you can fly to General Santos City Airport via Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines. There are also direct flights from Cebu to General Santos.

Step 2:  From General Santos city proper, ride a tricycle to take you to the bus terminal.  Take a bus (Yellow Bus Line) bound to Koronadal (Marbel). Fare is about Php 65 (non-air-conditioned bus).  Travel time is roughly 1 hour.

Step 3:  From the bus station at Koronadal (Marbel), take another bus (Yellow Bus Line) to Surrallah. Travel time is about 30 minutes, bus fare is Php 28.

Step 4:  Once you arrive in Surallah’s integrated terminal, hop on a van or jeep bound for Lake Sebu. Travel time is roughly 45 minutes, fare is Php 36.50. The vehicle only leaves once full and last trip is at 6 PM.

If you’re pressed for time, you may charter a habal-habal (motorbike) from Surallah to LakeSebu. One way fare is Php 100.

  • From Davao, Bukidnon or Cagayan de Oro City (By Bus)

Buses bound to General Santos City abound in DavaoCity, Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro City. Bus Fare from DavaoCity is around Php 245 and travel time is 3 hours.

Once you’re in General Santos City, follow step 2 and step 3 above.

  • From Cotabato City, Maguindanao or Sultan Kudarat

Buses bound for Koronodal City (South Cotabato) abound in Cotabato City, Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat.  Follow step 2 and step 3 above.

  • From General Santos (By Bus) to Lake Sebu

If you’re already in General Santos city proper, head to the bus terminal and board a Yellow Bus Line headed to Koronadal (Marbel).  It will take about an hour to reach Marbel.

From the bus station in Koronadal (Marbel), there is a Yellow Bus Line en route to Surrallah. The ride will take bout 30 minutes; prepare Php 28 for the bus fare.

At Surallah’s Terminal, look for a van or a jeep bound for Lake Sebu. Fare is Php 36.50 and will take about 45 minutes to finally reach Lake Sebu.

  • Getting Around in Lake Sebu 

Unless you avail of a tour package in LakeSebu or you have a private vehicle, the only way to get around here is by riding a habal-habal (motorbike). Fare starts at Php 7.  Fare to the Lake Sebu 7 Waterfalls is normally Php 30 per person.

  • Where to Stay in Lake Sebu 

There are several resorts in Lake Sebu (will write a separate post about them, but I highly recommend experiencing a homestay with a T’boli family such as Ms.Maria Todi’s Homestay. Contact Number: (+63) 906 6345 367.

*Rates as of  July 2013 and my trip last April 2012.





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