Lake Holon in the Perspective of Kule Trail

Looking at Lake Holon from Kule Viewdeck
After several bruises, countless wounds and unexplained body pain, we  finally conquered the Salacafe Trail going to Lake Holon. It was an arduous  journey we experienced right there just to reach the camping site of Lake Holon. Just in time for dinner, we arrived at dusk and we immediately set up our respective tents. We will be staying for a night by the Lake just so we could gather enough energy again for the next day.

Our tents by the lake

The night at Lake Holon was peaceful and cold. We had exhausted so much energy that day and all we could think that night was a nice dinner by the lake. There's no electricity in the area, we only have few food left and we were deprived of rest.  We somehow enjoyed life in the lake, albeit uncomfortable. It is where strangers became my friends, canned goods could make a sumptuous meal, silence can let our inner voices speak louder, darkness allowed us to see the intangibles and disconnecting online helped us to reconnect offline. I often heard people say that Lake Holon is mysterious. It's true indeed, there's some sort of unknown energy in the area where it makes you contemplate life even if you don't want to. At the bonfire, there are people drinking and talking and laughing. We decided to join them strangers just so we could get a share of warmth from the fire. Although they were influenced by alcohol, we somehow managed to play it cool. After all, we're all visitors in that place.

The clear water of the lake reflecting the trees and mountains and sky
I was not able to sleep well that night. All I heard was sounds of crickets and frogs and so many nocturnal insects invading the silence of the night. We were aware of night creatures lurking from somewhere else in the area. Our only protection was our tents and the presence of each other. The cold was brutal it consumed all our energy as it entered right through our veins.  To add insult to the injury, it rained again that night. I was chilling I don't have blankets to warm me up. A human warmth could have been a perfect substitute, but that too is nowhere to be found, or lack thereof.

As much as I wanted to temporarily go to my reverie, the shallow sleep didn't allow me to do so. In that situation, there's no such thing as rest for me. The sound of  insects went from discreet to loud as the night went deeper and deeper. It's beautiful though, like an orchestra, except that we are the unwilling audience.

I was delighted when the orchestra of insects was replaced by the sound of guitar. The night must be over then. Then voices of children and women singing a hymn finally awoken my disturbed senses. I decided to get up and followed the trail of that beautiful sound. There at the bonfire, a group of T'boli tribe was singing praise and worship as part of their dawn fellowship. I realized it was Sunday, a day so apt for a worship service. I decided to join them. The warmth of fire from the bonfire and the sincere prayers and singing of hymns healed my weary heart. The water from the lake sparkled as if joining us as we worshiped the celestial being that is God. It was such a refreshing moment for me. A perfect time to reset my mind and strengthen my spirituality. We also  mingled with other visitors who joined the locals in that memorable worship service.
Our group invading the Lake Holon
The sun shined so bright when we finished that unplanned spiritual retreat. It's no longer cold and the water from the lake was so inviting. We decided to take a tour at the lake, so we hired a boat to take us to as far as we could go. The water was still, but we're too afraid to swim because Lake Holon is one of the deepest lake in the Philippines. As we explored the lake, I love what I saw. The luscious green trees covering the mountains that enveloped the whole area of the lake signifies the healthy flora and fauna. The water was so calm and clean. It was a perfect way to start our day at the campsite.

Enjoying the idyllic lake

After so much exploring, we decided to swim. We were warned to be very careful because they said there are unknown creatures living in the lake. But all those brouhahas and urban legends were nothing compared to the fun the lake can offer to the braves, although I was really very careful. We had so much fun swimming at the lake, but we don”t have the whole day to do that. We decided to take our breakfast. We ate anything we could eat, noodles, canned goods, breads and whatever left over we had from the other day. We don't have the luxury of convenience and grocery store at the campsite.

Our group leaving the lake via the boat

We have to leave Lake Holon before lunchtime, so we decided to commence our hike. We passed through the kule Trail so we could get the perspective of the Lake from the other side. Salacafe trail is a trail for expert hikers. As beginners, we were a little bit hesitant to follow that road, but we followed anyway.

Uphill trail of Kule
To go to the viewdeck of Kule, we had to pass through a steep trail in the forest. It's literally a CLIMB and it felt like a never ending one. After an hour or so, we reached the viewdeck. Unlike the Salacafe trail where the heaven rained on our parade (literally), we had a clear blue sky and a beautiful weather that day. The view of the lake was majestic and all our struggles were wiped out. The clear blue water of Lake Holon is reflecting the sea of clouds, it was like a painting of nature, a sight that only eager climbers can witness. With all the shenanigans we had at Kule trail, the sleepless night we had at the campsite, and the struggle to conquer the Salacafe trail, the view of the lake from that perspective was the priceless gift of nature for us.

The idyllic view of Lake Holon

Still far from home, let alone at the receiving point, we were more than energized and inspired to follow our way back home. We have experienced enough, and the remaining kilometers to hike was just nothing but a mere walk. The thought of my bed and a shower at home were my inspiration to hold on, soon I'll be home. What happened in Lake Holon, will never stay at Lake Holon, because it's an experience worth sharing to the world.

The team conquering Kule trail