The easiest way to Lake Sebu is by renting a car from Davao, or taking public transportation, depending on your budget. It’s going to be a long way to Lake Sebu, but this way you’ll have the chance to stop and smell the roses.
DAVAO CITY → GENERAL SANTOS CITY
Your journey starts in Ecoland Terminal Bus Terminal, Davao City. There are several bus classes you can choose from. Here’s a cheat sheet:
- Deluxe (regular bus, stops often)
- Mabuhay (air-conditioned bus with one stop)
- Premier (non-stop air-conditioned bus)
- Executive (non-stop air-conditioned bus with Wi-Fi and toilet)
Taking a non-stop bus will shave off some travel time. Instead of 3 hours on the road with a regular bus, you can reach General Santos in 2 hours and 15 minutes.
En route: The hometown of Manny Pacquaio is famous as a tuna-producing area. Seafood lovers will find their heaven here!
Duration: 2 to 3 hours by bus. Fare: approximately PHP 300
GENERAL SANTOS CITY → KORONADAL CITY
Travel time from Bulaong Terminal to Koronadal City (popularly known as Marbel) to YBL Terminal is less than an hour on the non-stop bus versus 1 hour 20 minutes on the regular bus.
En route: A layover in Marbel can be worth your time if you are looking to freshen up and replenish your snack bag, as from this point on it is going to be difficult for you to find big supermarkets.
Duration: Up to 1.5 hours by bus. Fare: approximately PHP 100
KORONADAL CITY → SURALLAH, SOUTH COTABATO
This is the shortest leg of the whole journey and also the last one in which you can take a ride on a bus. If you’re looking for a faster, more comfortable way to go to Surallah, then we recommend the non-stop bus.
En route: Make a stop in Surallah to get a glimpse of the Muslim minority’s life in the country. Even though it is the capital of the province, Surallah still retains its rural charms. The town is surrounded by plantations that are blessed with bountiful fruits and vegetables.
Duration: 30-45 minutes by bus. Fare: approximately PHP 60
SURALLAH → LAKE SEBU
You’re almost there! From here you can go either by van or habal-habal. Taking the van, you’ll be charged around PHP 60. This is the slower option, seeing that you will share the van with other passengers. Habal-habal (local motorcycle taxi) can take you there faster and you can even take the whole motorcycle if you don’t mind paying extra–best if you’re travelling with friends.
Duration: 45 minutes by van. Fare: approximately PHP 65 OR
30 minutes by habal-habal. Fare: approximately PHP 75 per person, PHP 150 for the whole habal-habal
Various lodgings are available in Lake Sebu, available for both penny-pinchers and splurge-happy folks. A wonderful way to get up close and personal with the culture of the Tbolis is through a homestay. For example, T’Boli Homestay gives you a chance to spend the days just the way the locals used to before modernisation. You will start your day eating different kinds of steamed bulbs, get involved in the making of traditional T’nalak weavings, be entertained by traditional music and dance performances, and sleep in the traditional house of the Tbolis. This homestay is managed by Maria Todi, the headmistress of the School of Living Traditions which aims to preserve T’boli culture by passing the knowledge to the young generation. For more info, contact Maria at +639066345367 or +639129764041 or email her at [email protected]hoo.com