NSOCCSKSARGENM: Lake Sebu and the T’boli Tribe

 

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The view in the resort is similar to Sampaloc Lake of Laguna with tilapia fish pens overlooking the mountains of the said province.

WHY VISIT LAKE SEBU?

  • It is a prime eco-tourism destination in South Cotabato for dining, activities like hiking, riding a zipline, boating, siteseeing and staycation.
  • You can dance with the T’boli and Ubo tribes and try their local clothes.
  • Try out the various tilapia recipe served at Punta Isla Lake Resort on a floating restaurant.

HOW TO GET THERE?

Best point of entry is via General Santos City. From there, you may ride a bus to Koronadal then van to Lake Sebu or why not take advantage of an early itinerary and head first to Surallah via bus then jeep ride to Lake Sebu and allocate some time to visit Sultan Kudarat before 5:00 PM. Don’t miss the last trip in Lake Sebu unless you are planning for an overnight stay. Read my related posts: NSOCCSKSARGENM: Sultan Kudarat

Lake Sebu is a natural lake that serves as a major watershed in Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato. It has the 3rd longest zipline in Asia after Davao’s Zip City and Eden Nature Park. Lake Sebu’s zipline is the highest in southeast Asia standing at 600 feet. You can take a quick yet perfect topical view of the seven waterfalls upon riding the zipline. For those who are acrophobic, waterfalls view decks are provided for a closer look.

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Overnight at Punta Isla Lake Resort and other lodges are affordable. For 1,000 Php you can have a decent room for two. But what I really enjoyed is the variety of tilapia dishes to choose from. I was too preoccuppied with the mouthwatering viands that I forgot to try on the T’boli clothes and jam with the indigenous people. You may dance with the locals while on the garden or just listen to them play their wooden instruments.

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MY FAVORITE PART: The Food Trip

TILAPIA is a common term for cichlid fish. These are freshwater fish that are mostly seen in rivers, streams but mostly raised in pond lakes. In the Philippines, we commonly fry, grill or steam it. I like it stuffed with tomatoes and onion, wrapped in aluminum foil and grilled. Tilapia fillet is quite a work that’s why I loved the menu at Punta Isla Resort.

They serve tilapia in sweet and sour, sizzling, kinilaw and fried but I chose the most uncommon ways for a change.

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Tilapia fillet in creamy vegetable sauce

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Crispy Tilapia chicharon dipped vinegar

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Tinolang Native na Manok ( Native Chicken)

TIPS:

  1. Don’t forget to plan your mode of transportations and point of entry/exit before the trip. Avoid staying outdoors after dinner. It is best to be safe than sorry.
  2. Bring your sun protection spray or lotion, shades, cap and towelettes. It gets really humid in the afternoon and insect repellants help a lot as this is a forest reservoir.
  3. Wear rubbershoes and leggings if you are planning on riding the zipline. You will be sliding from 600 feet.
  4. There are no ATMs in the area so prepare sufficient cash for souvenirs and food.
  5. You could either stay at Lake Sebu overnight or head on to Sultan Kudarat for overnight depending on your itinerary.
  6. Wifi and cellphone reception is intermittent.
  7. Check out neighboring provinces to include in your itinerary: NSOCCSKSARGENM: NORTH COTABATO’s Asik-Asik Falls

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“Grace is finding a waterfall when you were only looking for a stream.”

-Vanessa Hunt

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SINGAPORE: Food trip guide

Is Singapore really an expensive country? YES and NO. Yes in the sense that luxury hotels  and restaurants are everywhere. The quality of service is excellent and they always exceed expectations. No, if you know how to budget and stay within your means of income. It is important to research before travelling as there are more economical ways to cut down on expenses. Take for example, affordable hostels in Singapore are just as good. Hawker centers are in every mall and servings are usually good for sharing. The EZ link 3-day-pass is a huge breakthrough. You don’t really have to splurge during your stay in Singapore but I am not encouraging you to be extra stingy as well.  The purpose of travel is to experience and taste what they have to offer. Travel within your means and travel responsibly. No one wants to go home broke.

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HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITE EATS WHEN IN SINGAPORE:

A. CHINATOWN: Like in any country, Chinatown always offer a wide variety of dishes. So it is a top visit for the foodie. Head on to 335 Smith Street and feast with all kinds of mouthwatering viands. You can burn all these calories anyways. Walk! Walk! Walk!

Salted egg fried chicken in curry leaves🧡🧡🧡 and crispy sweet and sour baby squid🦑🥚 🥢. Since I’m asian, white rice is a must! 🙂 Total meal value: 16$(Singapore dollar).

 

 

I’m an oyster lover whether it is raw with lemon/vinegar or panfried. Their extra plump oyster omelet is a staple everywhere I go. This plate is just 6$. Although there are times I may have overeaten meals that are good for two. Forgive me, I had long days walking around 😛

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Kung Pao Chicken, Oyster omelet, coconut juice, white rice (28$)

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Hainanese Chicken, bok choy, white rice, sugarcane juice (23$)

 

B. LITTLE INDIA and KAMPONG GLAM: If you really want to explore the entire community, I strongly suggest that you book an accommodation within the area for 2-3 days. A day trip won’t be enough to enjoy every spot. Aside from the lively wall art, their spiced dishes are a-must-try! Read my related article for more details: SINGAPORE: Fun at Little India and Kampong Glam

Mutton meal at Serangoon Indian Resto (6.50$) It goes with spicy mutton, vegetables in green curry, fried bitter gourd and a lot of carbohydrates good for two. They enjoy the meal by eating with hands or in plastic gloves. I had to try it and it was fun!

Do not be afraid to ask for help and explore. The locals would know what to try best. Although it may seem awkward to eat alone or eat with them, just go with it. You will be surprise how friendly they are. I did get extra servings for free. Another tip would be to follow the long queue of people in hawker centers. Chances are, they really serve the best.

 

Steamed Curry Fish platter in lemongrass, coconut juice and white rice (35$). Actually, this meal could serve 3-4  people. I was just curious about their best seller so I ordered it for lunch and took it out for dinner.

 

C. BUGIS: If you are more into gourmet and restaurant-type of dishes, Bugis is a great place to explore. Bugis Street Market is the hottest, cheapest and largest shopping area. Everything you can think of is here. Also it is very accessible via MRT Bugis Station.

The sumptuous Peking Duck Platter (35$) at Bugis Mall had me full.
TIP: There are many Filipino professional workers in Singapore. I am so blessed to be referred to Rolly, a friend of my churchmate Anne. Meet new people and ask for their recommendations to maximize your stay. This meal was just supposed to be a regular platter but the chef gave me extra servings after a happy chat with him. It pays to smile, be nice and friendly.
Have you heard of the rare Silkie Chicken? They are highly prized breed that have beautiful silky white plumage and startlingly black skin 🖤🖤🖤 up to the bones and internal organs. This traditional herbal chicken was boiled in so many special herbs and spices. I had to try this fall-off-the-bone-meat and paired it with spicy leek shrimps🌶🍤 Oh heavenly!

D. OTHER MUST TRY: They say you must try the National Singaporean breakfast style. Never leave without trying the Kaya Toast and Singaporean coffee. There are several chains that offer these. Kaya Toast is toasted bread filled with butter and kaya.

Kaya is a local jam made from sugar, coconut milk, eggs and pandan leaves for aroma. It is best paired with poached or half-boiled eggs, hot tea, hot chocolate or black coffee.

 

 

Choco Mint icecream sandwiched by wafers (1.50$). Yes, you will see a hardworking old woman selling ice cream and being queued by many in the midst of signature shops at Orchard. Happiness doesn’t always have to be expensive.

 

There are a number of hostels to choose from but make sure that you book walking distance or at MRT friendly locations. Where to stay near the best foodtrips in Singapore? SINGAPORE: cool places to stay

G0525961.jpg“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat the food that you like.”

-Mark Twain