By Ramon Jorge Sarabosing
The mythical name of Mindanao is Adin danao, meaning the land of lakes.
I learned this from the epic musical “Sinalimba” (which starred Joey Ayala and Popong Landero) created by the island’s best theater artists many years ago.
As a traveler, I kept that in mind and vowed to see them all. I am privileged to see most of them through the years.
This year, I went to two more. I give credit to my friend Jack Alingasa, photojournalist and media consultant for taking me there.
The first lake is Lake Wood in Zamboanga del Sur (which is surprisingly a beautiful region). Lake Wood is easy to reach.
You have Pagadian City( as a starting point) and only 30 minutes away by car. The road is pave and the terrain relaxing as you approach it.
Unexpectedly you roll down the “heart” of the lake, the Alindahaw Lake View Park and Resort. It’s not what I would have expect (this commercialization) but the view from here easily steals the show.
The deep and wide blue lake bounded by an equally dark mountain range is a sight to die for.
Young people kayak near the edge and herons gracefully glide at the distance. It was tempting to swim-not at the fancy swimming pool carved in one corner which is the preferred venue of everyone, children and adults.
An overnight stay at the hotel “attached” to the hotel would be perfect, I imagined, as welcoming the sun rise early morning the next day would make a scenic difference.
For a bit of history, Lake Wood is originally called Danao Guiyawan or lake of the woods by the Subanens, the local tribal group.
Later named after Leonard Wood, the American governor of Moro province, 1904.
Now, the second lake, Lake Apo, in Valencia, Bukidnon. Lake Apo is reputed to be the smallest lake in the country but undeniably the most fascinating too.
If being a former volcano crater does not unfazed you, or maybe its perfectly round shape would? It’s all there is to see (than imagine).
As if that is not enough, there is the “Timeless Distinction Place” to go to and settle in. TDP is a privately-owned residential spot very close to the lake.
As the name suggests, it is a place most unique and awe-inspiring to run and hide to. Yes, no electricity, no gadgets, nothing, but not lost in convenience, just the perfect getaway.
Its owners, retired medical professionals, Dr. Almer and Dr. Fe Alfonso are gracious and charming hosts who would readily let you experience to dine on a bamboo raft in the middle of the lake.
There are other things to do as well, water sports and horseback riding. It’s also ideal to do outdoor yoga and meditation (See “Yoga on wheels launched” story in this section).
And trekking the hillsides complete the day and moon and star gazing would wrap it like Nirvana.
Two lakes. Two peace-inducing bodies of fresh water to help uplift you. Savor them if you must. In Mindanao, imagine how much more.
Photos Vic Orenica and Jack Alingasa