13 Things You Need To Know Before Your Lake Holon Trek

Lake Holon View Deck
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Lake Holon
Lake Holon as seen from one of the view decks.
  1. DIY can cost you more. My Lake Holon experience made me realize that going there the DIY way can cost you more (not to mention it is time-consuming); you can find a tour package (all-in) for just about 3,000 pesos, give or take (and that’s from Davao and back). On the other hand, when you do it yourself, the habal-habal ride alone from the tourism office to the jump-off would already cost you 400 pesos (one way).
  2. The trek is not that difficult. If you have been trekking for quite some time, you will find the trail (both the Kule and Salacafe trail) an easy one. Lake Holon is just about 7.5 km from the jump-off via Kule trail; 9.5km, more or less, via Salacafe trail.
  3. The habal-habal is one helluva ride. The habal habal transport from the tourism office to the jump-off point is one helluva ride. If it is your first time, I suggest you do not dare to drive by yourself – if you are taking the Kule trail. (It was the scariest habal habal ride that I tried – ever).
  4. Getting there is a maze. The road from the tourism office to the jump-off is a maze. You will pass by a wide banana and pineapple plantation. You can lose your way getting there in a snap – another reason why riding with a local driver is the recommendation.
  5. Bring enough food and water. If you are DIY-ing, bring enough food and water for the whole duration of your stay as food is limited in Lake Holon. If you have a portable water filtering system, drinkable water should not be a problem – Lake Holon can provide you with plenty of water with just that. Otherwise, you can buy bottled water at the campsite at 50 pesos per liter. 
  6. The temperature can drop so low. At night, the temperature can drop so low that you may shiver inside your tent. Ensure that you bring thick clothing (and more) for added protection from chilling temperature, especially if it rains. (I had three jackets and one sweater, yet I was still shivering at night – it could have lasted longer had I not sipped a hot bulalo soup prepared by our tour coordinator.) 
  7. The comfort room lacks comfort. You may find the restroom, which requires you to trek 5 minutes away from the campsite, not that comfortable simply because it lacks water. But it is understandable as they are fetching the water from the lake manually to cater to about 300 hikers a day. Hopefully, there’s an improvement on this one in the future (like using a motor pump to draw water from the lake). But for now, manage your expectations, guys.
  8. The campsite can accommodate just so many guests. If many hikers arrive ahead of you, you may be pitching a tent on a not-so-good spot (with an uneven surface). But life is just like that; deal with it.
  9. Lake Holon is such a beauty to behold and enjoy. So, don’t spend most of your time inside your tent. Get out to enjoy the view – ride a kayak, dive, swim, mingle with other hikers, join the early morning devotional, take unlimited photos, etc.
  10. You can enjoy swimming. Several spots are ideal for swimming, including the area they call the water outlet – it’s the water passage they made so that excess water can flow out of the lake, preventing the lake from overflowing. 
  11. Bringing alcohol to the campsite is prohibited, but I doubt the rule is that strict. There could be some leeway on this as, from my experience, I saw many hikers having a good time with fellows over alcoholic drinks – it certainly can distract other hikers at times because of noise.
  12. Lake Holon is a protected area. The goal of hiking is not just to enjoy nature but to reflect on how we can help preserve its beauty. Lake Holon and its surrounding forests are protected areas. So take home only the memories you have with it (and your trash) and nothing else. Leave only footprints.
  13. Safety above all. Safety is of utmost importance, so make sure you listen carefully to the orientation. Remember the dos and the prohibitions that may put your life in danger if violated. For instance, some parts of the lake are deep and not ideal for swimming. So, be careful and always ask before you go, most especially if you do not know how to swim or you do not have a life vest.

 

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