|Top view of Lake Mata, Lake Napalit (far) and the tikog covered marsh in between|
Lake Napalit in Pigtauranan, Pangantucan, Bukidnon is a tectonic lake which has an area of around 36 hectares and an estimated depth of 80 feet. The lake is situated just outside the range of Mt. Kalatungan.
The waters from Didilusan and Dawikwikan Falls, the twin falls lining the walls of the mountain are said to seep underground giving life to the lake. The Department of Tourism declared the lake as natural park decades ago.
The lake supplies fishes like tilapia, gurami, carp, mudfish and catfish.
The lake is a sacred place to the tribe. It is also believed to be enchanted. It has claimed several lives of children bathing and boating in it. According to the native folks, there used to be 24 islets adorning the wonderful lake. I can't even forget my class-skipping moment bathing in the lake, unmindful of a wallowing carabao nearby. I also rowed with my fellow escapees and even stepped on one of its islets. Settlers say the islets were moving from place to place and most settled at the shore. To date, only one islet obviously stands.
OTHER SHOTS OF LAKE NAPALIT
Lake Mata in the same barangay derives its name from the word "mata" due to its eye-shaped feature. This lake silently nestles amidst the naturally thriving tikog plants in the marshy area of the barangay. This lake is around 1 kilometer away from Lake Napalit and is said to be a part of the latter ages ago. Erosion caused the soil to settle in the lake, thus, dividing the lakes into two. In between the two lakes is a marsh settled with naturally bonsai-ed trees and tikog plants. Tikog plays a very important role in the culture and daily living of the Manobo tribe in the area aside from the fish they get from the lakes. Tikog is harvested, treated and processed by the women into mats, bags, placemats and other handicrafts.
Lake Mata is the very first lake I visited back when I was a kid. It is just an hour trek from my home in a nearby barangay. The adults I was with never allowed me to bathe in this lake because of the danger they said it bears. The lake has no shoreline so it is already deep from the sides. The tikog-covered swampy soil around it is floating and may sink anytime, which I always prove everytime I visit the place.
If you love an adventurous trek, you will truly appreciate Lake Mata.
|In 20 seconds time, the soil I'm stepping on has sunk at almost knee-level|
During my recent visit, the tikog around the lake flourished in abundance. Nobody visits the lake since it doesn't interest anyone because of its small area and the sinking soil. I never even found the right way so I invented my own bruising my feet.
Far from my expectation, three rare plant species I used to see when I was a kid came into view. They are still there! A sight so refreshing to the eyes--- puyas (katigbi, panyas or bead plants), pitcher plant and a hotdog plant. I never wasted my time taking pics of them one by one, calling it a reunion.
Aside from the dominating tikog plants, the surrounding is also adorned with tigbaw and pygmy tree species.
OTHER SHOTS FROM LAKE MATA
After a thorough planning with several consultations and meetings with the tribe and the community, the local government of Pangantucan in partnership with the Department of Tourism, alloted a fund to develop the lake into a well-maintained tourist destination. Amenities like function hall, cottages, running track, pasalubong center and zipline are included in the plan. The tribe will never be deprived of their sacred ground, in fact, a worship area will be built for them. And they will be the priority workers in running and maintaining the tourism project.
HOW TO GET THERE:
For commuters and solo trekkers:
From CDO, take a bus bound for Wao and drop off at Brgy. Barandias. Travel time takes around 6 hours. Take habal-habal to Bargy. Pigtauranan at P60.00 per head or P120 per trip for solo passenger. Travel time is around 30-45 minutes.
The trek from Lake Mata to Lake Napalit is around 15-20 minutes.
For chartered rides:
From Davao or CDO, drive to Maramag and take the road heading to Wao. After an hour, you will pass by Barandias. Take the road heading to Talakag. A thirty minute drive will take you to the crossing of Pigtauranan past Brgy Madaya.