sincerely, kryz

15th of July 2023

15th of July 2023


Dear Reader,

We came home from LAKE HOLON, South Cotabato.

I can only say that nature humbled me with such a good consoling reminder that we are too small in contrast to a vast, expansive world, and to an all-knowing GOD. It is good to trek after quite a long time now.

This time on our trek, I was with my parents and little brother, accompanied by my aunt Neneng, cousins Ate Kwine, Kuya Kym, and Kuya Argie, and my third cousin, PaoPao. Ate Kwine, whose second time around to trek there, told us it would take 6 hours for us to get to our destination, or even 4 hours to reach the view deck where you can see a whole picturesque lake surrounded by 15 mountains, which legendary known as representing 15 guardians there.

With its 1824 meters above sea level, the crater lake was not easy to climb, YET as funny as it might seem, our team, which we jokingly called ‘Team DASIGON,’ managed to pull it off in an hour and some minutes, reaching the overview deck, which primarily resulting to 3 hours less getting the campsite itself since we arrive there at less than 2:00 pm. Our tour guide, Auntie Velma, kept saying we could rest for a while, but the team, as ARISGADA as everyone seemed to be, continued to walk and walk. I can still hear Kuya Kym’s sarcastic words saying, “Paguba ta nalang guro ning resting chairs diri oh, kay wala man kamo naga pahulay.” (We should destroy these resting chairs now since none of you wants to rest for a while.” Of course, we broke into laughter.

I wish I could describe the CROWN JEWEL OF THE SOUTH, as what it is famously called, but my words will never suffice its wonders. What left a great stain in my core memory is the overview of the lake and its surrounding mountains itself. It is like the ones you see on postcards. The moment I stepped my both feet there, my jaw dropped as an “O.” My silence offered a reverence response to its majestic landscape.

You can barely see the water moving since we were standing up high on a mountain and peeking at it. It seems it was not moving, but it was a beautifully staggering scene for me and everyone who shares the same view. It seems I met it in my memory once, but I could not locate it until I finally saw it right before my eyes. When you stare at its wideness, there is not enough space in your eyes to fill the whole landscape because it keeps getting deeper and deeper.

Surprisingly, the lake’s mesmerizing picturesque view has a tribal history to be told. In T’boli’s words, ‘Holon’ means ‘Deepwater.’ Yes, no one knows how deep such a lake is until now. No wonder we keep our phones tightly in our hands, for by chance, they will drop into the water; it is time to say goodbye forever. We used a small boat with at least five people to sit on, including the locals in charge of the boat. And as a fan of watching crocodile movies, I could not help but overthink if there are any like that in the lake. So, I keep on asking the locals if they see any.

Thankfully, they negate my notion. But I was sure there were crocodiles there, but I stopped insisting since I knew it would put our lives in danger if it were true. Anyway, one local storied that they met no reptiles like Crocs ever since the first resident there lived in 1986.

Now, let us talk about the campsite. I cannot remember anything but the humid weather. It leaves all of us to freeze, wishing we had bought our comforters and other warmer materials. The locals there are accommodating as they are our porters and tour guide. Thankfully, when we arrived there, our place was already ready for tent placement. We are situated in front of the lake itself. We are the first tents in line there.

We can see the reflection of the moon in the lake and the silhouette of tall mountain ranges. But no one dares to stand up and do stargazing since it is making all of us freeze. The funny thing is, we cannot believe how slow time is in Lake Holon. We woke up thrice a night, but it seemed the clock wouldn’t leave at 10:00 pm. Or maybe we are just freezing to the core, making us want to adjust the time.


In the morning, we went straight to the OUTLET, a part of the lake by which 30 minutes away from the campsite, using a boat. The OUTLET is an outlet of course of the water to feed a river meeting its mouth. If I am correct, it feeds Allah River, which eventually flows across South Cotabato to Maguindanao. It is a “Narnia” place because of its pine trees and cold scenery.



I honestly had a good time.

The time when Kuya Argie and I rode a motorcycle to Kule trail, and left us feeling like a roller coaster ride or laughing about my little brother’s childish moments when he randomly took pictures of him through 0.5, who could forget Nanay’s fast walking and joyous disposition while braving the heights, ate Kwine’s first long jump after getting courage for how many minutes, and Neneng’s tireless rowing in the boat just to take a perfect shot for her reels, PaoPao and Kuya Kym’s random conversation at night of whether it is the star they have seen where I silently eavesdropped because all of us could not sleep, and Tatay’s kindness to the locals which I was silently proud of.

I wish I could say everything I saw, but I could not. What I can say is that there are places that require no notice, and it stays beautiful. Such a place is like that. I have pulled that thought from my mind since I was bombarded with cares of the world before our trek, but when I saw the lake, it reminded me to chill in this life. To focus on what matters, leave all unnecessary issues and people behind, and look for something beautiful, filtering those negativities.

Just like the lake that placed itself there unapologetically beautiful even just before I went there to see it, should all of our aspirations and the intention to go on with calmness and altered focused on the good, such as our family, our ‘tama-tama lang na source of income,‘ our little pleasures like coffee, and timeless laughter that we share with those people who TRULY matter, I am repeating this, OUR FAMILY is more than enough.

To you, please have some time to go out and grasp nature. It is a beautiful manifestation of GOD’s creativity and HIS Sovereignty to all of us here below. It reminds us repeatedly that we brought nothing here in this world, and we leave nothing. Still, the shared moments we have with people who graciously GOD has given us, and the legacy of faith, thus we ought to constantly keep ourselves on the ground no matter which high the peak of success we have already reached, we ought to stand to amaze and revere to the Creator of all, our TRIUNE GOD, where the CROWN JEWEL OF THE SOUTH came forth.

I am going to rest now.

Have some coffee or tea.

May HIS grace be upon you.





hebrews 11:16

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