Did somebody just say mystical lakes? That sounds really good to me. It’s not everyday that I see even one mystical lake. Seeing the four lakes of Kabayan, Benguet is a marvelous treat!
Finally, we arrived at our destination after three long hours inside the jeep.
We arrived at our camp site on Barangay Ballay and got ourselves registered at the Ballay Ranger Station. Moments after, Sir Arlan, Mt. Pulag National Park Forest Ranger, gave us a briefing. He also told us what to expect and yes, never forget safety first and leave no trace.
Afterwards, we all pitched our tents and settled down. It was then we learned that we’re already at the first mystical lake, Lake Tabeo (or sometimes spelled as Tabeyo).
According to the locals, the lake never dries even during summer. The farmers sometimes get water from the lake for their crops. Farm animals drink from the lake. It replenishes itself by collecting rainwater. The lake also has fish but I doubt if it’s suitable for human consumption.
The entire Lake Tabeo in a frame:
Now I got more excited to see the other lakes!
In order to reach the remaining lakes, taking on Junior Pulag is a challenge I have to take. That’s at least what was on my mind. We went through the mossy forest and had our share of skids and bumps. The thought of being tortured turned to bliss when we reached the top.
Others say that Junior Pulag got its name because of the obvious changes in temperature and air pressure, which is similar to that of Mt. Pulag. All I had was gasping for air and sweaty shirt.
From the Junior Grassland point on Junior Pulag, you can already see the 2nd lake, Lake Incolos. Wait, it doesn’t look like a lake, though.
I could say that Lake Incolos (how Ibalois call it) or Incoloh (for Kalanguyas) is fascinating and unique. Dirt, moss, and grass cover the lake water underneath. Step on it and you will slowly sink. You can even see the water seeping in.
Taking a photo on the lake is a risky business. The ground can only hold so much weight. But for the sake of a group picture, these guys are will to go all in.
We went around the lake to go to the next lake, Latep-ngapos.
Beware of the quicksand!
Speaking of mystical lakes, Lake Latep-ngapos (Ibalois) or Latep-ngapoh (Kalanguyas) lived up to its reputation. The fog and drizzles adds an enchanting beauty of the place along with the driftwood and its clear water.
The next lake is not so far away. After some picture taking sessions, we left for Lake Ambulalakaw.
Lake Ambulalakaw or Ambulalacao (sometimes plainly Bulalacao) is the 4th lake visited thus completing our quest for these mystical lakes. The water is so serene and clear. Unfortunately, the rain clouds seem to be chasing us.
So what made this lake extra special? It is regarded as the cleanest in-land lake. The locals preserve it that swimming or any form of similar activity is prohibited.
We headed back to the road to catch our ride. This wrapped up our trip to these mystical lakes. Back to the camp site we go.
Kabayan, Benguet, as welcoming as the town’s name, could have more unexplored places to go to.
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