Kabayan Eco-Cultural Adventure: Four Lakes

Four Lakes Lake Tabeyo
Lake Tabeyo

First on the team’s itinerary was to witness the sunrise along Ambuklao Road overlooking the Ambuklao River. By the time we reached Brgy. Poblacion in Kabayan, we were already up for an adventure. We immediately headed to the four lakes which is part of the Mt. Pulag National Park. The Ibalois and Kalanguyas of Kabayan hold high regard for the folklores and stories surrounding the four lakes. First in our destination was Lake Tabeo. Lake Tabeo is located at the foothill of Mt. Tabayoc which is the second highest mountain in Luzon.

Four Lakes Junior Pulag
A vista of mossy forest atop Junior Pulag. Mt. Pulag’s summit could be seen from this site.

On our traverse going to the second lake, we were able to witness a vista of mossy forest at Junior Pulag, or Pulpulag as the locals call it. Junior Pulag is at an elevation of 2600 meters above sea level (MASL).  Incolos Lake is a waterless lake which seems to be like a newly manicured lawn filled with Bermuda grass. Incolos Lake was once believed to be filled with water according to stories passed on by elders. There were hearsays that this lake was where dead bodies were dumped. To avoid being a dump site for dead people, people from the community decided to drain the water from the lake. Thus, the word incolos which means to drain in Ibaloi.

Four Lakes Incolos Lake
The waterless Incolos Lake

We entered the forest which was covered with dense moss on our way to the third lake. The name Detep Ngepos was based on a folklore about a hunter and his dog who camped by the lake one evening. According to the folklore, it was believed that there was a huge snake lurking in the area. The dog kept barking to warn the hunter. But the hunter never noticed it. The dog dived into the lake in order for the hunter to notice the snake. The hunter struggled while fighting with the snake. He was able to kill the snake with the use of burning charcoal. Detep is an Ibaloi word for dive while ngepos means burning charcoal.

Four Lakes Mossy Trail
This hauntingly beautiful trail to Kabayan’s four lakes seems to come from some Hollywood movies.

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Four Lakes Detep-Ngepos Lake
Detep-Ngepos Lake

The last destination for our traverse was Lake Bulalakaw was the last destination for our traverse. Kabayan locals believe that Lake Bulalakaw along with the three other lakes were a byproduct of meteors crashing into the areas where the lakes are. In 1995, Lake Bulalakaw was labeled the cleanest inland lake in the Philippines.

Four Lakes Lake Bulalakaw
Lake Bulalakaw

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