The Tribal Homestay Experience: T’boli Tribe at Lake Sebu

The Tribal Homestay Experience: T’boli Tribe at Lake Sebu

Located in South Cotabato, Lake Sebu is termed as the Summer Capital of Central Mindanao.. a place I never thought was around 18 degree cold at night.. and I came unprepared. Since I grew up in the lowlands, I initially love the weather.. but it’s an extra challenge when you have to battle with the cold bath at early morn xD

Speaking of extra challenge, I spent a week staying at a T’boli tribe to get a feeling of what it is like to live with them and learn a bit of their customs. I also spent some time sharing my knowledge on basic information technology to the teachers and students at the T’boli school so they can get access to emails and facebook, thus get access to the world.

The homestay and school only have 1 functioning computer. It pinches my heart that teachers despite passionately sharing their knowledge to their tribal students, don’t even have the knowledge to learn from the world thru technology.

Interesting to note the following:

1. My bed in the Tiboli homestay is simple yet elegant

2. It is in the middle of nowhere. From the nearest city, General Santos City, I still rode 2 bus, and a jeep full of passengers and chicken so I can reach the place. Yet foreigners still visit and have their cultural immersions. Really impressive.


3. The tribe are famous for their tribal dances and they sell beads and artworks. They gave me a bunch when I was about to leave.. such sweet people.

4. The traditional dinner was awesome. I get to taste delicacies that are only found in that part of the world. I should’ve learned how they cook it *sayang*

5. I was there not only for sight seeing but to volunteer and help out so hopefully, these tribes can enhance their way of living. Teachers and Kids now have emails and access to facebook, they should have rights to be connected to the world too. But before that, I think the blackboards needs replacement. :(

The place needs more computers so they can access the internet better. Additionally, they need more volunteers to help enhance their livelihoods. The place is beautiful, but it can be better if we extend our help.


Where to stay: You can avail the homestay of Maria Todi at SLT (School for Living Traditions), near SIKAT-T’boli school. It is also encouraged that you volunteer your time as well, whether teaching computers or english, or just hang out with the kids and give them some global education. The homestay can also be booked online here

For more info, contact Maria at  09066345367 or 09129764041 or email her at

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