Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
Lake Sebu is also the name of a natural lake in the municipality (at coordinates 06° 12.927N (DMS), 124° 42.090E (DMS)) within the Alah Valley region. The Philippine government has recognized it as one of the country's most important watersheds. Lake Sebu is one of the many bodies of water supplying important irrigation to the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato. The villages around the lake have been turned into an independent municipality called Lake Sebu after being a former village of Surallah.
Lake Sebu is politically subdivided into 19 barangays.
The economy is based on aquaculture of Tilapia grown in large fish cages floating in the lake. More than one half of the land around the lake is cultivated for agriculture. The Philippine government is also trying to promote ecotourism in the area. The finishing of a concrete road cut the travel time from 4 hours to less than 30 minutes greatly improving trade and commerce.
The lake's shores and the surrounding rainforest are home to the indigenous T'bolis, Tirurays, Ubos and Manobos. One of the major tribes, the T'bolis are known for their weaving skills and brassware production as well as fishing skills. The rest of the population are made of Ilonggos, Bicolanos and Ilocanos.
The placid lake of Lake Sebu can be found in Alah Valley near the municipality of Surallah, South Cotabato. Surrounded by rolling hills and mountains covered with thick rain forest. The total area of the lake is 891.38 km², with an elevation of approximately 1000 m.
Wild boars and Philippine deers which are considered endangered live around the lake. The lake and the surrounding rainforest are natural habitat to egrets, kingfishers, swallows, herons, Philippine cockatoos and kites.
The Philippine government proclaimed a 924.50 km² wide area as a protected landscape. On the southeastern watershed of the lake, a bamboo plantation was established.