I recently went on a month-long trip around Mindanao with my best friend and the first leg of our adventure was in South Cotabato. I visited this province last year and had really great memories that I promised I will go back. Now, I knew that a huge chunk of my travel expenses will be accommodation. So when I initially made an itinerary for this trip, I made sure to find the most affordable accommodation. And that’s when I found out about Lemobung Lodge.
The last time I went to Lake Sebu, I stayed in Lake Sebu School of Living Traditions. I had the best time in this homestay so it was basically my first option. However, this trip was a little different. I wanted to fully immerse myself in Tboli culture so I planned on staying there for a while. That meant bringing my work with me and having to use electricity all the time. Moreover, I needed a place where I can actually cook my own food so I can save more money.
All things in consideration, Lemobung Lodge was the perfect place for me. Lemobung Lodge is a simple lodge run by the local government of Lake Sebu. It is also the office for Tourism. A few months prior to the trip, I was just randomly searching for cheap hotels in Lake Sebu when I found a small information about Lemobung Lodge. Surprisingly, it was a blog post written by my friend Lai. According to his blog post, one night stay in Lemobung Lodge only costs 60 pesos.
I could not believe it. 60 pesos? That’s like almost a dollar. However, they recently changed it to 100 pesos earlier this year. Still, it was the cheapest I could find!
The view in front of Lemobung Lodge
I would say that the view is definitely the highlight of my stay in Lemobung Lodge. The moment we arrived, my jaw literally dropped at the marvelous sight in front of me. This lodge is situated on top of a hill so you get to see an overlooking view of the lake. I was squealing with excitement! This resort definitely has the best view of Lake Sebu!
In fact, there are people who would visit this spot just to take some pictures. Every day, this is what we see when we are cooking in the kitchen. And every time we have to eat our meals, we just sit right at the facade with our plates so we can admire the beauty of the lake while we are eating.
Our room in Lemobung Lodge
We chose the dorm-type room because it only costs 100 pesos per person even though the private room only costs 300 pesos. I am not the hostel-type of person and if I can, I would always prefer a private room. I get anxious when I am around too many people, especially strangers. But in this case, I needed to choose the cheapest option because I’ll be staying for a while. Thankfully, our the dorm-type rooms in Lemobung Lodge only has three beds so it was fine with me and my friend. Although the whole time we were there, it was as if we were paying for a private room. There weren’t too many guests so we had the whole room for ourselves!
For 100 pesos, you can definitely enjoy a nice and comfortable room. We were situated at the opposite side of the lodge so we didn’t have a nice view when looking in the windows. Yet, it was still worth it because there were lots of trees. We stayed in an adjoining room so the toilet wasn’t technically all for ourselves. But since there were only two instances when guests stayed at the adjoining room, we were lucky to have the toilet all for ourselves.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Lake Sebu and don’t mind sharing with other people, Lemobung Lodge’s dorm rooms are definitely worth it. All rooms are non-aircon and also don’t have any fans but you definitely don’t need any there because the weather is always cold. Even at noon, the air is still cold.
The toilet and bathroom don’t have a hot shower so it can be quite a challenge every time you take a bath. Taking a bath there is guaranteed an extremely shivering experience. At night, I would wrap tuck myself in my sleeping bag. That’s how cold it is in this part of the world.
Cooking in Lemobung Lodge
Lemobung Lodge doesn’t have a restaurant so you really need to go out when you need to eat. The lodge is situated several kilometers away from the eateries and restaurants so that can be quite a challenge for other guests. Thankfully, they allow cooking in their kitchen. You can also use their heater and fridge.
They have a spacious kitchen where you can cook your meals and even eat there. My friend and I wanted to save money on food so what we did was do some grocery shopping every week in the market and stock them in the fridge. For this reason, we got to eat a lot of fruits, fish, and vegetables there.
Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthily. Fuel up your muscles and sustain your energy levels while on the road by buying fresh fruits and vegetables. As they say, “Go directly to the source!” Buy fresh produce from the local market and make sure to bring your own bag to avoid unnecessary plastic packaging. #EatHealthy #PlasticFreeLife
They don’t have a stove, but they have a rice cooker you can borrow. We brought our own cooking set so that wasn’t a problem for us. They also have plates, glasses, cups, and other cutleries that you can borrow.
I stayed in this lodge for 20 days and I definitely had a great time. The staff were kind and accommodating and they let us do our thing the whole time we were there. I definitely felt I was home when I stayed in Lemobung Lodge. Days before we left, I interviewed one of their staff and asked him what Lemobung means in Tboli. Well, it means pleasant.
A pleasant stay, it definitely was.
For anyone who is planning to travel to Lake Sebu and would like to save money on accommodation, I would highly recommend staying in Lemobung Lodge. It has the cheapest rates available but you are going to get more than what you are paying for. Whether you are staying for a night or stay there for several weeks like us, Lemobung Lodge is definitely a great option.
How to get there:
Lemobung Lodge is located in Purok Pag-asa, Poblacion, Lake Sebu South Cotabato.
From Manila or Cebu, there are daily flights to General Santos City. From General Santos City, you can ride a van bound for Marbel or Koronadal City. Once you arrive in Marbel, ride another van going to Lake Sebu.
- Van fare from General Santos City Airport to Koronadal City – 300 pesos
- Koronadal City to Lake Sebu – 80 pesos
Once you arrive at the van terminal in Lake Sebu, charter a habal-habal and inform the driver to bring you to Lemobung Lodge or Tourism Lodge. The fare is 25 pesos per person. You can also check out the regulated destination rates below:
- For reservation, contact Lemobung Lodge through the following numbers: 09177140836 or 09207416527
- Private room with own toilet is 300 pesos while dorm-type rooms cost 100 pesos per person. Please note that these rates are subject to change without prior notice. Please contact Lemobung Lodge to verify the actual rates and availability.
- It gets pretty cold out there so I highly advise bringing an extra blanket or sleeping bag.
- No toiletries available so bring your own.
- They are not open on Sundays.
- They have a function room that you can rent for a day for 500 pesos! Not kidding.
This is part one of my series of blog posts about my recent Mindanao trip. I will be updating this page as soon as I finish writing the other blog posts. For more updates and stories, follow me on my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.