It was just one of those quick day trips.
As a summer getaway, our clinic decided to take a break and close up for the day for a little road trip to San Pablo, Laguna. This city is tagged as the “City of Seven Lakes” as it is known to have these seven enclosed water bodies: Lake Sampaloc, Lake Palakpakin, Lake Bunot, Lake Pandin and Yambo, Lake Muhikap and Lake Calibato. We decided to check out the most popular of the seven which is Lake Pandin.
Since we are a group of 14, we agreed that renting a van is more convenient as we also brought additional food along with us. We booked a Hi-Ace van with a very jolly driver named Sir Joemar. Do not hesitate to contact him for any of your transport needs: 0926-884-6795.
So, at around 5:30 in the morning, we sleepily headed off to our destination. From Manila, we headed to South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and exited to Calamba. From Calamba, we headed straight to San Pablo, Laguna. It took us only less than 3 hours to arrive at the area and once there, we readied ourselves for the 10-15minute hike going to the lake. The simple trail led us to an entrance where we were asked to pay 60 PHP per person as payment to the owner of the private land we will be passing through in order to reach Lake Pandin (a bit expensive for a few minutes of walk-through if I might add). However, the lake itself has no entrance fee.
Once there, you will be greeted by friendly locals who will orient you on the tour details. The main activity is a 2-hour bamboo raft tour in Lake Pandin with an option to do a side trip hike to have a view of Lake Yambo. The tour package includes a food bundle consisting of grilled tilapia, ginataang hipon, ensaladang pako, fresh banana and rice.
Here are the rates of the tour:
Small Bamboo Raft 180/person
Big Bamboo Raft with food 360/person minimum of 4
1,000/person good for two
1,200/person good for three
Big Bamboo Raft without food 180/person minimum of 4
500/person good for two
600/person good for three
You can also swim in the lake provided that you wear the life vests they provide. The water is cool and refreshing. A perfect way to fight off the summer heat. Overnight camping is also allowed. However, there is no fixed rate but usually starts at 100 pesos.
There is also a wash up area for those who wants to change after swimming in the lake.
To ensure that a tour package is available upon your arrival, I suggest that you inquire and book ahead of time.
Contact Aling Siony at: 0929-978-9565.
So if you want a quick nature getaway that is near Manila, I recommend that you visit Lake Pandin. I wish we had more time to explore the other 6 lakes but we had to head off back to Manila so I guess I will just have to explore them in my next Laguna trip.
’till my next blog!