When I hear the name Laguna, what enters my mind immediately would be the mystifying Mount Makiling, the famous Pagsanjan falls, antique turn of the century houses, and a myriad of hot spring pool resorts. So when I got invited to visit the City of San Pablo in Laguna, I felt far from being thrilled, at least not until they told me about its Seven Lakes. I was like what? I could hardly believe what I’ve just heard..seven lakes? Never heard of those before except for that one big Laguna de Bay, but seven more lakes?! Now that greatly aroused my curiosity, I got too excited my feet itched to go there as soon as possible haha!
But before our trip, I first did a little research ( which I usually do before visiting a place). I’ve learned that those bodies of water are actually seven crater lakes scattered around the city of San Pablo, amazing!
I’ve read how those lakes were formed, but I will not go into further details anymore or I would have to define scientific jargons hehe.Now here are the list of the Seven Lakes of San Pablo:
Lake Sampaloc – the largest lake
Twin Lakes of Pandin and Yambo
We first went to Sampaloc Lake since it was the nearest lake in the city. It was definitely the biggest and would look even more pristine and majestic if not for some illegal settlers and numerous fish pens which I’ve read pollutes and harms the lake. Nonetheless many are still drawn to its breathtaking view. It is also the most developed, aside from vacation houses surrounding it there are also churches, a park, walkways, quaint restos and stalls selling souvenir items. A bike could also be rented for only 20.00php to tour the lake that may take about 40 minutes. Anyway I don’t know how to ride bikes, so I opted to rent a pedicab which is 50.00php without a driver, but since I just want to ride and enjoy the scenery I hired a driver for another 50.00php and that cost me a total of 100.00php which is 5x the regular bike’s price haha! While we toured the lake’s circumference, I bought a couple of delicious ” turons” which I shared with my pedicab driver who I found out was just a senior high school student who works during weekends at the bike rental, so I thought at least the fee I paid him could be of little help. I enjoyed the ride through the tree lined road with one hand taking photos with my i-phone, and a delicious turon on the other haha!
After Sampaloc lake we dropped by Lake Muhicap situated in a lush sloping hill with very steep crude and narrow steps leading to it. It is eerily beautiful with its tranquil water and green surroundings dotted by a number of nipa huts. After taking a lot of pictures in Muhicap, we just rode and dropped by the side of the road to see and take a photo of the 3 other lakes, then we proceeded to the Twin Lakes of Yambo and Pandin.
The sun was up high and we are all wanting to take our lunch as we trekked up and down with our food containers and beverages in a very dusty path for about 20 minutes just to get to get to the Twin Lakes. But it was all worth it as we are welcomed with a very pristine and breathtaking view of Pandin Lake amidst lush foliage and coconut trees swaying with the cool wind. It was indeed a perfect place for our lunch! We rented a large bamboo raft with a nipa roof and table at a reasonable price of 200.00php where we had mouth watering feast of shrimps, squids,liempo, sinigang, fresh buco juice, and take note small leche flans and ube halaya sold at 100.00php for 3 pcs by friendly locals in Pandin. It was quite an experience having our lunch in the middle of the lake!
After a hearty meal we joked and romped around the raft, talked to the locals who are amused at our wackiness, and again took a lot of photos, and made a balete tree vine a makeshift swing lol! Afterwards we climbed up to the other side of the hill which is Pandin’s twin called Lake Yambo which is far more pristine, and the water blue, and the foliage greener.
After a whole afternoon in Pandin we went back to San Pablo City to the home of our friend/host Valerie and her family who warmly accommodated us. We drove exhausted and feet aching but definitely happy while checking hundreds of photos from our unforgettable getaway. 🙂