June 30 – the much-awaited day for all Filipinos as the 15th President of the Republic, P-Noy, will pledge his promises to the nation. Yours truly together with husband and three of our good friends chose to drive south to nature trip. 🙂
Husband and I planned about going to Caliraya but ended up with the idea of San Pablo’s seven lakes. It was also timing to celebrate Gem’s belated birthday.
It was Gem, who initiated inviting Pel and Babu to this trip. And all three of them were clueless to the adventure that awaits us.
A week before this trip, I read several review about the place, the people, the package and the activity. I read no downside about this adventure, in fact most people who have experienced the place associated calmness to San Pablo’s best-kept little secret. And for somebody like me who despise the fast-moving city life, a daytrip would be perfect.
San Pablo, Laguna is a two hours drive (that is without traffic at SLEX) from Manila and from San Pablo city proper Santo Angel is about 6kms away. And from a Total Gas Station along the road it’s another 3 minutes, leading to a vacant lot where our guide was waiting. Husband had already made prior arrangements with Aling Sion, Mang Tano’s wife of our arrival that day so we were welcome right away.
From the main road, we trekked for another 15 minutes. Finally, the sight of a lake.
Lake Pandin is one of the seven lakes of San Pablo Laguna.
It was all calmness, which sits on a landscape of greens.
We were greeted by the Samahan ng Kababaihan and were directed to our bamboo raft.
After setting off, the lady paddlers (4 of them), started our cruise.
We enjoyed the ride as the lady paddlers cheerfully tell stories about the lake and readily answers our queries.
One of them pitched a trivia on why all women do the paddling. The Girl Scout I am was ever ready for an answer. It is because there were times especially foreign visitors wore skimpy bikinis and swimwear, which they all felt is a little awkward for the male paddlers. I got it right! Little they know I read it from one of those reviews, I was half cheating…hehehe 🙂
The sight from where our raft was docked was relaxing and the water was inviting.
Gem, Babu and Leoncio initially tested the fresh waters.
And not long, the deep waters did not scare me to try it.
Pel chose to stay dry doing the power shots. 🙂
Lunch was earlier prepared by the lady paddlers, it was very simple but very appetizing; something that was very rural.
On our table,
Ensaladang Pako with Itlog na Pula (Fern Salad with Salted Eggs)
Ginataang Hipon (Shrimps in Coconut Milk)
Binalot na Kanin sa Dahon (cooked rice wrapped in banana leaves) minus the fly 🙂
Fresh Buko Juice
Banana and Corn (grilled)
Right after lunch, we went another hike atop the hill that thinly separates Lake Pandin to her twin, which was Lake Yambo.
Lake Yambo was equally beautiful and serene.
There were folk stories about these two lakes, they were sweethearts and a curse eventually turned them into lakes. Mang Tano happily recounts the story to us.
Mang Tano and the rest of lady paddlers even joined my group on a small drinking session. The local people were so thankful of our gestures they even said that it is very seldom that they get that open treatment from their guest. 🙂
And for us, it was always our enjoyment to meet people everywhere.
We spent our last remaining hour having fun with the waters, thanks to that life jacket for giving me a lot of confidence this time.
Look Hon, I’m floating! 🙂
And when it’s time for us to sail back, we were taken away by the relaxing beauty of Lake Pandin.
It was a breakthrough from the metropolis, which we are all used.
It is Unruffled. Undisturbed. Unpretentious.
How I wish life would be like this everyday. 🙂
Side trip to Sampaloc Lake
We left Santo Angel around 4pm and since it was a little early to drive back to Manila we thought of getting around to Sampaloc Lake.
After a few turns from the town plaza we were welcome by another beauty of San Pablo.
There was no water activity at Sampalok Lake and tourist mostly came here to have pictures and have some tummy filling meal at that eatery surrounding the lake.
We chose to have one at this cart that sells congee and tofu and pork.
And later on explore a little of the place to kill time.
And before we drove back to Manila the memories of our younger years 14 years ago was still a bustling proof of a true and absolute friendship, one that can withstand any weather that may come. 🙂
Note: Prior arrangement is required for Pandin tour, the tour cost P180.00 and another P180.00 if you plan to book for lunch. Lake Pandin Tour, contact Mang Tano at 09299789565