Sunday, July 27, 2008

Laguna: San Pablo, Laguna's seven lakes

San Pablo, Laguna is known as the City of Seven Lakes. So if you're planning to visit, make sure to check out its seven lakes! Here's another fun day trip if you're looking for a change of scenery. We tried our best to make it to San Pablo by 7 a.m. and it's a good thing traffic cooperated since the trip usually takes two hours.

After a quick breakfast, we were off to our first lake, Lake Bunot in Barangay Concepcion. The fishermen were up early maintaining their many fishpens. Looks like they were feeding the tilapia or whatever fish they had there. After a few photos, we made our way to the next lake.

Lake Calibato in Barangay Sto. Angel is down the road near the town of Rizal. Part of the lake actually touches the boundaries of the town. There's a short hike down to the lake. It's one of the lakes I saw during a previous trip and it's one of my favorites. Just be careful since it becomes a bit slippery when it rains. And sad to say, I was a casualty.

Since there are still no directional signs (I hear they're working on it), you could easily miss the jump-off point for this lake. Coming from the city proper, it's after KM 90. Just watch out for a kubo and make sure you ask around for directions.

After this lake, you drive back towards the direction of the city proper to the jump-off point for the next two lakes in Barangay San Lorenzo. Lake Pandin and Lake Yambo also touch the boundaries of Rizal and Nagcarlan. It's a one kilometer trek from the jump-off point to get to Lake Pandin which is one of the lakes popular for swimming.

When we got there, the locals offered to take us to Lake Yambo by balsa for PHP180 each. But since we found it pricey (I'm sure you could negotiate but we wanted to exercise), we decided to walk instead. It's an upward trek, a little over one kilometer if my estimates are right, to get to Yambo. Sad though that the sun was hiding behind clouds by the time we got to the vantage point for the lake because the lake was so picturesque!

We made sure to take a dip back in Lake Pandin before trekking back to our vehicle. The water was cool and relaxing, perfect after stretching those muscles.

From there, we drove to Lake Palakpakin in Barangay San Buenaventura. The best place to view this lake filled with water lilies is from the bridge between Barangay San Lorenzo and San Buenaventura.

Lake number six was Lake Mojicap (or Mohikap) in Barangay Sta. Catalina, another picturesque lake. Again, since there are no directional signs, getting there is tricky and you'll really need to ask directions every now and then. The lake touches the boundary of the town of Calauan. It was very clean and there were some kids swimming so I guess this is another lake where you can opt to take a dip.

For our final lake, we proceeded back to the city proper to visit Lake Sampaloc. At 104 hectares, it's the largest of the lakes. there's a view deck as well as a lakeside walk way making it a favorite hang-out of the city. With that complete, it was time for a really late lunch. And where best to celebrate but in Kusina Salud! I'll tell you about it in another post!

How to get to San Pablo, Laguna
There are several buses that can take you from Manila to San Pablo, Laguna. San Pablo City can be reached via JAC, JAM, N. Dela Rosa and Lucena Lines from Cubao or Buendia. The signboard on the bus should say Lucena via San Pablo. Last daily trip is at 9 p.m. It's a two-hour ride depending on traffic.
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