Now that I live in Quezon City, travelling to the South is not a big deal for me anymore. San Pablo City, Laguna, just a 2-hour drive or bus ride away from Manila, boasts its different attractions bursting with culture and heritage. Their local delicacies, guided nature-treks and lake tours are something to look forward to.
Last weekend, me and my future Thailand travel buddies decided to explore the city’s main attraction: The San Pablo Seven Lakes. Because I didn’t have the luxury of time to research the area, #minsantamad we relied on our printed Google map and kept bugging the locals we see in the streets to ask for directions.
Dubbed as one of a kind in the Philippines, and probably the world, the seven lakes of San Pablo City was formed by phreatomagmatic eruptions, an eruption where ground water comes in contact with hot magma pushing up near the Earth’s surface.* Aside from the beauty that the lakes possess, the lakes also provide livelihood to the locals in terms or fishing and tourism.
Now, let me take a selfie!
It all started as a joke of taking a selfie in each lake. Thus, the idea of this blog post was born.
Lake selfie no. 1 – Sampaloc Lake
The largest and the most accessible of all lakes. Sampaloc Lake is located in the city proper and just right behind the city hall. Which means there are a lot of people around the park. There are also some food stalls and other shops. We also noticed that this lake is the dirtiest 😐
Lake selfie no. 2 – Bunot Lake
This lake is more of a residential area type. Nothing special about it, but the locals are kind. One family even let us in their house just for us to get good pictures of the lake.
Lake selfie no. 3 – Palakpakin Lake
The shallowest yet the second largest of all. We only stayed here for a rough of 15 minutes just to take pictures because we are just at the side of a bridge. I’m just not sure if there are other areas where you can take pictures, but the tricyle driver dropped us here, so there you go. hehe
Lake selfie no. 4 – Mohikap Lake
Sorry for the bad photo, but this is the only one where you can really see the beauty of the lake. For me this is the most scenic. You just need to trek a little to get into this spot. Here locals offer a balsa ride for a “cave tour” which we didn’t avail. We stayed around 45 minutes here and watched kids while jumping off a tree.
Lake selfie no. 5 – Pandin Lake
From one scenic place to another (but my bet is still on Mohikap hehe) is Pandin Lake. Upon the entering the vicinity we met Rachelle, a 12 year old guide. She led us to the lake and we didn’t expect to be walking at least 30 minutes. Though it was not in our budget, we availed the 2-hour balsa tour with lunch for P 360 each. Quite pricey but for the experience of jumping off the balsa fully clothed is definitely worth it.
Because we got too excited to jump off the water and it was almost 4:30 PM that time, we decided to continue our tour the following day.
Day 2 | Lake selfie no . 6 – Yambo Lake
I know it’s just a trek away from Pandin lake but we still decided to go there by land. Yambo is the twin lake or “lover’ as they local legends say, as only a bare strip of elevated land divides the two lakes. “So close yet so far”, San Pablo shares this lake with the neighboring town of Nagcarlan.
Lake selfie no. 7 – Calibato Lake
The deepest lake in San Pablo. Though the trek going to the lake is a bit hard, I kinda liked it because of the jungle-ish-Indiana Jones feel to it. I know, I’m weird. haha
How To Get There:
From Kamias, QC we rode a bus to Lucena. They dropped us at SM San Pablo. From there we rode a tricycle going to our destination.
This tour can be easily done in one day. We just opted for an overnight trip for more bonding opportunities. One tip by the way, if you want to swim or chill till the day ends, make Pandin lake you last destination. Maybe next time I can use my new stylish bikini that I got from Zalora.
A big thank you to Kuya Kim for the DLSR (stolen) shots, Ra for letting me use his iPhone 5c for my selfie shots and Viel for proofreading and editing this blog post! (again) Hehe