It was my first time to play as tour guide to my travel buddies. This getaway was supposed to be an overnight stay in one of my favorite cities but most of them were not available on the next day. Hence, I organized this day-tour event. I got a little excited in showing them the little treasures I have loved for a quite some time now since most of them have not yet been in this part of Laguna.A DIY tour of the seven lakes was doable but it got me thinking that it could get pretty tiring. Especially if you are exploring at late morning. After agreeing on our logistics, I got them a trike-chaffeur who also served us our tour guide of sorts.
|Overlooking Mt. Cristobal|
This the second lake we visited. It is secluded and banked between small hills. Several families reside beside the lake. Hiring a bamboo raft is also possible and locals refer to it as ‘lamo‘.
I was so disappointed upon seeing what Pandin Lake looked like. Gone are the days when I can walk to the lake without breaking a sweat. Tall trees used to shield visitors from the harsh sun. A private land owner decided to announce his/her presence by fencing their piece of land using modern materials like yero. Several houses have also sprouted on the sides of the lake. Gone are the days where a beach-like lake shore can be enjoyed. I also noticed that ropes were being used to pull bamboo rafts for tourists.
|Photo by Mai Flores|
Picnicking is also possible aboard roofed bamboo rafts. Locals sell fresh buko juice too. You can also bring your own food and just enjoy the rest of day. No need to hurry.
The twin lake of Pandin. Only a small hill separates the two. This is now the most secluded of all the lakes. We were unable to go down to the lake to get a better view.
I am most familiar with Kalibato lake next to Sampaloc lake. A friend of mine has a house nearby and my first visit here was back in 2004. Just like the rest of the lakes, tilapias are also raised here. A small waterfall can also be found at one side. During my initial visit, my friends and I were able to bathe and relax here. The lake pool looked like small jacuzzi.
|by Mai Flores|
The last lake we visited and the least scenic one in my opinion. This is located near San Pablo town proper in Brgy. San Cristobal. Residential houses sprouted like mushrooms right on the lake, obscuring the view. It is sad how the local government do not see the potential of the seven lakes as a prime tourist destination.
The first half of our day ended at around past 1 pm. We paid Kuya Boyet P700 (for 5 persons) and wished him well on this day. I asked him earlier to come with us for lunch but our next stop was out of the way since he did not heed my initial instructions – Kalibato Lake being the last lake we should have visited. I figured out that was to save on gasoline. Oh well, P 700 was more than enough to buy him a hearty lunch though. 🙂
How To Get Here
1. Ride Lucena/Bicol bound buses from Manila/Cubao/Pasay
2. Ask to be dropped off at 7-11/San Pablo Medical (Hospital)
3. Walk at the other side of the fork. Ride a jeepney with San Pablo signage (P 8).
4. Alight near the church or plaza. Hire a trike to visit the seven lakes.