San Pablo City, Laguna is popular for it is the City of Seven Lakes namely (1) Sampaloc Lake: the biggest and most popular; (2) Pandin Lake: that quiet hidden lake; (3) Lake Kalibato: said to be the deepest and the coldest lake; (4) Yambo Lake; (5) Palakpakin Lake; (6) Lake Muhicap; and (7) Lake Bunot.
If it is your first time coming to San Pablo, you will have that small-town feel. All the main establishments are nestled in almost the same area. The main avenue, Colago Avenue, is surrounded by business establishments and will lead you straight to San Pablo Cathedral.
San Pablo City is in a somewhat semi-developed state. Unlike other Laguna cities, San Pablo appears to be very quaint and is also gifted by natural wonders. However, like other growing hubs, the unstoppable growth is evident in new investments, increasing population migration and booming economy. One could only hope that the quaint town they grew up in remains the same.
I remember my first visit here (more than a decade ago I tell you). Me and my relatives were actually going to Liliw, Laguna for a shoe-shopping spree and we passed by the downtown to have lunch at Jollibee. Looking at my left from the car window, I instantly fell in love with the few remaining old houses standing. Stuck inside, I regret that I was not able to go down and get a closer look.
Back to the present, I always find myself going back here. Either just hanging out at Sampaloc Lake with my friends, go ukay-ukay at Japan Surplus (Yes! For Uk-Uk lovers there is a big Japan Surplus here! PM me to know the details) or just out to do tambay here out of the blue.
However, it saddens me to see that the downtown is no longer reminiscent of the small-town I was yearning for. Modern structures abound and numerous trikes often call out to passengers which I really find annoying at times. I guess the local transportation board needs to do better with their franchise regulation.Then one day, we discovered this resort on the outskirts of the city. It is called Sanctuario de San Pablo Resort and Spa. A bit pricey for the budget traveler, but I say once you have gone here, either for a day-swim or for an overnight stay, it will be worth it. Once entering its enormous gates, all the city noise will be blocked out automatically. The resort is giving off this Bali,Indonesia vibe. Its structures are painted yellow, equivalent of a very relaxing atmosphere.
The resort is not open to the public if there are private events like corporate gatherings or weddings. Better contact the resort first specially if you plan coming on weekends or holidays. Their contact numbers are (049) 562-6867 and (049) 561-3006.
|The resort pool comes with a slide|
Cabanas: Day Tour during weekdays costs Php 450 per head with complimentary meal. Php 550 during weekends with buffet lunch. Cabanas are free of charge for day-swimming
|Take a dip here with me 🙂
Visit the resort’s website for further inquiries and information
Me and my friends: (L-R) Ate Joy, ME and Ate Chie
Photo by Bimbo Jereza
Photo by Bimbo Jereza
Sanctuario de San Pablo is a secret haven in this part of town. It’s location is not hard to find since it is along the National Highway going to Lucena City, Quezon. If you are coming from Manila, you can take the Lucena-City bound buses from Pasay/Cubao and kindly ask the the bus driver or conductor to drop you off here. Your landmark will be Max’s Restaurant located at the right side.
If you are coming from San Pablo City town proper, the fastest way to reach the resort is by taking a trike (fare ranges from P25-P30, travel time about 5-10 minutes). Just tell the driver to drop you off at Sanctuario at Calihan, near Max’s Restaurant.
For those always hungry, Max’s Restaurant is just across the road. The resort also has a big parking space perfect for the always-on-a-road trip guest. Meals are also served here, sumptuous to the eyes and will definitely satisfy your taste though is not for a budget-traveler or backpacker’s budget. But the staff are friendly and best of all. It was here in my beloved Philippines. 🙂