San Pablo City in Laguna is known as the City of Seven Lakes. But only its biggest lake, the Sampaloc Lake, is known to many probably because of its location which is in the center of the town.
Smaller lakes such as Lake Pandin, Yambo and Bunot are not that famous especially to those visiting San Pablo. Most of these lakes are located in far flung barangays and are used mainly for fish production. But things are changing up thanks in part of the concentrated efforts of the local government, tourist agencies and travel bloggers who continuously promote San Pablo and her 7 lakes as a prime eco-tourist spot and destination in the Philippines that is just a few hours away from Metro Manila.
Pandin Lake in San Pablo City, Laguna
And for those who are looking for cheap and affordable weekend get-aways or eco-tourism spots near Metro Manila, Field Trip Boy suggest you go to Pandin Lake. This tourist spot in Laguna is perfect for summer vacations and outings, picnics and swimming trips, and educational fieldtrips.
Lake Pandin, or Pandin Lake is the smallest lake in San Pablo, Laguna. Small as it is, Lake Pandin is never short of beautiful, in fact among the 7 lakes of San Pablo City, Pandin Lake is considered the cleanest and most stunning.
Bamboo Raft in Pandin Lake
From afar, the lake seems to have green waters. But it is not moss or pollution that causes this phenomenon. Pandin Lake has clean, clear waters; what make the water green in color are the plants that live at the bottom of the lake. The surroundings are also filled with trees causing some of their images to reflect in the surface of the water.
Legend of Lake Pandin and Lake Yambo
( Ang Alamat ng Lawa ng Pandin at Yambo)
Based on local folklore, the Lakes Pandin and Yambo are named after 2 lovers, Pandin and Yambo.
Pandin was a beautiful girl but was cursed. Her feet should not touch the ground for disaster will strike. Her lover, Yambo, was not aware of this curse and encourages Pandin to step outside their house and come along with him.
Just as Pandin took her first step outside, a terrible noise was heard followed by heavy rains that lasted for days. After the tragedy, 2 lakes replaced the area where the house of Pandin once stood. The lakes were just separated by a small strip of land.
How to go to Pandin Lake
For those who are from Metro Manila, just ride a bus going to Lucena City via San Pablo. Ordinary buses and airconditioned buses like JAC Liner and Lucena Lines can be found around Cubao and in LRT Buendia. Just tell your conductor to drop you of in front of the San Pablo Medical Hospital. Fare for air conditioned buses is around 130 pesos. The trip will take around 2 hours.
Field Trip Boy in Pandin Lake
From there, ride a jeep going inside town. You could also ride a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to the San Pablo Cathedral, but I suggest you go via jeep for tricycles in SPC are notorious for over charging. They might charge you for 40 pesos for the trip while a ride in a jeep will only cost you 8 pesos per person.
From the San Pablo Cathedral, you will have 2 options, either ride the jeep bound for Ilog or the one going to Liliw, Laguna.
The jeep going to Ilog or Sto Angel will drop you of around 300 meters short of the parking lot going toLakePandinwhile the jeep bound for Liliw will drop you exactly in front of the parking lot. For Ilog jeeps, you will only pay 12 pesos per person while for the Liliw bound jeeps, they will charge you with the minimum fare of 15 pesos.
Hike to Lake Pandin
From the parking lot, just follow the dirt road going inside the forest. The walk is not that hard. You can reach Pandin Lake by walking at a leisurely pace at around 10-15 minutes. The road however becomes a little muddy after some heavy down pour.
You also do not need to hire a tour guide for there are some residences along the way and you can ask the friendly people for directions.
The Lady Rowers of Lake Pandin
Before reaching the lake, please read the billboard that tells some instructions and safety reminders.
There is no entrance fee in Lake Pandin. You can take a swim in its clean waters for free. Just take with you all the trash and plastic bags as you go for the people in the lake go long stretches just to keep their lake clean.
For those who would want to explore the lake and seeLakePandin’s twin Lake Yambo, you could ask the services of the lady rowers. Upon approaching the lake, some ladies will greet you and would ask if you’d be interested in going for a boat ride going to some of the beautiful spots in the lake including the Grotto. The lady rowers of Lake Pandin only charges 180 pesos per person for the tour of the lake. They will take you on a tour of the lake including the part where there is a grotto for the Virgin Mary and a spring where you can drink fresh water.
Lake Pandin’s version of a Floating Restaurant
They can also prepare you your lunch if you made reservations at least the day before your trip. Lunch consists of local ingredients harvested straight from the lake’s premises such as fried or grilled tilapia, pako salad, ginataang kuhol (golden snails) or shrimps, and ripe bananas. For drinks, they serve fresh buko juice.
There are special bamboo rafts where with tables so that you and your pals can enjoy your lunch in the center of the lake.
For reservations for your Lake Pandin tour you can contact Ate Siony. Here is her contact number- (092) 99789565.
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