Saturday, January 29

Soothing Lake Pandin Cruise + lunch

I’m back…I’m so back!!! I won’t get into details anymore of how busy I’ve been lately for that’s obvious. Our thank you to those people who’ve visited and made us feel special and loved despite of my ‘absence.’ *Huggs* And though I’ve been itching to post my new entry for 2011, I wanted to save the seat for our 3rd year Anniv trip…thus this post.

We’re always looking forward for January not only because of the new hopes for New Year…but another year for Gil and I as a couple. Apart from our usual itinerary-based getaway, we wanted this time to just relax, to inhale some fresh air from urban settings and simply to commune with nature. Our first destination: Lake Pandin.

Lake Pandin is one of the seven lakes (pitong lawa) located at Sto. Angel San Pablo Laguna, around 3 hours travel from Manila.

Lake Pandin is located 15-minutes trail trek from the highway. We were escorted by Aling Siona-0929.9789565, wife of Mang Tano who is the president of the Samahang Mangingisda ng Lawa ng Pandin (SMLP). The idea is a lake tour in a bamboo raft while having your lunch of the locals’ specialties. At the end of the trek is the soothing view of the lake (worth it sa mejo hingal at pawis na lakad).  Breath-taking as I may say so!

Let the trek begin!

Our first glimpse of the lake

After changing clothes, we we’re led to one of the bamboo rafts where our lunch was waiting. The view was so calming that before we knew it, we were already sailing. Our bamboo raft was being paddled by five nice ladies: Ate Siona, Marichu, Tina, Malou and Evelyn. On a separate banca is Kuya Ato and Mang Rene, the Brgy Tanod and our guards from afar.

Our late lunch was being prepared too by them. On the table were:

Ginataang hipon (smaller than the usual)
Ensaladang Pako (Fern salad)
Inihaw na tilapia (freshly caught tilapia from the lake)
...saging as dessert
...and the freshest buco juice ever!

The ginataang hipon was the most notable food for me. Ang sarap! Gil will always be on the tilapia side. Our first time with Ensaladang Pako which is Gil’s Nay’s favorite pla (sana nagbaon kami). Btw, super siksik nung rice as in 1 pa lng busog ka na. Best to be eaten ‘kamayan’ style! 

After few minutes, we parked by the shady corner of the lake to rest. And as we’re enjoying the foods, we’re also enjoying the stories of the locals. Tamang kwentuhan lng, ang simple…super probinsya feel.

Tall trees and lush greens surround the lake, the water was still and calm, the food tastes good and the people were nice and friendly. Two things: you’ll be tempted to dip in the water or you’ll be on your deep slumber. :)

We thought the trip was done when they ask if we want to see the nearby lake, Lake Yambo. Who are we to refuse? Our privilege to have Aling Siona to guide us (bihira daw kz magguide ng guests sa Yambo lake si Aling Siona). There we learn a lot about her and Mang Tano. Aling Siona is one of the kindhearted people I’ve met, ang simple lang!

the short trip up Lake Yambo
...looking back
our bamboo raft parked on the side
Presenting Lake Yambo after the short trek...
 truly picturesque!

Lake Yambo offers another picturesque scenery. I just imagine how relaxing taking a nap in this area as the air was cool and the scene was perfect! 

On our way back, we passed by this area with Mama Mary’s grotto and a bamboo ‘salulo’ where locals get natural water coming from the mountain for drinking.

Gil had his most anticipated chance to paddle as one of the Ates pull the guide rope instead.

…while I’m on this side enjoying the cold water on my feet…

Some of our best picked shots (thanks Ate Tina for the couple pic) ^_^

Now meet some of our lady paddlers:
Ate Evelyn and Aling Siona
Ate Marichu and Ate Evelyn
 The person to contact, Aling Siona 0929.9789565

I still couldn’t help to look back on the lake shore and be mesmerized with the natural beauty of the lake. As to Aling Siona, the number of residents along the shore was enough already, the limits being monitored by the local government to preserve the natural beauty of the lake. We knew it we’ll be back again…with the hope that the same serene and untouched Lake Pandin awaits us, even years from now.

the trek back to the highway (Aling Siona on the lead)

A 'balsa tour' or bamboo raft tour is P180/person. Lunch is optional at an additional P180/person but we highly recommend this! They also accommodate group tours. All tours must be in advance notice.

To go to Lake Pandin via commute:
1. Ride a bus bound to Lucena, Calauag or any bus sign that will pass by San Pablo. Take off at San Pablo Medical Hospital and ask a tricycle to take you to Brgy. Sto. Angel. Special ride range from Php80-150.

2. From San Pablo City proper, ride a jeepney bound to 'ILOG' near the San Pablo Church and ask the driver to drop you off Sto. Angel, Lake Pandin sign (see sign below). Fare is Php17.

Off to our next destination: Kinabuhayan Café.


kg said...

first of all, welcome back mishi! :)

second, i love thjat place! i love off-road places! they're exciting and. most of the time, wonderful! thanks for sharing this. now, i want to go there!

PS. I have a new site ha [the old one's gone]:

Chyng said...

improving ang shots. i love the lente! hehe

ganda ng place, aylavet! ♥

princess_dyanie said...

Welcome baaaack!!! :)

Thanks for sharing how to go there via commute. Now I know ahihihi :D

Ang sarap talaga ng "province feel" no? :D

Arvin U. de la Peña said...

maligayang pagbabalik..

mishi said...

hi kg, thanks! mas relaxing pag off-road trips as I may say so. Update ko links ko for your new site. :)

@chyng, thanks chyng! it's always a pleasure to hear that compliment from you! the lente, nyay! kinakarir ni gil. :)

@hi dyanie,ang sarap tlga pag province feel! :) wat happened? read ur farewell post. hope everything's fine! mamimiss ka nmin! :(

@hi arvin, thanks! tambak na for uploads ko hehe! salamat sa pagdalaw! :)

Badet said...

Thanks for sharing! I'd love to go to Lake Pandin now na, I fell in love at the place agad. =)

marxtermind said...

Gusto ko pumunta dito kahit magisa lang ako, sana makahanap ako ng time at magka budget. magkano nagastos mo sa trip?

chino said...

ang ganda, Fan talaga ako ng Quezon ! ang daming magagandang puntahan . I bookmarked this and will hopefully add this place to visit before the year ends.

Martin Perez said...

Hi there! I'm looking at doing exactly this soon. So do I just text Aling Siona to set this up? Thank you :)

mishi said...

sorry badet for the late reply ha? thanks for dropping by! :)

mishi said...

Hi Martin! Yep, txt mo lng po sya kung ilan kayo at kung kelan para makapagprepare sila. thanks & enjoy your trip! :)

mishi said...

hi chino! my pleasure for the bookmark, yay! Go and enjoy! :)

Anonymous said...

I have come to Lake PAndin last SAturday, MArch 1, 2014, and for my experience, it was pleasant. The food, the serenity of the place and the warmth of the people operating there in Lake Pandin. The down-side is, THERE IS NO DECENT TOILET NOR BATHING ROOM to use for local tourist like me, the only "changing room" they can offer are the ones that are DILAPIDATED and there is no roof and the walls are riddled with holes..Im so embarrassed with the fact, that I invited my lady friends to go there and join with me only to find out later that there is no decent and secluded room/place to change/bathe or to defecate.


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