So last Saturday, my favorite person and I were finally on the road again. Friday night, I was searching for a place to go release the stress I’ve been keeping for two months now. Life had been busy as well as work. And since another month is about to start, we’ve decided to go for a break. At least for a day.
Since before that day, visiting the seven lakes of San Pablo, Laguna is already in my bucketlist. But due to the fact that I just wanted to have a relaxing day, we’ve decided to visit just one.
From Manila, we drove for about 3 hours to Lake Pandin. It took us only about 10 minutes to reach the lake from the parking area. Along the way, I didn’t threw away the chance to have a picture with this vast field as a backdrop. Tee-hee!
We were guided by two little kids. We could’ve done it ourselves but what is Php 100 to give these little ones a week worth of baon.
The night before, I texted the number I got from the blogs I’ve read. You can reach out to Aling Sion as well if you want to book a lunch in a raft for two hours. Here’s her number – +639299789565.
Lunch served includes Inihaw na Tilapia, Inihaw na Baboy, Ginisang Hipon, Itlog na maalat with Kamatis, 3 rice and 2 bottled water. Not bad!
Servings and prices vary, of course. We were only two so the price per head is Php 500. If you are three, price per head is Php 400 and if you’re 4pax above, price per head is Php 360. We were told that if for example you are 20 in a group, you can arrange with them and let them prepare lunch good for only 15 heads. For more details, feel free to contact Aling Sion.
Lake Pandin is the second deepest lake (in San Pablo) next to Lake Calibato. So it’s important to take precaution when you’re in the raft. We were informed that the middle of the lake is about 180ft deep. So if you’re planning to take a dip, make sure to wear the life vest provided.
While eating lunch, I interviewed our bangkera. I asked about the story behind Pandin and Yambo even if I’ve read about it the night before. Lake Yambo is the lake on the other side of Lake Pandin. They are known as the twin lakes of San Pablo but they aren’t twins!
They were told to be named after lovers Andin and Ambo. Long before Andin was born, her parents had difficulty bearing a child. One day, Andin’s parents called upon a fairy and wished to have a child. The fairy agreed with the condition that their child should never ever step on the ground. Feeling desperate, they agreed with the fairy.
When Andin was old enough to be courted by a man, the most unexpected thing happened. One day, Andin’s suitor Ambo visited her to ask her out but always mindful of her parent’s reminder not to step on the ground, she resisted. But when he threw the ball of thread Andin is working on that afternoon, she was alarmed. She tried to convince Ambo to get it for her but Ambo didn’t follow her. With the intention to get Andin out with him on a date, he insisted to get it herself. So Andin, quite irritated, forgot her parent’s one wish and stepped on the ground to get the ball of thread.
As soon as her feet touched the face of the earth, the ground trembled and Andin suddenly became a body of water. Ambo was shocked and tried to touch Andin realizing that he’s slowly turning into a body of water as well.
This was the legend the locals believed in. They believed that the thin piece of land between these two lakes are the hands of Andin and Ambo holding each other.
Not quite the love story I expected but romantic enough that even though Andin turned into something Ambo didn’t expect her to be, he still held on to her. Until the end.
0900 ETD from Manila
1200 ETA in Lake Pandin Parking Area
1210 ETA in Lake Pandin + Lunch in Raft
1430 ETD from Lake Pandin + Quick Visit to the other lakes nearby
1600 ETD from Laguna
1900 ETA in Manila
ESTIMATED BUDGET BREAKDOWN
Lunch at Lake Pandin + 2 hours raft rental- Php 500
Trail Guide – Php 100
Total: Php 600 at most (per individual)
Note: Transportation and dinner expenses not included. But if you’re going to commute from Manila, more or less you’ll only spend Php 300 at most for the transpo.
HOW TO REACH LAKE PANDIN via PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION
From SLEX, take the Sto. Tomas Exit. From Sto. Tomas Exit, follow your GPS to take you to San Pablo, Laguna. When you pass by SM San Pablo, Waze app may tell you to ready yourself to turn left on Cosico Ave. but I suggest that you take the Rizal Ave. instead and go straight ahead. I’m sure your GPS will re-route itself. Follow it through until you reach Lake Pandin. Just heads up btw, the parking area near the Lake Pandin Billboard was relocated about 500m away. So if you happen to pass by that billboard, turn your car around and there’s this narrow alley that will lead you to the new parking area.
HOW TO REACH LAKE PANDIN via PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Take a bus from Manila bound to Lucena. Tell the driver/conductor to drop you off in SM San Pablo. You can either take a jeepney with “San Pablo” and get off Lake Pandin Parking Area or arrange with a tricycle to take you there.
Thank you for reading and I hope to have inspired you to travel more.
P.S. Leave no trace but memories.