There is a little oasis tucked in Barangay San Lorenzo in San Pablo, Laguna, Philippines for all the nature-lovers out there.
It is the beautiful Lake Pandin…
Lake Pandin is half of the twin crater lakes (the other one being Yambu) in the area.
My friends and I went on a Mount Banahaw hike last November and on our way back, we decided to check out the nearest “nature” destination we could find. This unplanned trip turned out to be my favorite part of our travel.
The lake is very pristine, and the locals should be commended on how they have managed to take really great care of the area, considering how people have now been flocking to have a taste of its charm. The community is small, with the women trained to handle the tourism aspect of the site.
We were greeted by a host of children upon getting there, and then a kind woman who asked if we had reservations for a balsa (bamboo raft). We had none (as it was an unplanned trip), but luckily, the place was not “heavily-touristy” so we were just asked to wait for a few minutes as they prepared our balsa.
When you get to the place, you will see the balsas lined up. They are up for rent for PhP180.00 (PhP360.00 if you want lunch as well).
Lunch consisted of shrimps (baby shrimps), tilapia (yummy and super fresh, as in!), ensalada, rice, bananas, and coconut freshly-picked from the trees.
We had a lady as our guide (rafter) who also shared bits on how life is there in their community. She also shared with us the legend of Lake Pandin.
Legend tells of a love story between the beautiful Pandin and her lover, Yambu. Pandin was forbidden to set foot on earth/soil and did it anyway for Yambu, who knew nothing about the curse. The earth shook, and a thin strip of land separated the two. *wipes tears*
Not surprisingly, when we got to the other end, we stopped over for a bit and our guide led us to the steps where we walked a few up for the view of Pandin’s twin lake (or lover), Yambu.
Afterwards, our guide let us swim to our heart’s delight. She also reminded us not to remove our life vests (part of ensuring the safety of the tourists). Thank goodness for life vests cause we didn’t know how to swim.
I am geographically-challenged so I can’t really help with directions. We commuted from Mount Banahaw and all I know is that we rode a tricycle up to a cathedral in San Pablo City, and then got on a jeep with an “Ilog” signboard. 🙂