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The Women of Pandin Lake

Hello there! It feels like it’s been ages since I last posted here. Pasensiya na po, been really busy with work and some trips. Anyway, today I am going to share with you one of the rewards I was blessed with during one of my recent trips—meeting interesting people along the way and learning from them.


I recently I visited Pandin Lake in San Pablo City, Laguna, where I met women who are prime movers in their small community. The women of Pandin Lake, with the help of some concerned individuals, organized themselves and came up with an idea to augment their income and at the same time take care of the lake: manage a Pandin Lake tour.

I arrived at Pandin Lake on a gloomy day, just in time for lunch. I was warmly greeted by two jovial women, Aling T and Aling M. “Good morning ho, Ma’am. Aalis na ho ba tayo agad?” they courteously asked. “Kami hong dalawa ang magsasagwan sa inyo.”

Glancing at the big bamboo raft, I replied, “Kaya niyo hong kayong dalawa lang?”

“Kayang-kaya, Ma’am. Sanay na po kami,” they said.

We started with the tour. I gamely tried to paddle along with them but I gave up upon realizing that my strength was not contributing anything to our raft’s speed. I just chatted with them to while away time. Game na game naman sila sa kuwentuhan.

“Ma’am, lahat na yata ng tao naging bisita na namin dito. Iba-iba hong tao. Yung iba, ayaw hong kumain kung hindi kami kasabay. Yung iba, parang may sariling mundo. Mula pag-alis sa pampang hanggang pagbalik, hindi kaming kinakausap,” said Aling M who was obviously on a cheery mood.

The two women paddled until we reached the other side of the lake where there’s a short trail going up a hill. From the hill, you can see another lake, Lake Yambo.

A few minutes after, we were back on the raft enjoying lunch. I like the ginataang maliit na hipon which were fresh catch from the lake.

After lunch, it was time for a dip.

On our way back to the pampang, I noticed that instead of using paddles, they used a rope tied from one end of the lake to the other. They pulled on the rope for faster navigation.

“Mas mabilis ho tayo sa ganito, Ma’am. Mas mabilis kaysa magsagwan. Pero may isang customer ho kami dati na ayaw talaga na gumamit kami nitong lubid kasi raw hindi kami nahihirapan. Dapat daw magsagwan kami para mas mahirap,” said Aling T.

The lake has been blessing them for so many years now. “Malaking tulong rin, Ma’am. Nakakakuha rin kami sa Pandin Lake ng mauulam. Yung kinikita namin sa pagto-tour, nakatutulong sa pamilya. Tulad ko, lima ang anak. May dalawang kolehiyo na ako,” said Aling T who is the secretary of the women’s group that run the Pandin Lake tours.

The group is composed of 18 women who all live near the lake. Whatever amount they earn from a day of touring visitors they divide it equally among themselves.

“Sana ho Ma’am, mag-invite kayo ng mga bibisita pa dito sa Lake Pandin. Para ho lalo pang dumami ang bisita namin.” I promised them I will.

I left San Pablo with much respect for the women of Pandin Lake. I salute them for their effort in helping bring food to their family’s table, instead of just playing tong-its or bingo or engaging in tsismisan all day long.

In keeping my promise to the women of Pandin Lake, I am inviting you, my dear readers, to find a weekend to visit the place. It’s a perfect place to breathe some fresh air and escape from the noise of Metro Manila. You don’t have to spend for airplane fare and accommodation. It is only an hour and a half drive from the buy metropolis. If you’re a commuter like me, it takes 2-2.5 hours to get there.

How to commute to Pandin Lake:
1. Arrange for a tour by texting Aling Siony (0929-978-95-65) at least a day before your trip. The women of Pandin Lake charge 180 per person for the lake tour. You can bring your lunch or ask them to prepare it for you. They charge 180 per person for the lunch. So a tour with lunch costs 360 per person.
1. Get on a bus going to Lucena. Ask the driver to drop you off at the San Pablo Medical Center.
2. Across the medical center (near 7-11), there are jeepneys going to Bayan (8 pesos). Or you may opt for a tricycle ride. Ask the driver to take you to Bayan.
3. Take a jeepney bound for Nagcarlan and tell the driver to drop you off at Bgy. Sto. Angel. It helps if you mention you are going to Pandin Lake. You will be dropped off in front of a parking lot with this signage where your guide will be waiting.

If you arrive ahead of the guide, just text Aling Siony and tell her that you’ve arrived and wait for the guide.
4. Follow a trail to the lake. This is just a short and easy trek, about 15 minutes. This signage tells you that you have arrived in Pandin Lake 🙂

Have a great time in Pandin Lake!

Posted 6 years, 2 months ago at 2:33 pm.

62 comments

62 Replies

  1. I salute these women and I’ll be putting Pandin Lake on my list to visit. Beautiful photos!

  2. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hi Kayni!
    Yes, visit mo ang Pandin Lake. Ma-i-enjoy mo sigurado.

  3. miss n, i so love this entry. not is it only about the place, but moreso about the people. i can feel the ‘heart” of the post. promise, pupunta din ako dyan. 🙂

    i missed you miss n! i’m ok naman. medyo bored and blog block dahil medyo walang gana ngayon. but that doesn’t stop me from reading others’ blogs, like yours. 🙂

  4. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Salamat, Ms. Grace. What I love about traveling is that I don’t only learn about the place, I learn new things and learn from them as well. Natutuwa ako at na-encourage ka ng post na ito to visit Pandin Lake.

    So, kumusta, wala na bang blog block? 🙂 Sana wala na. Salamat sa pagtitiyagang magbasa ng blog ko 🙂

  5. miss n, i just want you to know how much this post made me happy. i salute these women also. i admire people who value hardwork and clean work. gusto ko sila i-hug. 🙂

  6. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hi Ms. Grace, minsan dalawin mo rin sila. I’m sure you’ll enjoy their company…and they’ll enjoy your hug 😉

  7. balik tayo dun!

  8. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Haha! Sure!

  9. I miss that ginataang maliliit na hipon, grabeh! fave ng lola ko yan eh.. hmmm sarap! kelan kaya ako ulti makakakain nyan…

    Amazing!! Bilib ka nga naman sa pinoy.. San Pablo? Laguna ba yan?

  10. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hi Wendy!
    Mahilig ka pala sa ginataang hipon ha. Ang sarap niyan, manamis-namis kasi fresh catch. Pagbalik mo ng Pinas, makakatikim ka niyan…kaya balik na ka, daliii!!!! 🙂

    Yes, sa San Pablo, Laguna ito.

  11. salamat sa pagshare nito sa amin. these women are really something! hope to go there sometime 😉

  12. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hi Dinah!
    Malapit lang ito sa Metro Manila at accessible sa sasakyan kaya puwede mo puntahan on a weekend. Go na! 😉

  13. ang ganda. I would like to visit this place. Will include this in my to visit list.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  14. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hi jeanny, go na! 🙂 Tapos blog about it. Gusto ko rin malaman ang impression mo of the lake 😉

  15. “I salute them for their effort in helping bring food to their family’s table, instead of just playing tong-its or bingo or engaging in tsismisan all day long.” Very well said. I respect people who work hard too, while others complain of their plight without really doing anything about it.

  16. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Tama ka, Cedric. Some people complain but do not do anything about their plight. Nakalulungkot yung ganun.

  17. .. the lake looks peaceful, miss n. nakakapanghanga naman sila dyan sa pandin. 🙂

  18. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hi Rob,
    Indeed, the lake is so peaceful. Pag bumalik ka ng Pinas, visit mo ang Pandin Lake 😉

  19. kudos sa kanila mukhang mgagaling magsagwan..

  20. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Yes, magagaling sila! Humanga ako sa kanila, matitibay ang braso.

  21. Hi there Ms. N! If you could come and visit us in Davao, why don’t you let me know, I can even give you a 3 hrs crash course of photo editing, 😀 I hope you PM me when you will come, August is the best time for the Kadayawan Festival this year! I will wait for your feedback. 😀

  22. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hi Ms. Joy!
    Wish ko lang makapunta ako ng Davao soon 🙂 Impossible na siguro sa August because I’ll be busy preparing for the distribution of pencils. But daghang salamat sa invitation. I really appreciate it. Baka some other time, puwede mo na ako turuan ng photo-editing 🙂

  23. sphere Jul 4th 2011

    ang ganda ng mga shots! 🙂

    takot akong maligo sa ilog parang pakiramdam ko kasi may buwaya o ahas, pagumuuwi ako sa Bicol nanghuhuli lang kami hipon tapos pag medyo malalim na ntatakot tlga ako.

    astig nila ate matitibay ang mga braso 🙂

  24. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Binibining Sphere,
    Nakaka-miss ka 🙂 Maraming salamat.
    Pareho pala tayo, takot lumusong sa tubig hehehe.

    Naku, yes, napabilib talaga ako nina ate. Ang galing nilang magsagwan at dumiskarte sa tubig.

  25. kasama to sa mga 7 ba yun na lakes sa area? kulet no.mysterious sakin yang mga lakes na yan kasi I heard me volcanic past mga yan.tama ba?

  26. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hi Anton,
    Yes, kasama ito sa Seven Lakes, patina yung Lake Yambo. Parang ganun nga ang kuwento, may kinalaman sa volcano 🙂 Dali, punta na dun! 🙂

  27. wow! naamaze naman ako sa view at totoong mganda hope to visit this also. di ko pa binasa un mga text sa photos pa lang nagkwento na. tnx sa [agvisit also

  28. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hey Lil’jim,
    Visit ka na sa Pandin Lake 🙂

    Salamat sa pagdalaw.

  29. very admirable women!

    and as always, you have captured the beauty and grace of the place.

    Hugs to you dear Sis N. 🙂

  30. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Ate Becca!
    Missing you na! Thanks for your kind words about the post.

    Sending back hugs to you.

  31. Ibang klase ka talaga Miss N. 🙂

    Btw, may run ba ang Pens of Hope for this school year?

  32. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    hehehe bakit po ako naging ibang klase, Vera? nakakalipad na ba ako o nakakalutang sa ibabaw ng tubig? haha!

    Yep, may distribution po ang Pens of Hope come August. it should have been last month pero hindi natuloy. Anyway, we dropped in dun sa isang school na pinuntahan namin nung March and although there were only a few kids who went to school that day, we couldn’t resist giving them goodies 🙂 Will post the photos sometime soon.

  33. hmmm maganda nga itong puntahan. malapit ba ito sa church ng nagcarlan or yung underground cemetery?

  34. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    ah…eh….hindi ko alam, Hoshi, hahaha! Pero sa tantiya ko, tantiya ko lang naman, ay malayo pa. Kasi hindi pa ito sakop ng Nagcarlan. This is still part of San Pablo. Dinadaanan lang ng mga jeep papuntang Nagcarlan.

  35. Wow ang saya naman diyan sa Pandin Lake! Nakakatuwa ang mga ganyan nating mga kababayan na sa kahit kaunting paraan ay tumutulong sila hindi lang sa sarili nilang pamilya kundi pati sa turismo ng bansa. Kapag napadpad ulit ako sa Laguna punta kami diyan.

    Thanks Miss N for posting this! Na-miss ko na maglakbay sa blog mo.

  36. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Milai! Amishu!!!! Ano ba pinaggagagawa mo gayon, iha? Balitaan mo ako 🙂

  37. Wow. Ang ganda naman dyan. Sana makapunta rin ako dyan. 😉 Hindi po ba nakakapagod ang byahe?

    Nice shots po pala.

  38. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hello, purplebrightsummer,
    Thanks for dropping in and welcome to my blog. From Manila, madali lang yan puntahan, iha. Nope, hindi nakakapagod ang byahe. From Manila, bus lang then tricycle then jeep 🙂

    Thanks for your kind words about my photos. God bless, iha!

  39. Akala ko po ito yung 7 lakes, or ito nga yun?
    =)
    Ganun po talaga siguro Ms. N by default blessings sa atin ang mga creation ni God at mas nagiging blessing kasi inaalagaan at pinoprotektahan ito ng mga madlang pipol katulad ng mga kababaihan sa story mo.

    Be blessed po!

  40. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Pong!
    Na-miss kita. Kumusta ka na? Hope all is well, at kung hindi pa gaano, I’mm sure na patuloy ka Niyang binibigyan ng lakas ng loob at binibiyayaan ng mas mahaba pang pasensya.

    Yes, isa ito sa Seven Lakes ng San Pablo. Yung Lake Yambo ay kasali rin sa Seven Lakes.

    Be blessed, too, iho!

  41. everyone has a story to tell, the women of Pandin lake shared their pieces and it was beautifully told by you.

    women empowerment… good story! 🙂

  42. pag ready na ako magtour around the Philippines.. kasama ito sa listahan ko 🙂 nakakabilib talaga ang mga kababaihan ng Padin Lake…

  43. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hi csseyah,
    Welcome to my blog. Salamat sa pagdaan. If you’re just around Metro Manila, you don’t have to wait for a long time, iho. Malapit lang naman ang Pandin Lake kaya go na! 🙂

  44. kapatid,
    sa mga lakad na ganito, hindi lang ‘yong lugar talaga ang nai-enjoy ko kundi pati ‘yong mga tao na bahagi ng lugar na pinupuntahan ko. kakaiba at ang dami kaseng matututunan sa bawat kwento nila.

    tunay nga na ang bawat bagay sa paligid natin ay isang malaking blessing. kailangan lang nating alagaan ito para di mawala.

    magandang araw kapatid.

  45. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hi Kapatid,
    When I travel, I am not after the place only. Marami kasing interesting na kuwento na buhay ang ma-i-encounter sa biyahe. And I learn a lot from each encounter 🙂

    Tama, kailangang alagaan ang paligid para mapakinabangan pa ng next generation natin.

    Magandang araw din sa iyo.

  46. Salamat Miss N sa pag share ng isang magandang lugar muli at tunay na nakaka-inspire na mga ina. Ummm someday bisitahin ko ang lake na yan at tunay na paborito ko ang ginataang hipon. God Bless!

  47. nortehanon Jul 21st 2011

    Hi Lolo Jem! Yes, bisita ka dun, lapit lang dyan ang hometown mo. Balik ka na po agad ng Pinas, tapos padalhan mo ako ng hipon na ginataan hehehe. God bless din, Lolo Jem!

  48. Hi there!

    When I read your comment on my recent blog post about being picky with my template, I just felt so frustrated..did you really had that template since 2007?It’s like it’s so used up already..oh no! I guess I really had to make my own..lols..anyway, thanks for the tip..really appreciate it..=)

    Smiles from,

    Andy at wordsandpen.com

  49. nortehanon Jul 22nd 2011

    Hi Andy,
    Nope, I was referring to the theme here at my blog, not the one at your blog 🙂 So you need not worry about your theme being so used up already 😉

    Thanks for the visit.

  50. Ang galing ng mga babaeng yan, empowered na empowered. Dito naman sa lake Sebu, mga lalaki halos gumagawa ng ganyang trabaho. Pero all the same, I would love a visit there soon.

  51. nortehanon Aug 12th 2011

    Hi Sheng,
    Wow, lapit ka ba sa Lake Sebu? That’s one destination na gustung-gusto kong puntahan. Sana marating ko soon 😉

  52. I used to spent quite a few holy week vacation in San Pablo back when I was still single and need a break from being a corporate slave and I certainly miss the place.,from the simplicity of life and the kindhearted nature of people, I just love those days.
    I used to visit this blog regularly when I was still active in Litratong Pinoy, but I slow down a bit and only join whenever my schedule let me.

  53. nortehanon Aug 12th 2011

    Willa! Yes, of course I remember you! Kumusta? Ako rin hindi na nakapag-participate. But I would love to be posting again for LP.

  54. Ang ganda naman diyan sa Pandin.

    balsa. Tama, balsa ang mga kawayan na iyan.

  55. nortehanon Aug 10th 2011

    Tara, Ginoong Kulisap, sumakay tayo sa balsa! 🙂

  56. timing ang pag comment mo sa blog ko. plan ko pumunta sa lake pandin para mabawasan yung list ko sa viaje del sol. =) naeexcite tuloy ako lalo, sana lang di umulan sa long weekend.

  57. nortehanon Aug 11th 2011

    Hi Michi,
    Wow, you’re going to visit Pandin Lake next week? I’m sure you’ll enjoy! Kinu-kumpleto mo pala ang viaje del sol destinations ha. That’s nice. I hope someday, sa probinsya ko naman ikaw mag-tour 🙂

  58. So interesting, beautiful place and pictures! =) I think you had a great time there! 🙂

  59. I did, Viola! And it wasn’t just because of the place but because of the oarswomen who were very nice and engaging.

  60. I’m from Laguna, but I’ve never been to 7 lakes in San Pablo. Your entry is great. Next vacation namin, di na pala namin kailangang lumayo. Because there are enough beautiful places in Laguna. 🙂

    Have you been to Pagsanjan? Majayjay? This places are also beautiful.

  61. Hi!
    Thanks for the visit. Taga-Laguna ka pala. Laguna is very rich in heritage, culture, and scenic places. Yes, on your next vacation, explore ninyo ang 7 lakes. I’m sure you’ll have fun 😉

    Never been to Majayjay. A good friend of mine has been bugging me to go to Pagsanjan. Someday soon, I hope 🙂

  62. Hi goodevening, i came across your blog in search of a solo backpacking ideas after my exams. I like this one but is the number of “Aling Siony” still the same? I would love to visit this place. Thank you! 🙂


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