I have recently received an emailed inquiry from a reader, Mrs. P, who lives in Manila. She was particularly asking if I could suggest a place that’s ideal for a weekend getaway. I have suggested going to Caleruega in Batangas for picnic and some quiet time or to Lake Pandin in San Pablo for a swim and bamboo raft ride.
After reading my reply, Mrs. P told me she has decided to go Lake Pandin with her adventurous teenage children. When I read “adventurous,” I suggested a more adventurous itinerary which I am sharing below. This itinerary is made for those who are commuting. I made the trip last April and left Manila for San Pablo at 7:45AM. If you can leave earlier, much better.
0745 ETD Take Lucena-bound bus to San Pablo. I suggest you have breakfast first before leaving.
0920 ETA San Pablo Medical Center. There’s a Chowking branch nearby if you haven’t had breakfast yet. You may also buy your lunch from here and bring it to Lake Pandin.
1000 Take a tricycle to Bunot Lake (Bgy. Concepcion). Try to haggle for a reasonable rate. I gave Php100 for a special trip.
1015 ETA Bunot Lake (1st lake)
Bunot Lake is known for its tilapia fish pens.
1030 Walk to the highway and take a jeepney bound for Nagcarlan (Php10)
1100 Get off at Bgy. Sto. Angel for Lake Calibato. You’ll see this sign along the highway.
The path going to the lake can be confusing. It helps to ask around. Walking to the lake takes about 10-15 minutes. You’ll be passing through some downward steps.
1115 ETA Lake Calibato (2nd lake)
Calibato Lake has abundant fish. The place is ideal for picnics. Just find a spot under the trees beside the lake and that’s it.
1130 head back to hi-way then take a jeepney bound for San Pablo (pabalik na ito) (P8). Ask the driver to drop you off at the vacant lot which is the jump off point to Lake Pandin.
1145 ETD to Lake Pandin. You have to walk for about 20-30 minutes. You may ask Ate Siony (0929-978-95-65) to fetch you at the vacant lot. You may have a prior arrangement with her. Her group can prepare lunch for you kung wala kayong baon. Just inquire from her for the rate.
1215 ETA Lake Pandin (lunch) (3rd lake)
Lake Pandin has abundant plant and fish life. You can swim here all you want as long as you wear a life vest. It’s a requirement. Life vests are available when you rent the bamboo raft (balsa) for PhP180 per head (balsa ride only, no food yet).
Yun, o, si Guyito enjoying the sun in Lake Pandin 🙂
Tell Ate Siony that you would like to go to Lake Yambo (4th lake). The paddlers will take you there. It’ll just take a very short hike (about 3 minutes) from Lake Pandin.
1300 Start walking back to the highway.
1330 Along the highway, walk further (going to San Pablo route) and look for the tricycle terminal.
1345 Take tricycle to Lakes Palakpakin and Mohicap (haggle for the rate).
1415 ETA Lake Palakpakin (Bgy. Buenaventura) (5th lake) Ask the driver to wait for you.
There are lots of fishpens in Lake Palakpakin. The fishpens grow tilapia and carps.
1425 Proceed with same trike to Lake Mohicap
1440 ETA Lake Mohicap jumpoff (Bgy. Sta. Catalina). Walk down.
1445 ETA Lake Mohicap (6th lake)
1500 Ask the tricycle driver if he can take you to Sampaloc Lake. If not, wait for jeepneys bound for San Pablo proper.
1530 ETA Sampaloc Lake (7th lake)
Sampaloc Lake is San Pablo’s biggest lake. It is located right smack in the city proper.
There are floating restaurants for those who want to have lunch or dinner in the middle of the lake.
1600 Take tricycle back to the main highway where you can get a bus bound for Manila.
1630 Take return bus to Manila.
1900 ETA Manila
Hope this helps 🙂 Enjoy your adventure!