Lake Pandin

Sigh. While I do not dread my work, I feel that I have been overworking since last week of April towards the month of May and probably till the coming months.  Constantly going home passed 1 or 2 AM is never easy neither work during weekend is pleasing.  I am not complaining.  I just need a breather!  I want to have my must and much needed escape to recuperate from energy exhaustion.

I gifted myself a quick escape from work.  Last weekend, along with DR, we found our way to San Pablo City and to some Laguna towns.  It was an unplanned getaway destination  thanks to internet for its enormous information because I was able to contact Mr. Mandy Marino, the man behind Cafe Lago and the ardent promoter of Lake Pandin.  He invited us to have our breakfast at his restaurant Cafe Lago.  Café Lago is located in San Pablo City, an unassuming lakeside restaurant that offers a good view of Sampaloc lake.  When we finally entered his abode a warm and relaxing homey ambiance welcomed us.  Mr. Marino joined us while we had our lucban longanisa meal; we listened to his stories and his environmental causes.  After our light and easy conversation, he instructed us our way to lake Pandin, and helped us arranged our lake cruise with Mang Tano, the president of Pandin lake community.

View of Sampaloc Lake  from Cafe Lago

the way to lake pandin

We met our tour guide at Brgy. Sto. Angel, in front of a vacant lot where ‘Pandin” signage is posted.  We followed the trail leading to the lake for 15 minutes.  The lake is not that far from the main road.  When we reached the lake, we were welcomed by some jovial women sitting on a bamboo raft.  The lake Pandin tour is managed by homeowners who live close to the lake. There are sixteen women and two oarsmen members who are responsible for the tour management.  We were told that it was because of the encouragement and promotion of Mr. Marino that gave rise to this tourism livelihood in this place.

calm and peaceful that’s lake pandin

We started our cruise the moment we boarded the bamboo raft, together with three women and oarsman we plunged into a marvelous lake exploration.  The entire area is covered by refreshing green scenery.  As our cruise goes on, I appreciated all the more the beauty and tranquility of the place.  We stopped momentarily under the shade of a mango tree to savor our delicious food served on board:  fried bangus, ginataang langka, and shrimp with gata courtesy of our women paddlers.  Our oarsman invited us to have a quick trek to the hill that separates lake Pandin and lake Yambo, in order to have a bird’s eye view of the two lakes.  Lake Yambo differs from Pandin because its color is not as green as Pandin, it’s somewhat blue-green in color, and its size is by far larger.

What made our cruise more delightful were the cheerful company of our of tour guides.  Surely, they know how to entertain their visitors through their stories and jokes, despite of it being corny.

We were supposed to continue our lake experience all the way to lake Yambo, but having seen it from the hill was enough.  We decided to cut short our cruise after 3 hours since we wanted to go further to the towns of Nagcarlan, Liliw, and Pagsanjan.  All in all it was an awesome quick escape.  Everything in that place is an ideal rural life.  It’s one place of ultimate seclusion from urban life.  Someplace that one has to seek if looking for a peaceful time with nature.




The tour costs 180 per person

For reservations, call Mr. Mandy Marino – 0917 501-6694 or Mang Tano of Pandin – 0929 978-9565


Cagbalete Island, Mauban Quezon

calm water

Stunning picture of sea and vast  expanse of sand ripple awaits  here in Cagbalete Island.   One need not jetting off to some island paradise because Cagbalete in Mauban, Quezon is just six hours from  Metro Manila.   Added bonus to this trip is refreshing view of green fields.

There are no  five star hotel resorts, party venues nor a hoppin’ nightlife in this island, instead what we found is a simple room, cozy enough to get through the night.   The electricity can only be enjoyed up to ten in the evening. The silence of the night, gives way to the wheezing  sound of the sea, frogs, and chirping crickets.jumping

In  essence,  Cagbalete offers nature at its best! Blue skies, white sand, trees, golden sun, twinkling stars, friendly locals, and great tasting foods! – The Island attracts wanderers who yearn to have a respite free from busy Metro life.