Of Preservation and Livelihood

We were running late, directions given were not very clear and so we took a wrong turn and ended up in Sampaloc Lake.

Sampaloc Lake taken from the balcony of Tahanan ni Aling Meding on a previous visit.

When we finally arrived at Sto. Angel, we saw our friends waiting by the roadside.  We turned into a parking lot and hurriedly parked, exchanged pleasantries and off we went, following Mang Tano, on a short trek as lunch was waiting for us.

It was an easy trail and about 15 minutes later, the trail revealed a blue-green lake that is quite captivating.

There were rafts positioned at the banks, one of which was reserved for us.  One can book with Aling Sion, Mang Tano’s wife a tour of the lake for P180 and if you add another P180, you get to enjoy a delectable lunch of

Clockwise:  Ginataang hipon, buko juice (coconut juice), pako (fiddlehead fern) salad, grilled tilapia.

pako salad, grilled tilapia and ginataang hipon (shrimps in coconut milk), all caught from the river and cooked fresh.

All meals are prepared by the fishermen’s wives which make up the Samahang Mangingisda sa Lawa ng Pandin (loosely translates to “Association of the Fishermen of Lake Pandin”).  The association was established as part of a preservation effort and at the same time help the residents earn a little bit of income on the side with the wives attending to the tourists.

With the help of Mandy Mariño, the fishermen’s wives organized the “Tour of the Pandin Lake” personally paddling the rafts.

Today, it is the most pristine of the 7 lakes of San Pablo.  Although there is nothing much of the tour, it just takes you around the lake, stopping at a short uphill trail that leads to clearing where one can take a peek at its twin, Lake Yambo.

Yambo’s name was derived from its famous lengend of 2 lovers, Yambo and Pandin.

Both lakes are teeming with tilapia, carp, catfish, milkfish, shrimps and snails.

They are also suitable for swimming but just to avoid the hassle of changing afterwards, we skipped it and just enjoyed the lake, the company and the delightful lunch.

Note: This tour is likewise part of the Viaje del Sol route.

Getting There:

Along the National Highway going towards Lucena, you’ll reach a fork somewhere along San Pablo, take the left.  This will lead you to the town proper.  Go all the way till you reach the city hall, go pass the rotunda until you reach Sto. Angel.  Watch out for a sign. Ask around if you don’t see the Lake Pandin sign that would lead you to a parking lot.  The residents are very helpful and will point you to the right direction.

Contact detail:

Aling Sion
0929 9789565



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