Revisiting the 7 Lakes of San Pablo City | Laguna


In the decade that passed since I first explored the seven lakes of San Pablo City in Laguna my wanderlust expanded beyond the Philippines and to several countries in Asia. I consider my initial journey to the city of lakes as one of those earliest moments on the road that led me to choose a life of traveling.

Ayi Del Rosario
Mount Banahaw as seen from Lake Sampaloc

This is the reason why returning here ten years later also became an opportunity of retrospection — both on how the place and I had evolved or remained unchanged over time.

Hanica Jane Pacis
Lake Yambo

Gone are the presence of Cathy and Abigail, my companions when I went here in 2012, they are now replaced by a small group of travelers I’ve known since then. Travel writers and heritage advocates alike who love organizing trips to nearby provinces.

Pinoy Travel bloggers
Senyor Joseph, myself, Johann, Ferdz, Stephen, Sir George and Mam Pura

Our party of seven is composed of George who came with his wife Pura, herself a former travel writer. Known as Manilakad, he organizes walking tours in heritage districts all over Metro Manila and adjacent provinces. Joseph, our designated driver because he owns the SUV we rode on, is newly retired and is now documenting his trips through his YouTube channel Senior Biyahero. There’s also Ferdz, a fellow travel writer with whom I have traveled on numerous media trips, Stephen, a heritage advocate who travels all over the country mapping out historical landmarks, and Johann, an avid mountaineer and backpacker.

Laguna Travel Guide

Our 2-day itinerary aims to cover all seven lakes in San Pablo City before heading to Dolores, Quezon to spend a night at Bangkong Kahoy Valley and capping it off by witnessing the Pahiyas Festival in Lucena.

Twin Lakes of Yambo and Pandin

The road leading to Lake Pandin has undergone massive changes. The lake's once-calm appearance was marred by new concrete structures. Ten years ago, the area around the lake was nearly barren, but this is no longer the case. We decided to drive to its sister lake, Yambo, because the way leading there seemed more enticing.

San Pablo City Travel Guide
Always get a dose of nature tripping

The two along with Sampaloc are the most popular among the seven lakes of San Pablo. Guests can board a bamboo raft and even enjoy a lunch in the middle of the lake. One can simply hike over to the opposite lake, which is separated by a round hill.

Marky Ramone Go
Post May 9 Blues

Structures appeared more regulated in Yambo. The nipa huts mix in nicely with the lush surroundings, which are highlighted by a large lawn that leads to the lake. We rented one bamboo raft, that was around 8-10 by 5-7 meters in size and could accommodate a long table and wooden seats for a dozen people, for a morning cruise.

Alexandra Pajarillo
Take me down to San Pablo City where the grass is green..

We stopped by some rock formations and took turns on a tall swing tied to a branch of a giant tree before hiking on the trail leading to Lake Pandin.

Where to go in Laguna
Lake Mohicap

Our group stayed here for a couple of hours discussing other fascinating places in Laguna and planning for our next group trip. Afterwards, we drove to the other lakes stopping in each of them.

Places to See in Laguna
Lake Calibato

We witnessed children playing in the rain jump off a bridge into Lake Palakpakin, hiked a hundred steps down to Lake Mohicap — to which we referred to as the “Last of the Mohicap” —, hid from the rain under the canopy of Lake Calibato's trees, and gorged on street fare by the banks of Lake Sampaloc.

Last Stage of Grieving: Nature Tripping

Since our trip happened a few days after the May 9 elections, I considered it as my last stage of grieving from the result. It was also assuring to learn that we were all heartbroken by the Presidential poll’s conclusion. In a way, going on a nature trip with old and new friends became the final stage of being anguished.

Natassha Figueras
A boulevard with jogging and biking path was built along Lake Sampaloc

While I mourn for my country, I know that I have no right to be angry with the rest of the world so long as I am able to live in and explore the land I call home with complete freedom.

Where to go in Laguna
Lake Palakpakin

A lot has happened sandwiching my pair of journeys to San Pablo City. From a newbie traveler being in awe just by dipping in the waters of Lake Pandin to a travel writer who had gone to many places since then. In the end, despite the time in between, nothing much has changed in my sense of wonder and zest for wander.

Where to eat in Laguna
Mobile food stalls near Lake Sampaloc

As we drove towards a pitch-black road to Bangkong Kahoy in Quezon, I realized that coming back to the seven lakes of San Pablo City made me more absorbed by it. From the lake's beginnings as ancient volcanic craters to the present day, it continue to foster the growth of native flora and fauna and stimulate the economies of the people in its immediate vicinity. Ten years after, the seven lakes of San Pablo City remains as picturesque as ever, most especially when stared upon on a beautiful sunny day.