Iniity

Travel Diaries| A Journey to San Pablo City

amazing Pandin

I am working as a social development practitioner for more than 8 years now. The institution where I belong has a lot of inspiring stories to tell since its establishment in 1986. It was born in San Pablo City, one of the oldest cities in the Philippines, 26 years ago and the year where our country is recovering from the aftermaths of Martial Law.  

Last June 01, I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to join  Hijos de San Pablo- a tour within San Pablo City, Laguna. Organized by our Community Development Group, the tour aims to showcase interesting spots in San Pablo City. This is our institution’s own little way of giving back to the city where we had started- through promotion of its historical and interesting spots/destinations. Personally, I do believe that given proper promotion and orientation, tourism can also change and transform communities.  

The birthplace of our institution is also known as the City of Seven Lakes. Visit to seven (7)  lakes and other historical edifices are part of Hijos de San Pablo tour.


Brief History of San Pablo City

The old name of San Pablo is Sampaloc. In 1571, Spanish troops under Captain Juan de Salcedo arrived in the village of Sampalok (Sampaloc). After 15 years,  (1586) Sampaloc was converted into a parish; and  1647 it was converted into a municipality and renamed  “San Pablo de los Montes" which literally means Saint Paul of the mountain. Bartolome Maghayon was appointed as the first gobernadorcillo.  San Pablo Parish was under the management of the Franciscans in 1734. In 1756, the municipality was placed under the jurisdiction of Batangas Province and was only returned to Laguna Province in 1883. It was during American Occupation (1940) when San Pablo was declared as city by the virtue of Commonwealth Act  520 or Charter of the City of San Pablo with Dr. Potenciano Malvar as the first appointed city mayor. In 1955, Cipriano B. Colago became the first elected city mayor.


The Tour

Our first stop is the Sampalok Lake. Located behind the historical San Pablo City Hall, it is an inactive volcanic maar or low-relief volcanic crater and the largest of the seven lakes of San Pablo.

Sampaloc Lake
Blue is the Color of Sampaloc Lake

Scientifically, the Lake was previous volcanic craters and was formed due to massive volcanic eruption hundred years ago. Some says these are just steam vents or openings caused by underground steam.

I am still familiar with the Legend of Sampaloc Lake. Way back Elementary days it is included in our Grade 1 or 2 Pilipino textbook. :)
"Legend tells of a giant Tamarind (Sampaloc) tree in the garden of a selfish, stingy old woman who drove away a fairy disguised as an old man asking for some fruit as a cure for his ailing grandson. Instead of helping him, the stingy old woman had him driven away by her ferocious dogs. The old man was badly hurt. After the old man left, there was a thundering noise, rain, followed by the cracking of the earth. And then, the entire orchard sank into a colossal pit which was immediately filled with water. Henceforth, the villagers called it Lake Sampaloc." wikipedia.org

san pablo church

Second stop is the San Pablo Cathedral. The church is located in the middle or central part of the city. Church in San Pablo was first established by the Augustinian friars in 1586, second in 1629 and the present structure was built in 1714. Its foundation was laid in 1680 by Fr. Juan Labao. It has neo-classic facade with doric coupled columns and windows with triangular segmented pediments. It also has four-storey octagonal bell tower with lank and open windows.

finalangliceoLiceo de San Pablo
the group in front of old building of Liceo de San Pablo just beside the San Pablo Cathedral

finalangsanpablo

We then moved to San Pablo City Hall as Third Stop. One the grandest structure constructed during American Occupation in the Philippines. Its columns are modern and architectural design as well as details are comparable to those of European.

Our Last but not the least SPOT is the Pandin Lake in Barangay San Lorenzo, San Pablo City. Pandin is actually the twin lake of Yambo - separated only by narrow strip of land. 

From the parking area/crossing going to Pandin Lake in  Barangay San Lorenzowe're informed that four- wheels car is not accessible to narrow and rough road going to the location of the lake. Meaning- we need to walk. After 30 minutes of walking or almost  one (1) kilometer trail, we reached the lake and welcomed by nature at its finest! Indeed so pristine and GREEN!

pandin lake

No time to waste, we boarded in balsa and had our very Pinoy lunch- ginataang hipon (fresh catch from the lake), ensaladang talong, Paku' Salad ((Paku' is an edible fern) , Inihaw na tilapya, and rice in banana leaves plus a shot of Lambanog. Lambanog is a popular local wine in Laguna Province made from coconut flowers’ sap. While having our sumptuous lunch, we are also touring/exploring the whole lake. 

amazing Pandin

amazing Pandin

Hipon sa Pandin

Note: Lunch in Pandin’s Balsa costs 360 pesos per person. If you have packed foods you can also rent the balsa for 180 pesos per head. 

amazing Pandin


amazing Pandin

Hijos de San Pablo Tour also promotes the other 5 remaining lakes of San Pablo City (hopefully may second tour pa kami at dito naman hehehe :)
  • Lake Bunot
  • Lake Calibato
  • Lake Yambo
  • Lake Palakpakin
  • Lake Muhikap

This tour made me realized that San Pablo city is not just the birthplace of the institution where I am serving; its SPOTS can hit a BIG Mark in country’s Tourism Map. Hopefully, this will not just benefit the locals of the communities close to the destinations we are promoting but will also create an awareness to preserve these beautiful spots and important edifices of our rich history and culture.
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69 comments:

  1. wow ang ganda talaga ng lake sayang dalawa lang nabisita naming na lake noon... saya sumakay ng balsa..

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  2. Traveling Morion! There's a lot more to discover here than these attractions! :-)

    This is my favorite city. I love it.

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  3. Oh wow gorgeous pics! I'm living vicariously through your post!

    (Marika from Authentic blogger)

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  4. @manong Unyol- actually dalawa lang din na visit namin :) pero solve na :) can't wait to explore and see the remaining 5 :) I agree, pinaka- interesting yung pagsakay sa balsa plus the sumptuous foods :)

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  5. Indeed @PaulaO :) San Pablo City has a lot to offer in terms of tourism :)
    Thanks for dropping here:)

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  6. OMG thanks for checking my blog @Marika - got more inspiration to blog/write and showcase 7107islands' SPOTs. keep on dropping here :)

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  7. I have also experienced touring to these seven lakes when I was in high school during an outbound educational tour with my classmates. We also learned about the history of the place, thanks to the guide. :D

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  8. @Rochkirstin- thanks for dropping here :)yap, the city has its own share of interesting history... :)

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  9. Great travel guide you have here. The pictures are also very good. Maybe I can fit this place into one of my trips in the future.

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    1. thanks for the compliment @wanderer Juan :)

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  10. When I was a kid (and when my lola was still alive), we would always travel to San Pablo to visit my lola's panganay. I kinda miss going there after reading this post.

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    1. @April- you should go back to San Pablo City and explore these interesting spots :) thanks for dropping here :)

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  11. San Pablo City has gone name changes through the years and of course I wanna visit the city especially the lakes! :D

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    1. @Jonas- you should :) sarap mag lunch sa balsa :)

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  12. ...plus a shot of lambanog... - just perfect! :)

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    1. hahaha pang kumpleto ang lambanog blissfulguro :)

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  13. i think san pablo city is best for shrimps delicacies. i'll try it soon!

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  14. I was able to visit San Pablo City for an Audit Assignment but too bad I wasn't able to see the lakes.

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  15. I wish to experience touring these lakes. Nakakainggit naman riding in balsa. Wala yata ganyan dito Cebu. Learning a history of a place is really a plus :)

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    Replies
    1. Sa bohol (loboc) lapit lang sa Cebu Cheryl :)

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  16. how amazing that this lakes looks so incredible! such a beauty plus the foods that you can taste!

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  17. History and culture-rich talaga ang San Pablo! I've been eyeing a visit there. There's also a homey inn there, which I think offers the same tour rin. Once may extra funds, I will surely tour around San Pablo. Ang ganda at worth it puntahan. :)

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    1. add u na sa list Mai :) lapit lang nito :)

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  18. This looks beautiful. I would love to be able to visit here.

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    1. thanks for dropping here Victoria- come here, and see why it's more fun in the Philippines :)

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  19. What a wonderful work of nature - super peaceful yung lake :) I'd love to visit these fabulous lakes in the future. Ganda!

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  20. I want to experience having lunch with my family in the balsa. The lake is such a beautiful backdrop.

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    1. yey! perfect nga ang Pandin Lake for family outing ms Tess :0 Thanks for dropping here :)

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  21. The place is very picturesque! Lalo na yung balsa shot - parang nasa Bohol ka. Mabuhay Philippines! ヅ

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  22. the food looks so mouthwatering!! and the lake just gave me an inspiration for my design project.. :)

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  23. San Pablo is indeed one of the best places to go to down south when you're in Laguna. I hope I could revisit San Pablo very soon.

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  24. Dining afloat those BALSA is so Filipino and the foods are just mouth-watering! Such great experience to eat while sight-seeing.

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  25. I'm also in Laguna but in San Pedro. Looks like I'm missing beautiful lakes in my province.
    Love that you included a quick back story about the Sampaloc lake. Reminds me of my elementary days, too.

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    1. Oi were so close @Jerome, we're in Binan naman bro :) Lapit lang nito bro - thanks for dropping here

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  26. beautiful san pablo city :)

    http://philippine-mountains-and-beyond.blogspot.com/2012/10/seven-lakes-of-san-pablo-san-pablo.html

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  27. Salamat sir, sa Philippine History lesson for today. Absent ata ako ng itinuro ito. As always nice photos to compliment a good post.

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  28. History + nice view + good food = doubled appetite sir! ;)

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  29. My group went to Pandin Lake after their hiked in Mt. Mabilog. Nagsisi ako not joining them.

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  30. Your pictures are really promising!, one thing that I love in this blog. The quality of these shots are great and also in your past travel articles. Keep up the good work! :)

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  31. OMG! The balsa looks fun and everything about the lake looks amazing. And i cant help but noticed the city hall, it looks like one of the old buildings in UP Diliman. Hehe

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  32. I super agree with Michael! Just in case you've got a free time, you might want to teach us how to take pictures! Haha =)

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  33. San Pablo is gorgeous. Was here some years ago.. but I never got to explore. :( wish i had... Definitely will not pass on an opportunity to visit again.

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  34. San Pablo has really a lot to offer! I've only been there once for a culinary tour in Casa San Pablo, but I'd love to go back and see the beautiful lakes for myself :)

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  35. I've been here last year. Sana makabalik. =)

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  36. I would love to visit San Pablo someday if we live in the Philippines :-) Beautiful city to explore :-)

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  37. I like to take a lake tour in San Pablo given then I wasn't able when I was sent there years ago.

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  38. Pandin Lake cruise is also comparable to Loboc River cruise in Bohol, I guess they have both the same enjoyable experience cruising while dining.

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  39. I am interested to sail in a raft or balsa. I remember somewhere in Bohol. There is a Loboc river wherein a floating resto carries tourists.

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  40. It looks very interesting to me. Eventhough I have been to Bohol and Cebu, this place looks like its worth a visit as well. The scene is just awesome.

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  41. Wow.. a Scenic place! Would love to visit it! Thank you for dropping by my blog!

    <3 Chaicy
    http://www.style-a-pastiche.blogspot.in

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  42. Usually when we travel or bago sakin yung place aside sa attractions I am looking forward to taste yung delicacy ng lugar. Sadly kahit super tempting yung mga sea foods hindi ako pwede because I have allergy. Hoping one day makapunta rin ako diyan :)

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  43. It's amazing how your work brings you to wonderful places such as San Pablo City where you get to enjoy stunning scenery. It's like part vacation and part work :)

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  44. I am now looking forward to have my own ginataang hipon at the same lake. The experience would have been simply mesmerizing :)

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  45. I've been planning to spend a night here in San Pablo City and explore those places you've mentioned especially the 7 lakes and of course the food and I need to do it soon :)

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  46. You will appreciate the lake when you do an overnight stay with your friends and where there is a full moon ...been there in Yambo last year ... what a memorable experience.

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  47. this is really great ... i wish that san pablo city government can aggressively promote this type of tour to entice local and foreign tourists to come and visit san pablo city. with the proper handling, promotion, and of course cooperation of all san pablonians, the tourism board can try to make for example their balsa tour, the same way the loboc river was promoted, or even like the floating market in thailand. i have this vision of floating market in pagsanjan, but san pablo city can duplicate this as well ... give it a thought please ... and make this a reality. ...

    thanks and regards,
    fred rivero

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  48. Wonderful pics. Sobrang nakakatakam naman yung ginataang hipon!

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  49. Wow! Dati ko pa gustong malibot ang lahat ng pitong lakes ng San Pablo. Pag pwede sir, makikisabay ako sa next tour around San Pablo City mo ha... :)

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  50. That floating bamboo reminds me back 20 years ago when I used to enjoy its ride in the pond. I just know that up to now people are still using it. It's nice to experience it again.

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  51. ask ko lng po, wat if 2 lng ung sasakay sa balsa ok lng po ba or may nirerequire sila na no. of persons? thank you :)

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    1. Hello alam ko may required no of Pax - pero pwede daw naman kahit dalawa lang- may charge pero less than 100 pesos lang :)

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  52. Sampalok lake is the great attraction point in San Pablo and i visit their only to enjoy their seafood with family. That lake is clean and filled with lots of fish varieties which i like to eat during lunch time with different kinds of sausages.Some places near that lake are very calm and romantic best to spend time with partner. I never forget my past moments which i enjoy their for 2 long weeks after hectic office work.

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  53. Ngayon ko na lang ulit naalala ang ilan dito it's cool din to know the other places to visit. thanks sa info we're planning to do go in san pablo instead of swimming.

    Mabuhay.

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  54. I hope the local government can do something to salvage their 7 lakes. When we visited them last month, most of the 7 lakes are filthy and dirty. You can just skip all 6 lakes and go directly Pandin as the others are disappointing.

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  55. how can i avail of this tour say for example on Saturday, oct 22,2016

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