Summer in the Philippines is drawing to a close! The rainy months are coming, and the warm weather will soon bid us goodbye. (“Finally!” cry the huddled, sweaty masses yearning for airconditioning.) With all the sunny fun about to end, it’s time for me to hunker down, collect and edit photos, and get to blogging about all the places I went to and things I did over the summer break!
(Of course, I use the term ‘break’ loosely, since as a card-carrying member of the rat race I am no longer entitled to a summer break, in the true essence of the word. Growing up sucks.)
How it happened:
Last April, I was pretty involved with some of the ASEAN goings-on in the country. As you probably know, the Philippines was the ASEAN Chair this 2017 – which means most everybody in government service was thrown into a bit of a tizzy. I was absurdly busy, but it was also the beginning of summer! I couldn’t not go swimming somewhere. A quick Google search of places outside – but still relatively near – the metro led me and my friends to Pandin Lake, a quiet haven tucked away in San Pablo, Laguna.
How we got there:
We took my car, since we all live in Parañaque and driving to Laguna isn’t exactly difficult. All we had to do was split gas and toll, which was a little more expensive lot more convenient than taking a bus and then a tricycle.
If, however, you decide to commute, take one of buses from the Buendia terminal going to Lucena. Ask to be let off at SM San Pablo – the fare is Php 127. From SM, you can take a tricycle to the drop-off point going to Pandin Lake for Php 40 or Php 50, depending on your haggling skills. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy!
What to do:
There’s not much to do in Pandin Lake aside from eat, swim, and hike – but luckily, those are all things that I like to do anyway!
We rented a bamboo raft, which we ended up sharing with a family of six from Quezon Province. For our money’s worth, we got a ride across the lake (which is eighty to a hundred feet deep – yikes), two hours of swimming time, and a full lunch composed of tilapia, ensaladang pako, ginataang hipon, rice, bananas, and bottled water.
The lake is about a fifteen-minute hike from the main road, and by the time we got to the shore, we were hot and sweaty. The cool, refreshing water was absolutely perfect for the hot day. The bangkero had life vests available, so we could relax and float in the water when we got tired of swimming.
It’s the perfect low-key way to cool off on a hot weekend when you haven’t got the time to go somewhere farther! And we spent just a little over Php 500!
You should note however that the cost of renting a raft varies according to the package you want. Full details below!
|Small bamboo raft (maximum of three persons)||Php 180 per person|
|Big bamboo raft (minimum of four persons) with lunch served||Php 360 per person|
|Big bamboo raft (minimum of four persons) without lunch served||Php 180 per person|
For more questions, you may contact the following:
- Aling Tina: (0907) 995 2983
- Aling Siony: (0929) 978 9565
Budget and expenses:
|Item||Cost per person|
|Gas from Parañaque to San Pablo for one vehicle||Php 300 (Php 1,000 total)|
|Toll fees from Parañaque to San Pablo for one vehicle||Php 100 (Php 500 total)|
|Big bamboo raft with lunch served||Php 360|
Disclaimer: We actually spent a little less than Php 1,000 – Php 800 or 900, I think – because we stopped at Starbucks on our way home. It’s the inner white girl in all of us.