Nature Escape at Lake Pandin


Just a few weeks ago me and my sister were planning to do an out of town trip to celebrate the wedding anniversary of our Dad and Mom...Having two oldies plus two toddlers coming along is quite a hassle, because the older ones would not enjoy long drives, long walks and tiring trips while the younger ones has all the energy and excitement to run and roll over from time to time and that for sure is a bit uncomfortable for me, because I don't have a nanny who'll run after the two kids. 

So i was thinking of some place just a few kilometers away from Batangas where we can drive back home in no time. A place which is close to nature because the oldies would definitely love the fresh air and of course we like to try a new dining experience with good food and a unique trip that the whole family of all ages will enjoy. Until i came across this buying site and saw Laguna getaway deals. There's nothing really impressive with the offer except that the price per person is within the budget! But thinking that it was just in Laguna which is an hour drive from our place and the thought that it was a lake (so there is fresh air) plus green water "rafting" sounds very new to me, i grabbed the deal right away and called the merchant that same day for reservation. 

The welcoming view at Lake Pandin 
The weekend came pretty quick and we are all set to go there... It took us about 2 hours to reach the place. Because the lake is located in one of the Barangays in San Pablo, Laguna, and driving into a place that you are not familiar with will take, of course, extra time, but slowly after asking for some directions along the road we arrived safely around 1pm. I actually reserved a raft for lunch because according to their fine print, it should be booked a week before to accommodate all the guests properly because they only have a limited number of boats operating daily. So upon arrival I was expecting that our boat or raft is there waiting for us and the food was already prepared because along the way I've been texting with one of their coordinators for the direction of the place. But to my dismay, a woman approached me and asked me if we can wait for a couple of minutes because our boat was taken, they thought that we are not coming (oh my!). 

With my family patiently waiting in a Kubo 

My son as the official photographer of the day... hehehe! 

Meet the Monkey named "Budoy" 

We agreed to wait even if we're all hungry. But the "couple of minutes" became an hour of waiting because i wasn't informed that we need to wait for the raft to come back from the other side of the lake, after the other visitors have finished doing their tour. The lesson learned? Next time never believe reservations, it doesn't happen all the time! 

Thank God the view around Lake Pandin was very relaxing and very calming, perfect for picture taking plus a cool monkey hanging around there entertained us. We still managed to keep ourselves poised and patient despite the growling stomach we are experiencing. 

Okay, so finally it's our turn! 

Lake Pandin is noted to be the "most pristine" among the 7 lakes of San Pablo...It has an area of 20.5 hectares and a maximum depth of 63 meters. It is abundant with plants and fish life... 

Our tour is composed of lunch while rafting around the lake... And yes, It was really a worthwhile experience (despite the long hours of waiting) and i would like to recommend it to everyone, especially the naturelovers out there! I would like to add too, that supporting this program, will help in the preservation of the cleanest lake in San Pablo Laguna and it also bring livelihood to those who live near the lake... 

Resident kids swimming by the shallow part of the lake... I love watching and shooting them! So nature! 

Finally our raft is coming! 

For our lunch we were served Ensaladang Pako (Fern salad), Ginataang Hibi (Shrimps), and Grilled Tilapia (fish). All of which are natural resources from the lake itself. Included also in the package are bananas and for our drinks we were offered fresh buko juice, fresh picked just by the lake. I'm not really a fan of those food mentioned but the way they cooked it satisfied our taste buds (or maybe we are just hungry) but my Dad and Mom enjoyed the native food experience, they actually didn't use the spoon and fork, they ate with their hands. So it's a happy tummy, happy family! 

They have also native delicacies such as Leche Flan, Ube Halaya or Purple Jam, Bukhayo (Coconut Praline) and small packs of Tamarind Candies (Champoy) that were served during our meal but it is not included in our package, we have to buy it if we wanted to have some. The desserts were all home-made by the women in the community and is also one of the livelihood projects of the local government of Laguna for the locals. It is made available at every raft with an affordable price of 3 for P100. The ube and leche flan was really great, the leche flan melts in your mouth and the ube is sweet and milky and has the pure ube flavor in it, i actually bought all of the ube and the leche flan for take home. 

Ensaladang Pako 

Ginataang Hibi (Baby Shrimps) 

Grilled Tilapia 

My Son enjoying some Banana and Fresh Buko Juice 

We were rafting while eating along the way going to the other side of the lake, where we were to stop and enjoy the fresh air. Upon reaching the other side of the lake, we were asked if we wanted to visit the Yambo Lake by trekking a few meters away but we opt not to visit it anymore because we were so full that time plus we have two oldies who doesn't like the idea and the two kids. We just stayed on the raft while munching some goodies and enjoyed the cool wind, and the wonderful weather of June while taking our souvenir pictures.

While moving closer there's a "Tanod" or a lifeguard on duty to watch over the visitors rafting at the lake. 

By the middle of the Lake 

The water is so clean and small fishes even small crabs and shrimps can be seen down under 

My brother-in-law on the lifeguard's boat 

Saying it's Beauty + Nature 

Or it can be Music + Nature 

Family Picture 

Behind us here is a body of land similar to a hill, at the back of that is where you'll find Lake Yambo according to Manang Sion, our oarswoman. It was actually a twin lake. I hope next time I will have some time to visit the other lakes of San Pablo, the City of Seven Lakes.

Who says they're not cool? 

Loving the place! 

After almost an hour of rafting and staying at the other side of Pandin Lake we need to go back to the wharf. As much as we wanted to stay more but the time is very limited because we need to get back home before it gets dark, and its getting windy we're afraid we might not be able to get back at the wharf that instant. As we moved along going back to the wharf, a lifeguard escorted us until we reach the shallow part of the lake where a long rope is provided to pull us quickly into the lake shore.

She is Manang Sion, our oarswoman and tour guide at the same time 

The Lifeguard behind us, watchfully following us till we reach the wharf 

Other people rafting that day 

It was a one of a kind experience, enjoying some fresh air, nature escape, native lunch and green water rafting at one of the lakes of San Pablo, Laguna... By the way, there was a short walk, approximately 10-15 minutes from the parking area (near the highway) to the lake and vice versa. Vehicles cannot go all the way near the lake. Umbrellas and caps are essential for the trip because unexpected rain may occur or the heat of the sun might burn you up, because only part of the way is shaded by trees. 

The regular entrance fee is P180 per person plus another P180 per person for the lunch. During our visit, it was free to bring your own food but the entrance/raft ride is compulsory, so i suggest you bring your own food if you are in a budget and if you doesn't like the menu they serve. For us, I only got the deal at P299/adult and P149/child all with the same inclusions (entrance, ride and lunch). Thanks to CashCashPinoy for the groupons! :-)

View of the Lake from afar 

The short walk going to and from the Lake 

Overall, it was one unique trip! Although, we had a little trouble finding where the place is, we really enjoyed! The food, the green waters, the rafting and playing with the paddles, our photoshoot, the smell of pure fresh air, our family bonding, and the whole thing is just so relaxing! I hope to be back again with my hubby, because he missed the trip due to the call of duty. 

For those who wanted to visit the place:

Brgy. Sto. Angel, San Pablo, Laguna
Contact Person:
Manang Sion 0929-978-9565

Thanks for dropping by! Hope you enjoyed my blog! 

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