It’s one thing to eat. It’s another thing to do it in the middle of a lake. It’s my first time being on a raft on a lake when we visited Pandin Lake in Laguna. Can’t say it was a whole new experience but I can say it was definitely fun.
Besides the Taal lake, I never knew there were lakes nearby in southern Luzon. It turns out there were seven more in San Pablo, Laguna and we’ve visited one of them, which is the Pandin lake. And nope it’s not a pond. It’s a lake. Know the difference.
Pandin lake is a three-hour drive from Cavite. It was quite far but not hard to get to, even when you’re commuting, there are tricycles going to and from a bus stop.
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The lake was about 10 to 15 minutes hike from the parking area. Yes, they have a parking area, which is cool. On the way to Pandin lake, we walked by a ranch with a lot of beautiful and large horses. I’ve seen horses around the country before but most of them are more like ponies, these horses, on the other hand, are medium in size (you wouldn’t believe how big horses are in Central Park, New York City so I have a comparison. Ha!).
My friend, Jen had reserved a slot for us. We couldn’t reserve a whole raft to ourselves because it was the weekend. The staff in Pandin lake said that they can’t reserve one raft for five on the weekends because it’s peak time of the week. They can allow that on weekends for the same amount of money but they can’t on weekends. But it’s cool, two other ladies joined us and they didn’t bother us at all. They weren’t friendly either, but they minded their own business.
The reservation cost Php360 per head, which is inclusive of a two-hour ride on the raft and the food for lunch. Surprisingly, the food served was plenty. There was fried fish, vegetables, and shrimp plus of course the rice. Then we added Php40 per head to get additional liempo. Not bad. The food tasted like lutong-bahay ‘cooked in the house’ so it was good.
It was pretty cool to be eating lunch on a raft and it was cool and breezy. Our feet were dipped in water while we eat.
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Being on the lake felt so peaceful. Listening to the tweeting of birds and everything in nature is so relaxing. There were other folks on rafts but since the lake is large, it didn’t feel crowded. Though we only purposed to have lunch at Pandin lake, it’s also allowed to swin in the lake. You can rent life vests if you don’t know how to swim. You can also go fishing with a rent of Php30 for the fishing rod. Jan and I might want to go back and try this out. He’s always been saying that he wants to go fishing again after he’s tried it when he was in Maine. And we’re also thinking of gathering some friends from the office to come back here and go for a dip in the cool water.
Another lake was just beside Pandin lake, which is over a heel called Yambu lake. We climbed or hiked up the hill for less than three minutes to get a good view. It was pretty cool to see. Then we met mountain hikers who somehow got lost from their tour guide and landed on the wrong lake. They hopped onto our raft and moved to the others to get back on the other side. They were probably going to get a ride somewhere to get back to where they came from. Yambu lake also had rafts similar to Pandin and it looked as large or maybe even larger. I never knew there were so many things to do in Laguna.
The experience was simply fun and relaxing. Totally worth the Php400 plus the gas.
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Tips On What To Bring To Pandin Lake
Bring your slippers. Though you can not bring slippers and walk on the raft bare feet, it’s still better if you did bring it.
Bring a waterproof camera. We were warned to be careful with our phones because there were a lot of instances that visitors drops their phones on the lakes. I was scared to ask if they were ever recovered, if they were, they wouldn’t survive the deep waters.
Bring bathing attire and use sunblock. If you want to go swimming then you should bring some bathing clothes. Preferably rashguard to protect you from the heat of the sun.
Bring extra shirt. Just in case, even if you don’t plan to go swimming, you never really know if you’re going to get wet or not. Chances are, you might because you’re in the middle of a large body of water.
Bring some sanitizer and your own tissue. They don’t have spoons so you’re going to eat with your hands. Make sure they are sanitized before you do. Also, they have tissue but they don’t provide much, probably because they don’t want visitors to be throwing them in the lake but you can bring your own. Just remember not to throw your trash in Pandin lake.
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