San Pablo City, Laguna
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- Great Outdoors
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They say that "an early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day." Indeed, it was.
At five o' clock in the morning, still feeling restless because of the previous day's activities, i dragged myself to the bathroom and freshened up. Though the flesh was really weak, I got up as I have promised my uncle that I'll join him in his morning walk. He handed me a pair of shoes; a size bigger than my feet, i think. Wearing it was kinda off, i looked like a clown. Nonetheless, I wore it thinking that it was still dark outside (and forgot that the sun will be up by the time we finished), and laughed at myself. Lo and behold, on our way to the lake, there were a lot of people in the plaza for the weekend zumba session. Kebs na lang!
The lake's circumference is 3.7 meters, and it took us an hour to finish. We just walked, no jogging nor running, but a lot of talking and selfies included. At that hour, several were already up, all on their proper and perfectly fitting exercise outfits; from kids to teens, to young adults and lolos and lolas. There were wood houses on the side of the lake, but mostly seemed to be taken down. It might be being cleaned up by the local government, said my uncle. Though on the other side of the pavement, there are houses - found a couple of beautiful houses and a hotel (Tahanan ni Aling Meding). There are sari-sari stores too, and a couple of mami-han. Didn't try the mami though because my uncle said the broth is thick (which I don't like), and I thought of the breakfast my aunt's preparing.
At the middle of our walk, we found a grotto. We stopped to take a picture, and to say our morning prayers, of course! It's wonderful that they have set up a place for prayer even if the entire place is already a beautiful place for worship. At some areas, there are picnic tables and chairs too. Great for some chillin' while waiting for sunrise and sunset.
I was in awe almost the entire time, but who wouldn't? Well, maybe, the locals, but for someone who rarely walks around a splendid view, I am glad I pushed myself to get up. I was energized the whole day (very ready for the day's itinerary), and giddy in teasing my friends who didn't wake up and missed the experience.
By the way, the back-to-back mountains were Mt. Banahaw and Mt. San Cristobal, which we had a much closer encounter with when we visited Bangkong Kahoy Valley later that day.
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I thought it was OK.
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Part of my Viaje del Sol trip with one of my college friends... It's fun to do travel reviews, even if it happened sometime ago! there's fun in reminiscing about past trips with good friends...
This trip was back in 2010, where my friend and I made the rounds of a part of the Viaje del Sol trail... We just did it by ourselves, no tour guide... Sorry, I'm getting into the groove of reviewing and I have been feeling tamad lately, so I'll just go with it...
We stqyed at a nearby rest house and we went to Carlito Ortega's workshop... We had one memorable afternoon with the sculptor, debating over philosphy and art... Upon our return, we went for a mid-afternoon stroll along this lake... It was my friend who told me about the legend of the biggest of the seven lakes of San Pablo...
Legend has it that an old woman used to live in a farm full of sampaloc trees... One night, a beggar asked for some seeds to make a medicinal paste for his child... The old woman refused and let her dogs chase the beggar away... Unbeknownst to the old woman, the beggar was actually a diwata who was testing her kindness... She let a firebolt destroy the farm and it left a crater in it's midst... When the rain finally fell, it filled the crater and thus became this lake... So it was named for the Sampaloc tree...
I thought it was a lovely place, very peaceful and serene... It surrounds an inactive volcano and that's what you can see in the photo... ️
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The Sampaloc Lake is one place we southerners treasure. The Sampaloc Lake was once a quaint destination for only those who frequent San Pablo. The serene environment, especially during sunrise, has made this a getaway destination for the metro folk who are looking for less strenuous ways to relax.
The lake offers a 3.7km bike/jog path around the circumference of the lake. Stores around the lake sell bibingka, lugaw, and your usual street delights - ice cream, fish balls and barbecue. Aquarium fish vendors also sell good aquarium fish. Some are even grown at the lake itself.
What we did notice was how lovers/couples adorn the place. Couples spend time sitting by the lake, among the trees, by the baywalk. I think Sampaloc Lake has just become one of the most frequented (and budget-friendly) dating places in Laguna, if not the entire southern Luzon
It was Kandyce' first time here and also the first time she walked the entire distance of the lake circumference. She just adored the small animals she sees around the lake: cats, dogs, chicken, lots of ducks, and even black pigs - all taken care of by the Sampaloc Lake townsfolk.
Bikes can be rented for a minimum fee but I suggest you bring your own bike as the bikes are rented out quite fast especially in the afternoon.
Restaurants in the area are open as early as 7am and closes at around 9pm.
From Manila, getting to San Pablo takes very little effort if you will take the shortest route via SLEX and STAR tollway exiting Santo Tomas and passing thru the municipality of Alaminos before getting to San Pablo.
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I liked it.
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The primary lake in San Pablo. Right in the heart of the city. Perhaps this is why it's not quite as nice as the others in the area (check out my review for Lake Pandin). It sports a nice cool breeze and peaceful atmosphere, but there's some negatives to be aware of.
Probably the most striking is the trash in the lake. With it being so close to the city, and food stalls just near, it's bound to happen. Good for swimming? Not unless you want to risk a trip to the hospital.
Although the flip side is that with food stalls means some nice simple food to enjoy lakeside. Go shopping for little trinkets or souvenirs. Or just sit back, relax, and people watch. Soak in the culture rather than the trashy water.
The view is also not that much to look at. Nothing strikingly colorful or contrasty. It's pretty much just a lake. But sometimes that's all you need in life.
There's also some nice playgrounds around if you've got kids. Or if you enjoy hopping on a bike, you can rent one and cycle around the lake enjoying its breeze from all angles.
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Jogging and biking place in san pablo, laguna
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