Sampaloc Lake, at 104 hectares and 27m deep, is the biggest of the seven lakes. The lake has the potential of becoming a tourism center in the area. Already, a few attractive hotels and restaurants are operating along the lake's perimeter near the city center. The perimeter road is already a biking and jogging area for the locals. Bikes with sidecar are available for rent (P30).
I guess Pandin (20 hectares, 63m deep) offers the best experience for lake trippers in San Pablo. The local women's association provides rafting tour around the lake for P180 per person. The raft, which can accomodate up to a dozen people excluding the bangkeros, can also be rented for P500. Meals and accomodations can also be arranged. Contact Ka Tano at 09299789565 for details.
Pandin's twin-lake Yambo (28 hectares) is on the other side of a narrow hill that separates the two and it is where one should hike to take a peek of the other lake.
The jump-off point that leads to Pandin Lake is along the road going to Nagcarlan (neighboring town). When commuting, take the Ilog-bound jeepney beside 7-11 Store near the cathedral. Get down at the marker 'Pandin and Yambo Lakes' and take the alley at left that leads to a rough and muddy hike towards the lake (approx. 15-20 minutes). Just follow the trail and ask people for direction along the way.
Imagine yourself in an ancestral home, being served lunch on a huge round table set in a veranda where you get a view of some indigenous flora. And as you dine, birds sing their songs and the trickling of water from a small statue are heard. The flavors of the food smoothly makes past your taste buds and find its way to your stomach while you smell its rich aroma on your olfactory organs...
That's just how I felt while I was. I did imagine my grandma serving the dish. It made me nostalgic. and oh, how I love the food!
Favorite Dish: Pako Salad - a variety of fern with vinegar dressing. I also loved their turon with ice cream. The other dished were very good as well.