We’re always #TeamBahay during Holy Week.
That’s because summer is our hell season, both literally (ang init!!!) and figuratively (6 days/week, 6 hours/day lectures on top of management duties; our day starts at 5 a.m.)
This year, we kicked off our review season in Holy Week; we had classes from Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday.
By the end of Wednesday, I felt my voice starting to get hoarse and my inner lips were on the verge of bleeding (thanks but no thanks to my braces). That’s why I was so grateful for the respite that Maundy Thursday offered.
But before Maundy Thursday ended, jealousy kicked in. Inggit na inggit na ako! My Instagram feed was full of people vacationing, while the only thing I could share was our lunch!
I swore to myself that we’ll go somewhere on Good Friday. It didn’t have to be fancy. I just wanted us to bond together and for Raviv and our household staff (who have been very diligent) to have fun.
And yes, para may ma-Instagram naman. I racked my brains where we could go:
- Resorts in Pansol – near us, but the idea of swimming in warm water in an already hot weather didn’t appeal to me
- Batangas beaches – too far and too late; we’re not prepared
- Tagaytay – traffic galore
- Majayjay falls – I’m sure it’s jampacked
I was about to give up, until I saw Khem’s (one of our teachers) IG post at Lake Pandin. It looked serene there, so I checked where it was. San Pablo lang, guys! Barely an hour from Los Banos!!! I asked Khem whether there were lots of people; she said hindi naman daw.
So Lake Pandin it is! I told our household staff about it during lunchtime, then we left at 3 p.m.
In case you want to spend your Easter Sunday there or go there next weekend, read on!
Our Pandin Lake Photo Story + Tips
1. DIRECTIONS & PARKING: We used Waze to get to Pandin Lake, but it wasn’t such a big help because of all the rerouting to pave way for the procession. Once in San Pablo, Dodong said he just took the road going to Nagcarlan. Along the main road, we saw some signs that said “Lake Pandin Parking”. That’s how we knew we were already within the vicinity. We chose the nearest parking lot to Lake Pandin, which was the one on the left side of the road without any houses. Parking was Php40. Cars couldn’t go any farther because the road is too narrow.
2. TOUR GUIDE/MOTORCYCLE. Once we were parked, a woman approached us. She said she was a tour guide (with a laminated ID), and will bring us to Pandin Lake. We asked whether having a guide was mandatory; she said it wasn’t. Pandin Lake was still a good 10-15 minutes away from the parking lot (so bring everything you will need: your towel, swimming attire and pamalit, etc.), and we didn’t know how to get there so we let her lead the way. However, since it was a busy day yesterday, we could have afforded not to have her guide us—we simply had to follow the crowd. But Randy let her lead us. We asked how much to pay her, she said it was up to us. She offered to carry our stuff, but she was so thin; hindi ko maatim pagbuhatin ng gamit namin. Randy gave her P100 for walking with us.
By the way, you could also ride on a motorcycle if you don’t want to walk. The guide said it’s P50/head.
3. PANDIN LAKE!!! There’s something about bodies of water that automatically give good vibes. Pandin Lake is no exception, even if it doesn’t have nice facilities (but the toilet is decent).
There were plenty of people when we went there yesterday, but I’m sure there are a whole lot more in other tourist destinations, cheap or expensive. I’d say that it was relatively not jampacked.
4. BAMBOO RAFT TOUR. Eating while rafting is the highlight of going to Lake Pandin.
The view was spectacular. However, I had a hard time taking photos because I was scared that my phone will slip from my hands because it was windy and the raft is moving. I regret not using my case with that ring thingy behind, where I could slip my finger. So remember that guys: if your camera phone is big, it’s better if you have that ring to help ensure your phone won’t drop—there are big gaps between the bamboo flooring of the raft!
Bamboo raft tour + meal is P360/head. Raviv, who’s only 6 years old, was only charged P100. Thea, who’s 11 years old, was charged P360 as well. Trisha, 2 years old, was free of charge. Our meal consisted of grilled tilapia, rice, ensaladang pako (my favorite!), salted eggs, plantain banana, and bottled water.
After eating, we went swimming while our raft was moored into one of the trees there.
Nag-panic ako nang slight when I learned that this lake is 100-150 feet deep. Jusko, jusko, jusko!!! If not for the fact that Dodong was with us (Dodong is from Burias Island; he is an excellent swimmer who can dive very deep sans any gear. He said he is already used to seeing sharks underwater), I wouldn’t have allowed Raviv to go swimming! Especially because the life vests were not exactly in tiptop shape.
So here’s another tip: if you have your own life vests, bring them. Or go get some gillyweed, hehe (#PotterHead). That will help calm your nerves whenever you remember the 100-150 feet!
Overall, we spent less than P2,000 for this fun, impromptu getaway. Not bad, eh? Especially considering that everyone had fun and we all went home with full stomachs.
Especially this boy. This happened when we were to return to the shore, after he went swimming.
Good night, everyone! Stay blessed!
Romans 6:8-11New International Version (NIV)
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.