10/16/2010

Random Trip to Laguna: Pansol, Calamba and the Seven Lakes of San Pablo

PANSOL, LAGUNA
Yesterday was Friday, October 15 and that was the last day of our random trip to Laguna.


It was an overnight trip. We planned it days or weeks before but I never really had the chance to join them for the last two weeks. Two of my officemates had been to Pansol, Laguna already for the hot springs two times for the last two weeks. And I was supposed to join them but I never get to because of some personal problems.

And then this one time they invited everyone in the batch. There were supposedly 9 of us to join the trip but most of them backed out. Only the third girl in the batch was able to make it. And I couldn't have joined them once again if only they didn't tried to push for more. Although I really liked to go, it just so happened that problems kept on pouring in that time and I was really in a deep frustration. But they managed to persuade me anyway.

So on the night of October 14, Thursday, I packed my things and made my way out of the house. Our meeting place was at Jollibee, Alabang just across the South Station and Starmall. It took me 2 hours to get there by bus from my place. It took us around 45 minutes to get to Pansol, Calamba, Laguna. We stopped in front of Monte Vista Resort & Hotel and directly across the street would be the target resort which is Hacienda R (Hacienda "Rosa").

It was a really nice place just along the highway or the main road and it's directly in front of the Monte Vista Resort & Hotel. There's even a Max's Chicken Restaurant across the street, too. But we brought our own food, anyway. It's so relaxing to enjoy the peaceful night of Pansol, Calamba. It's so quiet and breezy. Vehicles rarely pass by the streets and the air is so damn fresh. Nothing can really better fresh air from the province. If I could only bring it to Manila.

The Hacienda R Resort was big. I believe there were 3 pools. At least that's what I saw. There are air-conditioned rooms. Cottages and tables are also available. There's a swing in front of the resort store. There is also a kiddie pool. The pool waters are warm and the source of the water is really hot. I believe it's natural hot spring water. We chose the bigger pool. I think it was more than 7 feet deep and it starts at 5 feet, I guess, but that was just 1/8 of the whole pool and the rest of the pool was deep enough already.

It was big enough since there were only four of us enjoying the stay at the resort. There were no other customers aside from us that day we went there so it was like we rented a private resort, when in fact we didn't. We even got 10% discounts on our entrance rate. The people there are very accommodating and approachable they even lend us the cottage even if we just paid the table fees.

Overall it was a really relaxing place to be at. I never tried the rooms though but I'd love to try it when I go back there. The water is so warm to moderate hot. Even if the place is cold because of the cool breeze since we're on the mountain side, you'll be relaxed by the temperature of the water. And the flow of the hot water to the pool massages your skin and muscles when you try to force your body against it. We even took a nap by the pool stairs with our bodies soaked to the warm water. It's really a great feeling. I love to go back to that place again.

c/o google maps
It was just so frustrating that we didn't brought a camera with us. None of us bothered to even remember bringing one. Well, we do have camera phones but it wasn't good enough to capture everything. And my phone was used to play radio before we dipped to the pool without even realizing that my battery has already been drained too much that it only had one bar left on the battery monitor. So we weren't able to shoot pictures of us having really a great time at that very nice place. I mean they were right, I would really find myself relaxing the whole day. The videoke was also great. We were not able to sing a lot of songs like what we always do but everything was so fine. The trip was full of laughter and relaxation. It's really a pity we don't have a picture of the place.

If you need to contact this place, it's (049) 244 3093
SAN PABLO, LAGUNA


Receipts of Travel and Food Trips
(The only Evidence)
After that we even planned to go somewhere else, and that place was San Pablo. They were talking about the Seven Lakes of San Pablo so we thought of going there before going home. It was another long drive at around 45 minutes from Hacienda R. The jeepney driver asked us to pay 40 Pesos each so that we don't need to ride a tricycle anymore.  And we just found out that it was only a 5-minute walk from the jeepney drop point, duh. But anyway, we got to the first lake. It's called the Sampaloc Lake. The locals said that it would be a 3.7 km stroll around the perimeter of the Sampaloc Lake. It was a cool place. We were WOWing all the time. LOL

We wondered why it was called the Sampaloc Lake. The barangay was called V-A or probably it meant Five-A. Then one of us said, "hey look around... there are a lot of Sampaloc trees." She even said, "that's Sampaloc, right?" and I was like, LOL? Hahaha. But yeah she was right. There were Sampaloc Trees all around and maybe it's the reason why it was called the Sampaloc Lake.

Well, like what I said, "What a pity." Because we don't have cameras and we were whining along like "Sayang walang camera...", "Baket kasi walang camera?", "tara picture tayo!" LOL

Sampaloc Lake, San Pablo, Laguna
But I found a picture in the world wide web. Here's just to present you how it looks like. I don't took this picture. It's not mine. I just got it from google search LOL.

But anyway, it was really a good place to visit and a nice scenery to see. We ate at a restaurant and I think it's called ClydenJosh Grill & Restaurant. At least that's how they spelled it. I think it meant Clyde and Josh. It was just beside the Lake so we had a fine view of the Lake while we were eating the very fine dishes that they served. Really locally made. They also serve American dishes but we wanted to taste the local specialty available in that place.

******* Starting here, I will insert some personally taken pictures (courtesy of Czar)

CLYDENJOSH  Grill and Restaurant


Sampaloc Lake (photo by Czar)
We ordered a group meal called "Yambo Lake Bilao". One thing I remembered is that we were served with mushroom soup, and it was a lot of mushroom soup. There was this big squid and they called it "Binusog na Pusit" and it was the center of attraction, the talk of the table, LOL. It comes with spare ribs and crab & cheese sticks that was really tasty. There was also this ensaladang talong. It's talong with red egg, tomato, onion, gelatin, a pitcher of cold Iced Tea and who knows what else. The meal was good for four but since I dined with ladies it seems to be good for 5. But since the ladies I dined with were not on a diet we still managed to finish the set. And it was so fine. No regrets. I would really like to go back there and try to dine at their sort of a tree house area.

ClydenJosh Restaurant (Photo by Czar)



Here's the picture of the restaurant. But anyway, you should visit this place. It's really nice. It's a tourist spot and if you like places like this, you'll love being here. I mean I'm not into lakes but I liked it so much specially the food from ClydenJosh Grill Restaurant.





Now I took out this excerpt from a website to give a brief information about the lake.
Sampaloc Lake (photo by Czar)
Sampaloc Lake and its Legend, according to a legend, the lake derived its name from a giant tamarind (sampalok) tree in the garden of a selfish couple who drove away a fairy disguised as a beggar asking for some fruit. 
Hardly an hour after the old man left, there was a thundering noise followed by the cracking of the earth. It become a colossal pit which was eventually filled with water


The Tilapia Monument (joke)


According to this website, the lake has an area of 104 hectares and a maximum depth of 27m. Cool!

These are some pictures that I saw on the web. I don't own them. I just saw them through google, I just want to share them with you, alright?

Now this sculpture on the picture on the left is a Big Tilapia. In english it's called St. Peter's Fish. This sculpture was donated by Mr. and Mrs Agahan, and I will never forget that name. People here do really like food, don't they?



Side Walk Stores
Now these are the stores on the sidewalk of the street along the Sampaloc Lake. It's a Sari-Sari Store or a variety store.

There are also bikes that you can rent. There are even side-cars or what we call tri-bike and you will just pay the biker to stroll you around the lake.