The Deep, Creepy Waters of Lake Pandin

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My girlfriend came from night duty so she didn’t have any sleep. I only had 2 hours of zzz before I packed, showered and left to go to her house Thursday morning. When I got there, she was eating breakfast, still in her pambahay clothes. We discussed whether to do it today or tomorrow, because obviously, she’s needs some sleep. Yet she pushes to do it that day. I wait for her to get ready and we set out at 11am.

We arrived at Buendia to catch a Lucena bound bus at 12:17pm. There were only 2 free seats left and they’re apart just by a row. One was the 2nd seat in the farthest back row, the other was the right aisle seat of the previous row. I said “Pwede na yan, para makaalis na tayo.” While she makes this nguso face as she takes her seat. I laugh, and the guy beside her notices and stands up. “Oh, dito ka na, mukhang gusto niyong magkatabi” in a joking, friendly manner. I laugh some more and said “Ay kuya, thank you po. (To Cams) Ayan napansin ka tuloy ni kuya.”

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Not having our lunch yet, we fell right asleep until maybe one and a half hour later. The loud invite of the bus vendor woke me up. I was still too sleepy to comprehend what he was selling. When he stops right in front of me with the bucket of I-don’t-know opened up, the smell of the food reaches my nose and juts me awake. Turns out he was selling hot bibingka. I had to ask how much it costs multiple times because my sleepy brain won’t register anything I’m hearing.

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Right on time, we’re in SM San Pablo. The place seemed oddly familiar. Then it hit her that it was the same place where we shopped groceries for the Kala Christmas Party 2 years ago! The landian stage of our “relationship” back then. Hahahaha.

We then rode a jeep right outside the entrance of the mall, heading to “Bayan” or “Simbahan”. Literally, a church is your next stop, and it’s a pretty one.

We then waited for the next jeep to arrive, heading “Ilog”. We reached the last point of the jeepney trip, and had to walk to the “Lake Pandin Parking Area” – to which looks nothing like what I’ve researched on the internet.

manong approached us and offered assistance to Lake Pandin. (“Ako po magtotour sainyo sa Lake Pandin”) I thought he was the one to tour us in the location. But all he did was accompany us to the lake itself, which you can probably figure out on your own.

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Later we found out that manong and the actual rafting and food of the lake were to be paid separately. And that the rafting and food was much more expensive that what I have gathered!

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All the blogs that I’ve read on the internet were consistent with the P360 and P180. When we got there, even the two tour guides were incoherent. P360 was undeniably for groups of 4 or more. P1000 was a special price for two. Both with food. But for without food, and for 2, one guide said it was P400 each and the other said P500 already for the both of us.

We didn’t pry on this much further because, ultimately the price is still okay. We came to relax, and that’s what we’re doing. The inconsistency of the rate bothered us, but in the end, it’s where they get a living, so it’s fine.

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The guides had these metal ropes that they can pull so we can get to the other side of the lake where the swing is at. I dipped my legs on to the water as we were moving but I was advised not to do so. Later he explained that I might get caught in the nets or wires or whatever that they have underwater.

We ate first when we reached the other side. The food was awesome. Something worth going back for! Especially the shrimps uggghhhh my favorite. There was Ensaladang Pako, the small shrimps and inihaw na Tilapia. The first two, I just can’t.

This is probably the first time that I got afraid of getting into the waters. It was clear, but I can’t see anything under. I felt like someone or something is going to pull me under! All are required to wear the life vests no matter how good you are at swimming. And even I, a stubborn, reckless kid, won’t dare to try. I was tamed, and I stayed inside my comfort zone (meaning the area just around the raft, haha)

Since we came pretty late (3:30pm), dusk was upon us and we had to go.

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The beautiful sunset escorted us back to shore. Funnily, after paying the tour guides and logging in their logbook, they left us on the raft and went on their way. Around 5:30pm to 6pm, all the people had left, literally. There were no lights, as if they have already gone to sleep. Fortunately, the manong who assisted us here waited for us. On the short trek back to the main road, we had to bring our phone-flashlights out because it was literally pitch black – with occasional passing of the locals’ houses.

Hours later, we’re already back in Manila. “Naglake pala tayo ngayon? Parang walang nangyari.” Hahaha. “Ganun lang pala kadali yun.”

 

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