Mapanuepe Lake in Zambales

Dad’s day adventure getaways

Mapanuepe Lake in Zambales

An old joke says, “Father’s Day is very similar to Mother’s Day. Only, it is just cheaper to celebrate.”

But with more options emerging and the growing sophistication of today’s active dads, this adage may soon no longer be true and a fancy meal will be a boring proposition. Dads or males in general shun fanfare and drama, and would just love to go about his recreational routine, but this time with the family which will what makes the day special.

Below are some adventures with fun-filled moments and memories, and tons of social media photos.

Motocamping. A variant of traditional camping, this is gaining traction among outdoor lovers and road trippers as it makes use of your family vehicle as a supply center. It can also be leveled up into glamping or glamor camping if you put in lots of amenities and comforts into your camp.

A popular motocamping site is Zambales because of the challenging drive, diverse topography and powdery beaches. A sought-after venue is Lake Mapanuepe which is tucked in the interior of San Marcelino town, regarded as the “singkamas capital” of Zambales.

Created by the Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991, the 6.5-sq. km. lake is 129 meters above sea level, and has a 33-km. shore length, which means cool weather and lots of open spaces to pitch tents. It is advisable to bring an SUV, MPV or pickup because of the shallow river crossings.

As a bonus, you can drive to the nearby surfing areas of San Felipe, island hop around San Antonio, go mango picking around the orchards, and swing by old churches and museums. You can also grab a snack in the quaint roadside cafes which sprouted during the pandemic.

Kayaking at Sierra Lake House in Cavinti, Laguna

Kayaking. A safe and fun recreation which develops your confidence in the water, it also tones the upper torso and helps you appreciate the value of clean bodies of water.

Newbies can get their feet wet, quite literally, on lakes because of the placid water, and absence of waves or currents. The nearest spot is Lumot Mahipon Lake in upland Cavinti, Laguna.

A family-friendly lodging in the area is Sierra Lake House, situated on a man-made islet within the reservoir lake, where you can learn the basics of kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, largemouth bass fishing, and diving from a bamboo raft platform.

With the calm water, you will surely get into the groove and learn to paddle in no time and navigate the lake. Once you’ve gained confidence, you can kayak in the bigger Caliraya Lake nearby.

Its cozy bahay kubo-themed lodging and tasty homestyle food take you to the no-frills joys of countryside living and family during the pre-internet age. The spacious premises is also ideal for barbecue, yoga, Zumba, and family board games.

The area is also dotted with pasalubong food and native crafts, most notably handwoven barong cloth of Lumban.

On the way home, drive around the Laguna Lake Loop via Rizal province which has scenic pitstops, challenging bends, and unexpected finds.

Scuba diving in Anilao

Scuba diving. This aquasport is a memorable activity you can give to the family because of the life-saving skills you gain and the opportunity to marvel at the world-famous underwater kingdom. Mabini, Batangas, or popularly known as Anilao is the hands-down choice for scuba diving 101 because of the plethora of resorts and dive sites.

A family-oriented watering hole is Amor Laut Resort, a high-end and garden-themed staycation hub. Guests will be taught basic skills in the discover scuba diving (DSD) briefing in the pool, and afterwards taken out to a nearby shallow dive site which is teeming with lush marine life.

Once you’ve mustered the guts, you can do the more exciting and deeper dives from a pumpboat. You can also feast on local and international flavors, or laze at the pool, the well-appointed rooms or gaze at the mesmerizing seascape.

The birthplace of scuba diving in the country, Anilao is also perfect for windsurfing, paddling, island-hopping, mountain trekking, food trips of local delicacies such as lomi, goto, kalamay, and kapeng barako.

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