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Sampaloc Lake is one of the seven beautiful lakes in San Pablo City in Laguna. It’s the largest among them, too. But what makes it a top tourist draw this side of the province is the gorgeous view it provides, as well as the various activities tourists can do around the area.

Quarantine restrictions are still in place, and every one should stay home to stay safe. But, if you happen to be in the area, or are passing by in the city (perhaps to go to Lucena or Bicol), a quick stopover couldn’t hurt.

With a total circumference of 3.7 kilometers, the lake is popular with runners who want to work out a sweat while being close to nature. It’s easy to find, because it’s located very near the San Pablo City Hall.

Unfortunately, the water in Sampaloc Lake is not suitable for swimming. However, visitors can still enjoy lots of activities such as taking photos, eating street food (like isaw and kwek-kwek), renting bicycles, or sampling the local cuisine in one of the restaurants around the lake.

There are lots of tilapia, bangus, carp, and several species of shrimps that abound in the lake, so it’s likely that you’ll come across a vendor selling newly caught fish.

According to legend, the lake was created because an old woman, who happened to have a giant Sampaloc tree in her garden, drew away an old man (who is a diwata in disguise) seeking help for his grandson. After this, a thundering noise and heavy rain ensued, sinking the entire orchard, filling it with water, and turning it into a lake.

Pro tip: Come in the early morning or late in the afternoon when it’s not too hot. Come ready for a snack so you’ll have space to sample the street food.