The Lucena-bound bus stopped at San Pablo Medical Center. The hobbit jumped out and rushed to the familiar 7-Eleven store, bought a cold drink, and asked the cashier how to get to Pandin Lake. At the instruction, he took a jeepney to the “bayan” (town) and looked for jeepneys plying the Ilog route. What caught his attention though was the light blue dome and the bell tower from a distance. He walked towards it to kill the curiosity. It was the Cathedral of Saint Paul.

From the town center, beside another 7-Eleven store, he took a jeepney bound to Ilog. After 30 minutes, the driver said he was already in Lake Pandin, and pointed to a narrow path among the coconut trees. The hobbit walked under the scorching heat of the sun. The cry of crows could be heard, and then a roaring motorcycle that was getting closer. The grains of sand that dried under the summer sun rose up in the air as the rider passed by. When he looked up, he saw coconuts, and then met a solitary tree in the middle of the narrow road which went up, and down, and up, and down until it led to the beautiful sight of the lake.

Photos taken with Cherry Mobile Flare.


ArisMape is a travel insider at ABS-CBN's Choose Philippines. He loves orange, halo-halo, and PowerPoint, and hates beef, slow internet, and long taxi lines. His pastime is watching people watch other people. He swears on the power of smartphone. His half-life? Thirty.