Laguna: The 2-Hour Plan Challenge

While commuting all the way from Laguna to Makati on a rainy Thursday night, my hands were busy texting other boatmen in Zambales, hoping to get a positive feedback on the weather update. I already have my backpack all set for an overnight camping in Nagsasa Cove.

I'm with my brother who's about to take the PRC Board Exam.We'll stay overnight in a cousin's house in Makati for my brother's early trip to Manuel l. Quezon College to take the 2 day licensure exam for architects, while I'm left at the house to wait for that Friday night's trip bound for San Antonio, Zambales.

I was tasked to do all the planning which I happily did weeks before the travel date. After all, I'm dying to see Anawangin, Nagsasa and Capones, but I was also in doubt since June starts the month of the rainy season. My contact in Pundaquit told me that for as long as there's no typhoon, we can do island hopping. That made me think positive since typhoon Ambo is already leaving the country. 

However, I also got another sms from another boatman saying the waves are already big and it's not safe to travel during the rainy season. He advised November to be closest month to sail. What made me feel scared even more is that all of my companions doesn't know how to swim!

Getting ready to help out my brother prep for the much anticipated exam and being the supportive ate that I am, I was up and awake by 4 that Friday morning. I also asked our boatman for one final update so I can advise my travel companions as well who all will be coming from office work. When he replied with the words "malakas ang alon" - that's it, change of plans!

The Challenge

When my companions found out about the scary waves, we all agreed to cancel the Anawangin trip. Re-scheduling for the same trip any time soon is not an option. It's either we cancel the whole out of town weekend trip or plan for another one, from scratch. The girls were still on the go, so I hurriedly looked for a nearby internet shop to help me lay out a quick alternative plan.

There were a lot of things to consider - I have to stick with the Php2000 budget and yet make the trip fun and memorable. One requested for a trekking activity. We all have our swimwears in our backpacks so the activity should practically involve some swimming. Three provinces played in my mind - Batangas, Laguna and Subic.

I find Subic I bit of a challenge with regards to sticking with the budget and the only areas I know of are the Ocean Adventure and Zoobic Safari. It doesn't appeal much at least to me. Batangas on the other hand is okay for a beach swim. I have been to many resorts and private properties there since I was able to work practically on its coastal beaches for 5 months to shoot for an afternoon show, Calla Lily. Batangas is feasible but I find a trip back to Laguna to explore other nearby provinces much more exciting.

Two areas pop in my mind - San Pablo for its 7 Lakes and Pagsanjan Falls. I was yearning to swim in Lake Pandin after reading some blogs and I also wanted to see the famous Sibika at Kultura tourist spot Pagsanjan Falls. I read a cheaper alternative to reach Pagsanjan Falls so the trip should fit our budget, it also involves trekking which satisfies the request of a fellow companion. Next to consider is accommodation. I find Nagcarlan a good spot to check out budget friendly resorts, it's a perfect location as well - smack right in the middle of San Pablo and Pagsanjan.

The Route

View Larger Map

If there's one thing I learned from my 4 years in TV Production, that is the art of multi-tasking. So in just 2 hours, I have made an itinerary fit for our budget, contacted the resort we'll be staying as well as ate Siony of Lake Pandin and studied the location a bit - all with help from blogs that I read. My travel companions for this trip were very trusting that they made me decide everything - sasama daw sila sa'kin kahit saan! To think I never met 3 of them prior to this trip.

Anna, me, Ghia, MC and Macy on our first rappelling experience

And then it just happened. We met at Jac Liner Terminal in Buedia and MC introduced me to her officemates. The trip wasn't just successful but was also over the top memorable. There were many things I did for the first time - my first back massage under a waterfall, my first rappelling experience and my first try to swim in a lake. All 5 of us girls were laughing hard most of the trip, and I'm glad to have gained another set of friends slash new-found travel buddies. Til our next trip guys!

Laguna Weekend Series:


  1. Wow what a great experienced. I also want to travel in Laguna and visit their beautiful places. I want also to experience the rappelling hope one day I could do that. Thanks for sharing your memorable experience. I am so glad to visit again on your blog.


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