Friday, April 13

Sanctuario de San Pablo: A Hidden Sanctuary in the City of Seven Lakes

San Pablo City, Laguna is popular for it is the City of Seven Lakes namely (1) Sampaloc Lake: the biggest and most popular; (2) Pandin Lake: that quiet hidden lake; (3) Lake Kalibato: said to be the deepest and the coldest lake; (4) Yambo Lake; (5) Palakpakin Lake; (6) Lake Muhicap; and (7) Lake Bunot.

If it is your first time coming to San Pablo, you will have that small-town feel.  All the main establishments are nestled in almost the same area. The main avenue, Colago Avenue, is surrounded by business establishments and will lead you straight to San Pablo Cathedral.

San Pablo City is in a somewhat semi-developed state.  Unlike other Laguna cities, San Pablo appears to be very quaint and is also gifted by natural wonders.  However, like other growing hubs, the unstoppable growth is evident in new investments, increasing population migration and booming economy.  One could only hope that the quaint town they grew up in remains the same. 

I remember my first visit here (more than a decade ago I tell you). Me and my relatives were actually going to Liliw, Laguna for a shoe-shopping spree and we passed by the downtown to have lunch at Jollibee.  Looking at my left from the car window, I instantly fell in love with the few remaining old houses standing.  Stuck inside, I regret that I was not able to go down and get a closer look.

Back to the present, I always find myself going back here.  Either just hanging out at Sampaloc Lake with my friends, go ukay-ukay at Japan Surplus (Yes! For Uk-Uk lovers there is a big Japan Surplus here! PM me to know the details) or just out to do tambay here out of the blue.

However, it saddens me to see that the downtown is no longer reminiscent of the small-town I was yearning for.  Modern structures abound and numerous trikes often call out to passengers which I really find annoying at times.  I guess the local transportation board needs to do better with their franchise regulation.

Then one day, we discovered this resort on the outskirts of the city. It is called Sanctuario de San Pablo Resort and Spa.  A bit pricey for the budget traveler, but I say once you have gone here, either for a day-swim or for an overnight stay, it will be worth it.  Once entering its enormous gates, all the city noise will be blocked out automatically.  The resort is giving off this Bali,Indonesia vibe. Its structures are painted yellow, equivalent of a very relaxing atmosphere.



 
The resort is not open to the public if there are private events like corporate gatherings or weddings. Better contact the resort first specially if you plan coming on weekends or holidays. Their contact numbers are (049) 562-6867 and (049) 561-3006

The resort pool comes with a slide


Cabanas: Day Tour during weekdays costs Php 450 per head with complimentary meal. Php 550 during weekends with buffet lunch. Cabanas are free of charge for day-swimming


Take a dip here with me :-)


Casitas


Visit the resort's website for further inquiries and information





Me and my friends: (L-R) Ate Joy, ME and Ate Chie
Photo by Bimbo Jereza

Sanctuario de San Pablo is a secret haven in this part of town.  It's location is not hard to find since it is along the National Highway going to Lucena City, Quezon.  If you are coming from Manila, you can take the Lucena-City bound buses from Pasay/Cubao and kindly ask the the bus driver or conductor to drop you off here. Your landmark will be  Max's Restaurant located at the right side. 


If you are coming from San Pablo City town proper, the fastest way to reach the resort is by taking a trike (fare ranges from P25-P30, travel time about 5-10 minutes). Just tell the driver to drop you off at Sanctuario at Calihan, near Max's Restaurant


For those always hungry, Max's Restaurant is just across the road.  The resort also has a big parking space perfect for the always-on-a-road trip guest. Meals are also served here, sumptuous to the eyes and will definitely satisfy your taste though is not for a budget-traveler or backpacker's budget. But the staff are friendly and best of all.... it is here in my beloved Philippines. :-)

13 comments:

  1. hi! ms.paula i'm an avid fan of ukay can you please share the exact location of the big japan surplus thanks in advance.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sheng, the Big Japan Surplus is located in Purok 3, Brgy San Cristobal, San Pablo City. You can either take a jeepney with signage ILOG - just ask around because those plying the direct SanPablo-Nagcarlan-Liliw route's first stop is far from here.

      Or from San Pablo City town center, you can ride a trike to take you there. Remember to haggle for fare. We normally could be sent here at around P 30 - P40 (2 people).

      If coming from San Pablo, the Japan Surplus is at the left side with a big open gate. It looks like an old open warehouse.

      Happy shopping! :-)

      Delete
    2. Marami po sa

      Delete
  2. hi! ms.paula i find your blog very helpful i'm planning a day tour to san pablo city since i'm also interested in UKay finds can you share& give some tips on the best ukay shop in san pablo city like the one you've mention the japan surplus thank you hope to hear from you soon.......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sheng, in San Pablo City town center, Ukay-ukay stores are abound. I just forgot the street name of the old cinema house I usually go to. From San Pablo town center, you will see Jollibee (they call it Jollibee plaza) the one on the main avenue (Colago St.). You can ask the locals where the 'limang sinehan' is located, it can be accessed at one of the adjacent streets facing jolibee.

      You can also go to San Pablo City Mall, on the second floor there is also an Ukay-ukay shop where you can discover many finds. You can check this out in Google Maps, just type in San Pablo City Shopping Mall. You will know it is the mall when you see McDonalds...the ukay shop I am referring to is at the second floor left wing.

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    2. There are too many ukay ukay here in san pablo city, laguna. This is my home town. And as if today tge ukay ukay know at the lumang sinehan near the mercury drug store (bonifacio street.) :) i think this would help you๐Ÿ˜Š and also at the 7/11 plaza you can walk there at the right side you can see an ukay ukay they sale new arrivals for 50 pesos... if you want something new!!sales! You could told to tge trici. Driver at the jollibee paulino lang po. And he will guide you there you will just pay 20 pesos when your are only 1 but if you are many 10 pesos each person.:)
      and be alert your bags must at front not at the back...there are too many strangerd here in sanpy๐Ÿ˜”... thats all. Happy and come back at the 7 lakes๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

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  4. San Pablo City as i recalled is really that quaint place before it became a City, during my high school days. When the SLEX was not yet finished then, the route to Gumaca, Quezon, (my father's home) was to pass by this City. Hope to see the 7 lakes soon once I will be in Manila this coming October this year. Hopefully it will be realized. A month long training in real estate at Malate, Manila........excited na po.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. San Pablo City is my second home. I don't have a house here but I always find myself going back here to just to unwind and cool down, :-)

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