Getting to Know San Pablo: The City of Seven Lakes

Last Updated on

If you’ve ever wondered why the city of San Pablo in Laguna is called the “City of Seven Lakes”, it’s because the city is surrounded by seven lakes: Lake Sampaloc, Lake Calibato, Lakes Pandin and Yambo, Lake Muhikap, Lake Bunot, and Lake Palakpakin.

Surrounded by luscious greens, San Pablo is a first-class city in the province of Laguna. Apart from being one of the oldest cities in the Philippines, it is also the largest, in terms of land area.


The city of San Pablo dates back to pre-Spanish times, around the early 1500s. Back then, four large barrios bounded by Mount Makiling from the village of Sampalok (before it became what we now know as San Pablo City).

Spearheaded by Captain Juan de Salcedo, the grandson of Miguel López de Legazpi, he and his troops were the first Spaniards to arrive in the village by the lakes in 1571. 15 years later, it became a parish made of light materials by the Augustinians. It then became a municipality by the year 1647 and was renamed to “San Pablo de Los Montes” after Saint Paul the First Hermit.

This upland village was once considered as the richest city in the country, thanks to the Augustinian mission which turned San Pablo into one of the richest and most progressive towns in the 1700s.

Saint Paul the First Hermit Parish. Photo via Inkdependent

In 1756, San Pablo was deemed to be under the jurisdiction of the province of Batangas. However, it was later returned to Laguna in 1883.

The locals worked hard for their city’s progress, and for it to be an independent city. In 1940, President Manuel L. Quezon made it official, but it wasn’t until 1941 when the city was inaugurated by Laguna’s former governor, Dr. Potenciano Malvar.


San Pablo’s abundance in lakes is due to maar craters which were formed by phreatomagmatic eruptions, or volcanic eruptions in short, which resulted from the interaction between groundwater and hot magma pushing up the surface.

San Pablo is located at the foothills of Mt. Makiling, Mt. Banahaw and the Sierra Madre, which explains why the city has a cool and relaxing breeze. These don’t only serve as attractions, but also helps in providing clean and fresh air to locals and tourists.


San Pablo remains to be one of the most sought-after places for those who want a quick getaway from the city. There are also several tourist spots that visitors need to check out. On top of the list is Lake Sampaloc, the largest of the seven lakes in San Pablo. The lake is actually a broad shallow crater lake which was formed from an underground eruption when it came in contact with the hot molten lava.

Next are the twin lakes Pandin and Yambo. However, the latter is only suitable for swimming because of Lake Pandin’s abundance of plant and fish life. Visitors can also visit Lake Kalibato. In just a 15-minute trek, be rewarded with the marvelous sight of Lake Kalibato, framed by the mystical Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal. All three lakes can be accessed from Santo Angel, near the boundary of the town Rizal.

A visit to San Pablo should most definitely be accompanied by a traditional Tagalog comfort food in a garden setting. If you’re feeling adventurous, try Goto Mami and the cholesterol-rich Bat and Balls soup near the train station.

San Pablo City also celebrates “Coco Festival” where there are street dancing and concerts, as well as float parades, nightly programs, and of course the local beauty pageant, “Mutya at Lakan ng San Pablo”.

Photo via Hello Travel

If you’re looking for a temporary place to stay so you get more time to explore San Pablo, there are several choices: Villa Escudero, Casa San Pablo, Sulyap Gallery, and Tahanan Ni Aling Meding. It’s also a nice way to experience what living simply, far from the hustle bustle of the city looks and feels like.

On the other hand, San Pablo also has something for those looking for a permanent residence within the city. Launching this month, Phirst Park Homes of Century Properties is soon to offer fully finished homes with a provision for expansion.

Calista End Model Home. Photo via Phirst Park Homes

Committed to providing outstanding residential living experiences, Phirst Park Homes prides itself in providing 4Cs: Complete Homes, Conceptive Amenities, Connected Essentials, and Convenient Buying and Selling Experience.

Phirst Park Homes offers a safe and gated community, which is why it’s perfect for those planning to start a family. It’s almost an hour drive away from the city so attaining a work-life balance is not a problem. All these make the community a comfortable haven for every family to create meaningful life-long memories together.

Park and playground. Photo via Phirst Park Hoems

Interested to have your very own Phirst Park Homes property in San Pablo? Visit the official website today.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Video on the Rise: Why Your Listings Need This

While content is king in marketing, video is the king of content. It’s no secret that out of all the types of content, video...