San Pablo City is a first class City in the Southern part of Laguna Province and considered as one of the oldest City in the Country. Historically, San Pablo was named “Sampaloc” because of the presence of beautiful Sampaloc lake just within the City vicinity. It is also known as “City of Seven Lake” because of the presence of 7 beautiful and abundant lakes. But as time goes on, Sampaloc name was changed to San Pablo a named taken from their Patron Saint.
San Pablo city is rich in history and culture. It is one of the favorite places of tourist goers in the country because of its strategic location which is just 2 hours drive from Metro Manila. Of all its humble beginnings as a place, only some available infrastructure and location that makes the history remembered. However these places contributed much on the culture and practices of the people of San Pablo City as the aura of their significant past.
Remnants of the Past:
The Seven lakes:
The Sampalok, Pandin, Palkpakin, Bunot, Yambo, Muhikap and Calibato are the seven lakes of San Pablo City. These are the wonders of San Pablo a best place to delight yourself with native foods, natural ambiance and with a stress-free ride in a locally known Balsa while eating along the lake. I tried to visit all these lakes mentioned but situation only permits me to see the two famous; Sampalok and Pandin lake.
Sampalok Lake/Tilapia Monument:
Sampalok lake is just within the City at the ground area of the City Hall. This lake, aside from giving the people a good variety of lake foods, it also serves as a park place where you can relax, spending your free time and do some exercise while breathing the fresh atmosphere of the area. The commonly known freshwater fish, Tilapia is the major product of this lake. Accordingly, Tilapia was first cultured in this lake over the years. The first Tilapia siblings was just a donation from the courtesy of a certain couple named Agahan-Pulgar. They brought the tilapia Fingerlings all the way from Hawai and decided to keep it live in their own pool however, later on they decided to let the fingerlings stay at Samapaloc lake as their habitat. From then, more and more harvest of Tilapia was enjoyed by the San Pablohanon
Another lake was also caught my attention and this time its quite far from the City thus need to go there for 20 minutes travel and 15 minutes walk. However the efforts of walking from drop-off road to Pandin lake is reconcilable when I reach the place and see the beauty of Pandin lake. There I took up my lunch while in a Balsa touring from lake end-to-end as the local tourist guides managing the ride. The food viand served as our lunch were; a delicious grilled Tilapia, creatively made native Fern Salad, small shrimp cooked in a coconut milk plus the eggplant salad and the delicious-locally made leche plan and Ube. All these servings are manageable without using fork and spoon to really satisfy the taste of these native foods with a combination of rice packed in Banana leaves that will surely please your hunger and complete your lake cruise tour.
The historic Cathedral
It is said to be that it took for the church builders 35 long years before this church, which is now a cathedral, has been finally came into being. This parish church is made up of bricks which sufficiently strong and spacious. This was founded by Augustinian Fathers but later when the Augustinian Missionaries and the Archbishop of Manila had been into certain church conflict the Church administration was turned over to Franciscan Friars. Since 1910, San Pablo City was part of the Archdiocese of Lipa but on 1967 it became an independent Roman Catholic Diocese until at present.
This City Hall has been built long years ago during the American regime. This was not the original government edifice of San Pablo for the first one is situated just in front of the church.
These are just some of historical pride of San Pablo. Place, culture and history are a testimony of how the place has got its name and how it was developed. History is important of course but now- a-days what is more important is how to manage the local resources and keeping it growing and beneficial to all.