About Us

San Pablo City is a chartered city in the province of Laguna, only 70 kilometers from Metro Manila. It is most famous for its seven lakes – Sampaloc Lake, Bunot Lake, Mojicap Lake, Pandin Lake, Palakpakin Lake, Yambo Lake and Kalibato Lake. All seven lakes are interconnected by underground tunnels. These are freshwater lakes, which has been known for the tasty grilled or smoked local fish delicacy called tilapia, as shown in this picture.

Many years ago, families swam in their clear waters and held picnics on the lakeshore, while others held boat races on the lake. Joggers ran safely around the perimeter road enjoying the fresh morning air. But years of neglect led to the deterioration of these beautiful lakes. In the 1980s and 90s, illegal structures sprouted along the lakeshore and fishcages mushroomed on the lake covering as much as 70% of the surface area. The remaining area was filled with waterlilies, so much so that some areas looked like fields of grass from a distance

HISTORY

Seven lakes

Seven Lakes of San Pablo City, Laguna

San Pablo is also the country’s only city with seven interconnected crater lakes. Up until the 1960’s, these lakes were abundant with fish and shrimp, which, at times, could be scooped up at the lakeshore. Set against the twin backdrop of Mt. San Cristobal and the mystical Mt. Banahaw. Sampaloc Lake is the biggest and the most famous of the seven lakes, its origins recounted in every book of Philippine legends.

In the sixties, a road was built around Sampaloc Lake marking its transition from an idyllic place for quiet enjoyment and meditation to a busy and noisy thoroughfare. Before long small restaurants, nightclubs and shanties with no proper sewage disposal sprouted along the lakeshore. Parts of the perimeter road are now almost impassable having been appropriated by some lake dwellers for their private use.

In the seventies, floating cages were introduced resulting in the explosion of the number of fishcages, most of them illegal and major contributors to pollution. The overuse of commercial fish feeds has resulted in high nitrogen levels, low dissolved oxygen and a proliferation of water lilies. These have led to fishkills in the early and late nineties. In January 2004, there were fishkills in six of the seven lakes.

In an effort to conserve, protect, and rehabilitate (CPR) our seven lakes, the Save the Lakes Movement (SLM) was formed by concerned citizens from San Pablo City in early 1999 to ensure that a rehabilitation plan  is established for the lakes by the local and provincial governments, and the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA).  In addition, SLM was formed to promote environmental awareness — giving light to the importance of protecting and preserving our limited natural resources for future generations to come. SLM held a city-wide prayer rally to inform the community of the impending environmental disaster threatening the seven lakes. The following month, a group composed of concerned citizens started meeting on lake issues and on what they could do to address them. The result was the Friends of the Seven Lakes Foundation, Inc (FSLF), which was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-profit organization in August 2000.

The FSLF is accepting and encouraging membership from individuals and groups with a deeper level of commitment to the lakes.

FSLF Board of Directors:

  • Roberto Azores – Chairman
  • Fernando Fabros – President
  • Wilson Borja – V. President
  • Engr. Mario Ortega – Secretary
  • Kimton Dy Ning – Treasurer
  • Atty. Kroi Vallejos
  • Eva Laurel
  • Dr. Elvie Galicia
  • Claudine Villanueva
  • Richard Grimaldo
  • George de Goristiza
  • Arvin Carangdang

Advisers:

  • Dr. Rodel Lasco
  • Dr. Christine Casal
  • Atty. Resty Mendoza
  • Dr. Maria Cuvin-Aralar
  • Pando Espallardo
  • Dr. Bing Brillo
  • Hero Labatos