Laguna Road Trip 2021

Laguna Road Trip 2021: June 8, 2021 

Laguna Road Trip 2021

It's time to hit the road once again. This time, Team Nicerio heads to the scenic province of Laguna on an unplanned road trip. Yup, you read that right, this is one of those rare times when we woke up early and just decided to drive without a definite destination in mind. Regardless, my wife and I both agreed that we'd drive south and see where the road takes us. Hence, after quickly preparing and packing breakfast for the road, we left home and drove towards South Luzon Express Way (SLEX)

Alligator Lake is formally called Tadlac Lake

We exited via Exit 50 / Turbina - Calamba Exit and continued on to the scenic Bucal Bypass which would lead us to Los Banos, Laguna. Halfway through we all decided to look for a place to stop by so that we could eat our breakfast. 

Met a man fishing in Alligator Lake

Ella visits Alligator Lake

I remembered seeing a small lake in Barangay Tadlac in Los Banos in Google Maps when I was searching for places to visit in Los Banos months ago. This lake appears as Alligator Lake in Google Maps but it also goes by several other names like Crocodile Lake, Enchanted Lake, and Tadlac Lake

Alligator Lake - Los Banos, Laguna

Because little is written about Alligator Lake, I become doubly interested in visiting it and seeing what it has to offer. To reach it, we had to leave the Manila South Road and drive to Bagong Kalsada Street then turn to Tadlac Road which gets narrower the further we go. However, before we manage to enter Barangay Tadlac, we were required to pay an environmental fee of 20 pesos per head. 

Breakfast near Alligator Lake

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed when we reached where the pin was in Google Maps as there was no designated parking space for tourists near Alligator Lake. Aside from that, the road is narrow and maneuvering is a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, we saw an area near the lake where we could park and maneuver our vehicle. It was also here where we ate our breakfast. 

Team Nicerio visits Alligator Lake

Since we had a limited view of Alligator Lake from where we parked, my daughter and I went to the soon-to-be-improved lakeside viewing platform to enjoy the scenic beauty of Alligator Lake. Overall, Alligator Lake has a huge potential to attract tourists but it has to be developed particularly the road leading to it and the parking area. 

Driving further south of Laguna Province

Pagsanjan Arch

The old Pagsanjan Arch

From Alligator Lake, we continued on our way further south of Laguna. We passed through several towns and cities like Bay, Victoria, Pila, Santa Cruz, and Pagsanjan. 

Lumban Arch

Stop over at Lumban - Caliraya - Cavinti Road

Check out the view from the Lumban - Caliraya - Cavinti Road

Laguna de Bay as seen from Lumban - Caliraya - Cavinti Road


Ready to go to our next destination

From Pagsanjan, we followed the National Highway going to Lumban then follow the uphill Lumban - Caliraya - Cavinti Road going to Caliraya Lake. We had a brief stopover halfway up the route to admire the panoramic view of Laguna de Bay and the towns around it. From this spot, Caliraya Lake was less than a 20-minute drive away. 

Team Nicerio visits Caliraya Lake


The Unifier Soldier and the Filipino Youth

Caliraya Lake 

Like most lakes in Laguna, Caliraya Lake also has lots of picture-perfect spots prompting us to take plenty of stops just to take photos and enjoy the view. We were planning to look for an open space to park and eat lunch at the back of our pickup truck but it suddenly drizzled which prompted us to continue our road trip.

Lumban-Caliraya-Cavinti Road going to Pagsanjan-Cavinti Road

Instead of going back down to Pagsanjan on the same route, we continued along Lumban-Caliraya-Cavinti Road towards the town of Cavinti before turning to Pagsanjan-Cavinti Road to lead us back to the historic town of Pagsanjan.  

Pagsanjan Church

Pagsanjan Church NHI Marker

Inside Pagsanjan Church

Once we reached Pagsanjan, we stopped over to revisit Pagsanjan Church. The last time we saw this Spanish-Colonial era church was during our Laguna-Quezon Visita Iglesia last 2015

Team Nicerio revisits Pagsanjan Church

I got to explore Pagsanjan Church more this time as there was literally no one in the church that time, well that is until a hearse and its convoy arrived forcing us to move on with our plans. From Pagsanjan Church, we drove to another Spanish colonial church in the town of Magdalena. 

Magdalena Arch

Team Nicerio visits Magdalena Church

Magdalena Church

Exploring Magdalena Church grounds

Magdalena is home to St. Mary Magdalene Parish Church or simply Magdalena Church. Some might be surprised to discover that they have seen this church in several films without knowing it. Magdalena Church has been used as a filming location for several films of the late action star Fernando Poe Jr. The church was also shown in the blockbuster film Heneral Luna. 

Inside Magdalena Church

Ella inside Magdalena Church

During our visit, the Magdalena Church was actually closed to the public, however, we were lucky enough to be allowed inside after a fellow road tripper and I asked the caretaker if he could allow us to view the church interior. Thank God, he had a kind heart and opened the doors of the church for us. It was my first time to visit Magdalena Church and all I can say is that it has a very beautiful well-preserved exterior and interior that is worth seeing. 

Magdalena, Laguna

The historic Magdalena Municipal Hall

Magdalena's Walk of Fame

The busts of the town's mayors can be seen in Magdalena's Walk of Fame

True! I love Magdalena, Laguna!

Team Nicerio visits Magdalena, Laguna

Before leaving, we got to explore the town of Magdalena briefly. we got to visit the well preserved Magdalena Municipal Hall. In front of it is the Magdalena Walk of Fame where you'd see busts of the town's mayors. 

Our next destination was supposed to be the town of Nagcarlan. I wanted to bring my family to see Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery which I visited during a side trip during my trip to Cagbalete Island with my co-teachers last 2016. Sadly, it was closed to the public when we arrived so we continued on our way following the Nagcarlan - Rizal Road passing through San Pablo City until we reached the Pan-Philippine Highway

Early dinner at Jollibee Sto. Tomas

This is why I love my pickup truck, it serves as our dining area this pandemic

Ella loves Jollibee

Since we did not have formal lunch, we had our late lunch at Jollibee Padre Pio in Santo Tomas, Batangas to order its world-famous Chicken Joy. This is our first stop outside the province of Laguna and also marks the end of our Laguna Road Trip 2021

After our meal, it took us around an hour to reach home which officially ended our road trip. Overall, we might have only visited a few destinations during this road trip but what mattered more is the fact that we managed to go out again as a family this year after several months of home quarantine brought by the COVID 19 pandemic. 

Well, that wraps up our trip. See you again on our next road trip!

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