Lake Caliraya

It was only just recently when I learned to NOT plan trips too much and just go with the flow. I learned that it's more fun that way, especially when you accidentally discover hidden gems during the trip.

Armed with just Google Maps and some random assortment of snacks and picnic items, the husband and I decided to bring the kids to Caliraya for a weekday sojourn. Why on a weekday? No traffic and no tourists.

This man-made lake located in Laguna, Philippines is a popular spot for water sports and outdoor recreation like camping and fishing. Just a couple of hours away from Manila, Lake Caliraya is one of those accessible destinations if you want a quick break from the daily city grind. We were lucky to have found this picnic spot by accident -- the caretaker, Mang Mulo, was very accommodating and you can rent huts for just Php 300. We forgot to get the name of this place but you can check how to get here via this pin. You can also contact Mang Mulo at +63 9974360034.

Meals can be bought from a nearby carinderia (local eatery) just five minutes away from this picnic area. Look for the only airconditioned carinderia (sorry, forgot the name). We loved the sisig, lumpia and squid!

Fun fact -- some parts of the movie Apocalypse Now were filmed on this very spot.

We pretty much spent about half a day just enjoying the fresh air and letting these city kids run around and appreciate nature.

Oh, and the little one wanted to vlog about this particular adventure. Please excuse the shaky footage!

There's another beautiful attraction a few minutes away from Lake Caliraya. Check out the mini falls in Bumbungan Eco Park

Workaholic and multitasking momma who absolutely enjoys what she does as Executive Producer for OTT.  Has faulty memory so taking photos of almost everything is part of her everyday life.