Do you know what Lake Mohicap is? Chance is high; you just heard it as part of your elementary subject at school. Sadly, this concerns San Pablo City folks only. Have you ever been to Lake Mohicap before? Perhaps, most of you would be quick to respond with a sharp no.
One day, we woke up with the general idea of visiting the accessible lakes of San Pablo. That first trip to Lake Mohicap is honestly a disappointing one. Not a single staff was in the premise at that time, so we have no one to ask. We just took a few snaps and then left the scene afterwards.
The second time when we popped in Lake Mohicap was also an unforeseen one. It was just last Black Friday. Without any plans to go for a dip or even pitch a tent elsewhere, we just passed the time in Lake Mohicap with our typical motorcycle rider getup.
The entrance/environmental fee of Lake Mohicap is just Php10, a meagre charge for an extraordinary experience to revel in the tranquillity of nature. Sir Alex, the OIC, and some members of Kalipunan ng Mamamayan sa Lawa ng Mohicap welcomed us. We also met the president of their association, Sir Ernie.
One of the main reasons why people love this place is its people. During our second visit, we stayed there for almost three hours, with no plans of doing so as we want to stroll. We had fruitful and fun discussions with some of their members.
Lake Mohicap, located at San Buenaventura, San Pablo City, Laguna. Its nearest lake is Palakpakin Lake (located at the neighbouring barangay – just a few kilometres from Lake Mohicap). Lake Mohicap is the smallest among the seven lakes (a mere 22.89 hectares) and the median when it comes to water depth (30.40 meters), based on 2008 LLDA report. It is also the least elevated among the seven lakes (80 +/- meters).
We have sought for the latest figures, including the latest report posted by DENR on their website and LLDA’s most recent released water quality report (2006-2008). Sadly, the latest publicized report on the web, published around ten years ago, still shows Lake Mohicap as one of the worst on several indicators.
Inside Lake Mohicap
Are parking spaces available? Yes, the parking lot is open and accessible within the lake premises. And, you could safely leave your vehicles there.
Once you enter Lake Mohicap, you could instantly spot their receiving area where you’d be paying the fees based on what activities you’d like to do.
Here are the fees at the time of this posting. These are subject to change:
- Sightseeing/ Environmental fee/ Entrance fee: Php10/head
- Bamboo rafting rates (includes guide + swimming + rafting + trip to man-made cave):
- Small raft (~ 4 persons): Php300 for 2 hours
- Big raft (~ 12 persons): Php800 for 2 hours
- All activities above plus food
- Should be min. of 10pax to avail this package
- Book 3 days ahead of your target date (Php320/head) for weekdays schedule
- Menu: Kulawu, fluorescent, fried tilapia, rice, and buko (available every weekend)
The rates above are lower than what their competitors offer. However, unlike Pandin Lake and Yambo Lake wherein you could order food on the same day as your arrival, 3-day prior advice is necessary for Lake Mohicap. They don’t store foods due to low volume of guests.
We descended the 105-step stairs down to the lake. They built it to avoid trekking the steep downhill path. Anyhow, it’s an enjoyable descent and an anticipated exhausting ascent.
They have shallow waters where they vouch for swimming. They’ll guide you as you go there. As I’ve mentioned, since we had no idea that we’re going to Lake Mohicap, we did not bring any swimming stuff (not even an extra clothe).
Lake Mohicap also has a human-made cave (around 50 sq. meters) which is assumed to be built before WW2 by a group of men from Tayabas, Quezon, COLORUM. The human inscription is visible on the cave. They learnt about this cave years back when the lake started to get shallow.
There is also a canteen area/store where basic kinds of stuff are available. Their concrete washrooms and dressing rooms are located far from the lake’s entrance as part of their environmental compliance.
Lake Mohicap is not just a place to swim. You could pass your time just chilling out in their premises. Tall trees and hammocks are very nice siesta things.
If you plan for an overnight stay, Starlake Resort is just a few walks away. You may contact them via their FB page for your inquiries.
Struggles of Lake Mohicap
Although we could consider Lake Mohicap as one that has the innate capacity to match with Pandin Lake and Yambo Lake, it still suffers the lack of attention and backing from the government. Information dissemination is too faint. Moreover, the lack of awareness of the usual San Pabloeños regarding the essential information is an evident indication. It is one of the spot-on examples of underratedness and vain approach to promoting verbatim local tourism. That is, the local government should not only aim its efforts on the “already famous” lakes.
To add to this, based on the 10-year old report from LLDA, Lake Mohicap has one of the worst water quality. Some may attribute this to the fish cages that were previously set up on the lake and the steep soil surrounding it. Anyway, it would be for the best interest of Lake Mohicap and other lakes if the latest report on water quality would be released, especially if there have been upturns in 10 years. It would be fascinating to know what made Lake Mohicap as an ecotourism site, as it rightfully should be.
Lack of funding also plays a significant role in the sustainable development of Lake Mohicap. Some members of Kalipunan have been using up their own money to help fund the site improvement as a whole. Accordingly, they have been accepting small contributions from private individuals and organizations.
To help them in our small ways, we created a TripAdvisor listing of Lake Mohicap. It’s already up as of this writing. Check out the link below. You may instead leave your reviews on their TripAdvisor listing.
We also used our advantage as Google Trusted Photographer to add a listing for Lake Mohicap in Google Maps. On Google Street View, we uploaded the 360-degree photos that we captured during our second visit. Moreover, visitors could leave their reviews on the Google listing.
As we were doing these things to abet their promotion, we tackled a straightforward but critical issue: Lake Mohicap’s different online identities and spellings. We stumbled on existing listings but different spellings on the platforms above: Lake Mohicap: Lake Muhikap, Lake Mojicap, and Lake Mohicap. As Kalipunan confirmed, they are officially using “Lake Mohicap”. This matter is fundamental because it influences the search engine results. Try to google these three variants and check if all results would be the same.
Take note that we are not academic researchers nor activists. We’re merely blogging what we have experienced. There were several published articles which appeal for equal treatment to this beauty. One good example is a journal article written by Dr. Bing Baltazar Brillo, an Associate Professor from UPLB. It was released last 2015 and even received an International Publication Award (IPA) on that same year. Dr. Brillo asks for immediate action from the government. Four (4) years have passed. Most of the measures provided there were done, through the bayanihan of Kalipunan members. But directional signage is still nowhere in the bustling streets of downtown San Pablo. Kudos to Jollibee for providing at least one signage at the crossing near the lake.
Address: Brgy. San Buenaventura, San Pablo City, Laguna
Operating Hours: 8AM – 5PM
Contact No.: +63 910 791 4591 | +63 908 324 7081