Remind Yourself to Breathe by Having Your Breath Taken Away: Pandin Lake Escape

I am very lucky.

I know that. I really do.

I have a job I actually like.

I have a few genuine friends I know I can always depend on.

I have a supportive family.

I can live on my own.

I have food to eat, a roof to live in, and I manage to laugh everyday.

But then, I get one of those “days” when everything – my job, my friends, how I live my life – suddenly don’t add up. Instantly, it just doesn’t make sense to me.

And my life, in a whim, is not enough.

Actually, during these kinds of days, it feels like I have nothing that’s worth something at all, and I feel like I have no one who truly understands me.

So then, I get scared and anxious.

People who know me personally wouldn’t think I’m an anxious person but I honestly have days where I’m a big ball of negative energy. I’ve just gotten good at dealing with it.

Anyway, I had one of those days recently.

I woke up one beautiful, sunny day and instantly decided to just shut down.

I ditched all of my responsibilities and decided to just stay in bed. Life as far as I’m concerned, can suck it – because I didn’t want to deal with it.

But then, as you know, I live with roommates. So my roommate woke me up from my rebellious slumber and told me we were going on an adventure since, she said: “You’ve been a very boring, unadventurous person lately” – and she was right.

So even though I wanted life to suck it that day, the roommate wanted to go to Pandin Lake in San Pablo, Laguna and well, I’ve added that to my travel list months ago and still haven’t gotten around to actually seeing the place –again, because I’ve been a very boring, unadventurous person lately – so I figured why not.

I doubted my mood will change anyway, but at least I’ll get to go someplace new.

So we packed our bags and hopped on a bus headed to San Pablo, Laguna.

First off, Universe, I would really like to thank you for my roomies. I love them to death. They’re more sisters than just friends -they’re like kindred spirits.

During this trip, I was having an attitude as you know, so I didn’t talk much when I should probably have been more enthusiastic because hurray, adventure! – but the roommate just let me be and it never dampened her mood.

I’ve learned that it’s hard to be very grumpy when you are with someone who’s genuinely very happy. The happiness just kind of rubs off on you.

Also, I would also like to thank you for making Pandin Lake so breathtakingly beautiful!!!

Yep, you guessed it right, it cured the attitude – like how travel always does to me.

My nega mood was actually at it’s peak because there was a fifteen minute walk before getting to the lake. And though I’ve climbed a mountain before, I just didn’t feel like walking that day (heck, I didn’t feel like doing anything at all), but then we reached the clearing and there was Pandin Lake and holyshiz, it is as beautiful as how the travel blogs described it!

We paid P360 so we can have lunch over the waters onboard a raft. The fee already included lunch which for us was a good deal. To complete our lakeside senorita fantasies, we also bought fresh buko for P25. It was the freshest and most satisfying lunch I’ve had in weeks.

That’s when it hit me: This is the most satisfying lunch I’ve had in weeks!

This is the most relaxed I’ve felt in weeks. This is the most calm I’ve felt in weeks. This is the happiest I’ve felt in weeks.

A friend once said to me, that when everything seems to suddenly be rotten, there’s just one thing that is actually rotten and it’s just affecting all the other aspects of my life – I just had to figure out what it is.

And I figured out it’s me.

I’ve forgotten to take care of myself so much that I haven’t allowed myself to actually think about myself – that it had to take me breaking down before I could actually notice I needed a break.

I didn’t have anything to complain about because I made sure I took care of everything – my job, responsibilities, friends, family – but I forgot that I needed to take care of myself too because like any decent human being, I get tired too.

I believe this happens to everyone. So many people I care about are so sad and lonely lately.

And to some, these are not just “days” or “weeks”. To some, these are “months” or “years”.

I know people cope with these kinds of days differently but seeing this magnificent lake cured mine.

It reminded me that I need not worry – I shouldn’t be afraid – because I have always survived. And not just survived, but actually lived and lived well.

Because if you have a few good people in your life who genuinely care about you, no matter how unsatisfying you may feel like life is sometimes, it is not nothing. It’s not nothing at all.

You just need to notice so you could remind yourself.

So, Universe, thank you for making Pandin Lake so full of life, I had no choice but to love my life again. I do pray for everyone’s happiness, including mine.

I hope we always find our cures or escapes, and come back with new perspectives (cue: Panic! At The Disco!)

With love,


PS. After Pandin Lake, we also went to Nagcarlan’ s underground cemetery, and San Pablo’s Sampaloc Lake. We spent less than P1000 because we’re stingy as hell. 🙂