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The Lost Beauty of Caliraya Lake


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Old Spillway of Caliraya Lake

Caliraya Lake is a man-made lake located at Lumban, Laguna situated at 1,200 above sea-level. It was created in late 1930s by a US Army Engineer by flooding the Cavinti valley of the Sierra Madre to generate hydroelectric power for Manila.

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This island will be visible depending on the release of water

Did you know that Lumban got its name from “Lumbang Tree”, is one of the oldest towns in the province of Laguna. The province’s capital town, Santa Cruz, as well as Cavinti and the famous Pagsanjan, were once part of Lumban. Lumban is also known as the “Embroidery Capital of the Philippines”.

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The lake

Beside from being near from Manila, the town is blessed with relatively cool temperature at an average of 24 degrees Celsius and rainfall which is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year.  This is the reason why its a popular alternative to an already overcrowded summer getaways such as Tagaytay and Baguio.

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Business emerging at the lake

When this place was still famous – yes famous like Puerto Galera or Laiya Batangas there are numbers of Rest House or Bahay Bakasyunan emerge here, Caliraya became a high class neighborhood of vacation homes on the lake during the 70′s till the 80′s. Unfortunately because of the rampant NPA, the tourism growth had stop.

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Ruins of the Mansions or the Rest house near the lake

I was born and grow up at Lewin, one of barangay in Lumban Laguna. This place was so special to me that’s why we decided to do our Prenup here.  I remember this place use to be the preferred shooting place of movies and tele series because of its scenic views….

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Our prenup taken at the lake

My cousins and I used to swim with water lilies floating at the lake and we usually used old gallons as our “salbabida or floater”.

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We use to swim at the lake when it’s still clean

My childhood memories here was so simple, I miss eating native guavas, santol and Indian mangoes. I miss fishing using old school fishing rod and whenever we’re bored we just walk and visit Tatay at Japanese Garden ( lucky for us Tatay used to work as security guard at Japanese Garden so we are able to roam around the park without paying the entrance fee).

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The Tomb inside Japanase garden

Nanay once told us a story that before the man-made lake was built she had seen a cave at the middle part of the lake, she also told us that there are crocodiles living there, I’m not sure if the last part is true or maybe she just want to scare us because we always wander around🙂

I feel so sad seeing people forget about this place, abandoned vacation mansions now reflect it’s lost beauty…

Resorts in Lake Caliraya, Laguna:

There are several resorts in Lake Caliraya. Mostly it caters to mid and high-end tourists, but do check out Department of Tourism office at Manila or call Laguna Provincial Tourism Office at +63(49)808-0464 for more information.

Here are some of the resorts in Lake Caliraya, just click the titles for more information and contact numbers:

IMG_3168.JPGCaliraya Re-creation Center
Brgy. Lewin, Lumban, Laguna, Philippines
HOTLINE Numbers:
+63 2 637 7027
+63 2 638 0515

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Calirana Resort

Calirana Resort
Brgy. West Talaongan, Cavinti Laguna
Tel No.: +63.2.426.4130; +63.2.426.4130

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Lagos Del Sol

Lagos Del Resort
Brgy. West Talaongan, Cavinti Laguna
Tel No: +63.2.526.8088 ext. 152 & 133

Porta Verde Resort
Brgy. Mahipon, Cavinti
Tel No: +63.2.807.8414

Caliraya Springs Golf & Country Club
Brgy. East Talaongan, Cavinti Laguna
Mobile: +63.918.941.7689

Caliraya Hilltop Resort
Brgy. West Talaongan, Cavinti Laguna
Cel: +63.917.536.1166; +63.918.921.5248
Tel. No: +63.2.242-5969; +63.2.242.5979

Kaliraya Surf Kamp
Brgy. West Talaongan, Cavinti Laguna
Cel: +63.918.562.0002; +63.920.822.1312

How to get to Lake Caliraya, Laguna:

Commute: Board the Sta Cruz-bound bus of HM Transit on EDSA Cubao (near Victory Liner) or Green Star on Taft Ave near corner Gil Puyat/Buendia (LRT). The bus will pass through SLEX Calamba exit then turn right on the national highway in Calamba City, Los Banos, Bay, Victoria, Pila, Sta Cruz. At the terminal in Pagsawitan, Pagsanjan, wait for a jeepney with signboard Lumot or ask a tricycle to bring you to the jeepney terminal in Sta.Cruz to avail of “sure seats.”

The Lumot-bound jeepney will pass Pagsanjan, turn left at the “pinagsangahan” (branch off at Pagsanjan church and Municipal Hall) pass by Lumban (barong land), then choose the right road of the fork up to Caliraya Lake. The fork is at the kilometer 95 post. The lake is about 7 kilometers from there. Note the presence of the so called Magnetic Hill at the blind curve of kilometer 98 post. Also near the lake are Caliraya Dam, Japanese Garden, Hilltop Resort, Surfkamp, Lagos del Sol, and Caliraya Recreation Center.

Commute: Board a HM Transport bus, with terminal on EDSA, Cubao near Victory Liner, going to Sta. Cruz/Calamba (fare: P130.50) or Green Star Express with terminal on Taft Avenue near corner Gil Puyat (Buendia) and LRT Gil Puyat station (fare: P123.00)
then drop off at the terminal in Pagsanjan. Board a jeepney bound for Pagsanjan, Lumban, Paete or Siniloan then alight at your destination resort or inn.

By private car: from SLEX take Calamba exit then head straight to Calamba. turn right at Calamba junction and follow this road and highway until you reach Pagsanjan (after Los Banos, Bay, Victoria, Pila, Sta Cruz towns) where you turn left. Choose the right road at the fork near kilometer 95 post.

Directions by car from Quezon City, it’s faster to take the Rizal route by going to Marcos Highway, turn right at the junction Masinag Wet and Dry Market (Sumulong Highway), on reaching Antipolo intersection turn left going to Baras (straight ahead leads to Antipolo Church while a right turn leads to Hinulugang Taktak) where you’ll pass by Teresa, Morong, Baras, Tanay, and Pililla towns of Rizal province before reaching Laguna towns of Mabitac, Siniloan, Pangil, Pakil, Paete, Kalayaan, then make a U-turn on seeing kilometer 95 post on the highway. Lake Caliraya is about 7 kilometers from there.

From Lucena and Lucban, Quezon: there are jeepneys plying the route Lucena to Sta. Cruz that pass by Pagsanjan, Cavinti and Luisina. Board the Lumot jeep in Pagsanjan

Commuting from Cavite: board the Pagsanjan or Sta. Cruz vans at Pala-pala terminal in Dasmarinas, Cavite (near Robinsons Dasmarinas and SM). Board a jeep for Pagsanjan (or Lumban, Paete, Siniloan) then a Lumot jeep in Pagsanjan or Sta. Cruz.

7 thoughts on “The Lost Beauty of Caliraya Lake

  1. hi,

    nice blog!
    btw, you had your prenup at caliraya right?
    do you have any idea if there are requirements/ permits needed to have a prenup shoot at Japanese garden?Thank you.

    1. Hi Alex, I’m not so sure about the permit but if you we’ll be just discreet on the shoot they won’t mind your prenup. I mean as long as you don’t bring extravagant production on the shoot hindi na nila mapapansin yun, beside the Garden is too huge for the guard to roam around😀

  2. hello im cindy from san pablo city, we are interested to have pre nup at the old spillway of caliraya lake, how do we make arrangement with the venue? is it private or public. thanks thanks a lot

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