The mist floated along the side of the mountains as the morning sun breaks out from the east. The soothing silence surrounding me was ethereal. I felt the peace, the calm, and the oneness with nature. It was good to be in the middle of this safe and earthly spot, grounding myself with and in it. It was a welcome break from the urban sound. It was a needed and well-deserved break for me and my team after two very long years of struggling with the pandemic. Lake Mapanuepe hummed that we were out of the woods.
Lake Mapanuepe’s story goes back to the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. The lake rests on the Mapanuepe Valley where the two rivers of Maranella and Mapanuepe once flowed. The valley was home to thriving communities and villages until lahar flow from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo blocked the flow of the river water to the Sto. Tomas river. The water submerged the valley and the communities creating Lake Mapanuepe.
Be Ready to Camp It Out!
The sprawling land surrounding the lake are perfect spots for camping. The lakeside views and the pine tree-lined landscape gives you that rustic country-side vibes. The views were masterfully crafted by nature that it gives an attraction that is unique to Zambales. The best way to enjoy the place is to camp out.
You can camp out under the trees or choose to camp by the lake. You can hang your hammock to enjoy a relaxing nap under the skies. Enjoy friendly conversations and exchange stories over drinks and bonfire. Or enjoy a clear view of the stars while enjoying the feel of the rough ground on your back.
If you plan to camp out by the lake, make sure that you purchase your supplies beforehand as there are only a couple of small stores, with limited and expensive supplies, at the campsite. Facilities are decent with common showers and toilets. The camp grounds are wide and safe so you can choose your own private spot.
Have Fun Under the Sun
The place is a perfect location for friend get-togethers and team building activities. Our choice of campsite gave us the opportunity to have fun and wacky activities. The wide space had us running and goofing around as our laughters echoed in the area.
Our team was lucky to have fair weather that allowed us to enjoy our team games. It was fun seeing the big smiles as we competed on wacky and physically demanding games. The sprawling open space beside our campsite allowed us to run around and getting ourselves wet from our water bombs without having to worry about encroaching other camper’s area. Our area was all smiles and laughter from all the fun and rough plays that we were doing.
Lake Mapanuepe’s huge spaces are perfect for team outdoor activities. You can be as creative and as wacky with the games that you can prepare. It is a huge play ground where you can drown out the silence with the shared laughter and good fellowship.
Go Out and Explore
Swimming in the lake is not yet allowed as they still have to measure its actual depth. You can explore the banks of the lake and choose your spot where you can sit down and sunbathe or simply enjoy a nice feet dip in its cool waters. If you want to explore the expanse of the lake, you can also hop on a boat and visit the steeples of the Sunken Church of Bojaoen.
The sprawling grounds of Mapanuepe is also worth exploring. Although swimming is not allowed in the lake, there is a swim spot downstream. We trekked to about 20 mins., making our way where locals were fishing. The spot is where locals do their usual stuff such as doing laundry and washing. They warned us that to stay on the side as the current was strong on the deeper part of the channel.
There were a lot of interesting spots around the lake from grazing fields to pine tree covered areas to its beautiful lakeside. Each spot offers a different kind of personality. There is a spot for sunset and sunrise viewing. But the best spot would still be the lakeside where you can get to see the unique and amazing views of the Lake Mapanuepe.
Chilling It Out
I guess what I like the most was chilling it out at Lake Mapanuepe. It was nice just enjoying moments with nature - whether it be in my hammock or by the lakeside. I loved how the morning sun broke out from the horizon and the peaceful scene of the placid lake. Like how I described it earlier, it was beautifully surreal.
It was relaxing just watching the day unfold as you listen to the songs on your favorite playlist. Too bad that I did not bring a book to read because the place is conducive for you to read and finish a book or to finish is a Netflix series. Lake Mapanuepe is also a good place to bond with friends and family because you get the chance to detach from the world and just focus on sharing stories and laughter.
The best way to enjoy Lake Mapanuepe is to let loose and chill. Get disconnected and focus on the moment. Get grounded and connect with nature. Enjoy the time as it slows down. Take the time to recharge and prepare for the days ahead.
POST TRAVEL NOTES
Lake Mapanuepe was a much-needed break for my team. After having challenged the and having worked with them through the recovery, it was a well-deserved two-day hiatus where we got disconnected and simply have fun. The teambuild reminded us that we can never go wrong with the basics just like camping out. That it is important to have fun in everything that we do and to explore opportunities for us to be successful. Lastly, we need to find a balance in work and in life. It is important to chill down and re-energize for future challenges.
We all need to take a break to keep a balance. Lake Mapanuepe gives you that opportunity to disconnect, chill down, and re-charge. It also gives you that chance to get grounded with nature enriching your senses the natural way. Lake Mapanuepe slows down time and makes you appreciate the simple things in life in a fun and refreshing way.
Getting there: Our teambuilding trip was organized by the LaagTa Travel and Tours who handled the logistics of our trip – transportation, tent accommodation, and food. You can check out their Facebook page here for their upcoming joiner trips to Lake Mapanuepe.
Marc del Rosario
I believe in education, entrepreneurship, and caring for the environment.