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Lake Island: A Quiet Time by the Lake

By Angelica Bautista Viloria

A long time ago (November 2001), when I was still a mother of one and the protests against the PPA had not reached fever-pitch, we found ourselves visiting Lake Island. Lake Island is a retreat and conference center located at L. Cenina St., Tayuman Binangonan, Rizal. My officemates and I went there for a planning session/family outing. Needless to say, we enjoyed the family outing portion more.

THE PLACE

On a Saturday, we left the Ortigas area at 7:30am. Traffic was not bad at all so in one hour, we reached Lake Island. The place gives an over-all feeling of relaxation. You find yourself "getting away from it all" only after an hour's drive.

From the center, you enjoy the view of Laguna de Bay. You feel the fresh air and see lots of trees, complete with wind chimes. Looking at the murky green bodies of water all around (my son Adi says their color was like that of a brontosaurus), your eyes spot white lilies and bright red orange flowers.

The airconditioned rooms are clean and cozy. Lake Island offers cottage-type accommodations with the cottages bearing names like "Dama de Noche." Some cottages have a veranda where you can find low sofas made of bamboo, for lazing or lounging around. The rooms have high ceilings and old-style windows partly made of capiz.

Upon entering the room, you will see rolled towels tied with abaca on each bed. You are also provided with soap and toilet paper although the rest of your toiletries, you will have to bring. You are given a flashlight to use when walking around the center at night and there are also really colorful umbrellas in each room just in case it rains.

THE FOOD

Meals are usually served at their restaurant called the "Kamalig." There are colorful fiesta "banderitas" (little flags) all around and light is provided by bulbs placed in salakots (a type of native hat) hanging from the ceiling.

Food served is very Filipino. The servings are more than ample and very tasty.

For groups availing of a conference package, participants will be served breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks. This is definitely not the place to be if you are carefully watching your weight.

For the main meals, some of the dishes served were as follows: sinampalukang manok, inihaw na tilapia, mangga with bagoong, pesang dalag, lechon manok (very tender and tasty), pinakbet, eggplant/tomato/onion salad, seafood kare-kare, and beef steak.

For the snacks, we had: pancit bihon and ginataang halo-halo.

For dessert, I liked the nata de coco with sago which was not too sweet. The fresh buco juice served with most meals was likewise perfect. The place serves better lunch and dinners compared to breakfast when you just have the usual rice, egg, and tapa.

THE ACTIVITIES

What can you do at Lake Island? It's positioned as a retreat and conference center so it is best used for such activities. Staying overnight will already be okay.

The kids can enjoy the trampoline and the playground. There's also a tree house but the way up can be quite steep. That area near the tree house, though, is a pretty sight at night, with orange-colored lamps all around. There's a pool for kids and adults although this needs to be maintained and cleaned better. There's a chapel too. Boating and fishing, as well as playing billiards in the recreation area can also fill up your day. As for me, just staring into the lake, the sky, and the birds, while sitting quietly, was good enough.

THE PRICE

Lake Island offers daytrips (8am-5pm) for P550 per person. Live-in/live-out conference rates can range from P1,100 to P3,950 per person depending on the type of facility, the meals, etc. For inquiries and for more accurate costings, you can call: 651-09-91 to 93.

Copyright © 2002 by Angelica Bautista Viloria. All Rights Reserved.
Photos Copyright © by Manuel Viloria. All Rights Reserved.

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