Monday, September 21, 2009

Lake Danao Park

From Timubo Cave we drove on good concrete roads amidst farms towards Lake Danao. And take note, I was still on Camotes, so this is not Lake Danao in Ormoc nor anywhere else of the many lakes in the country named Danao, okay?! This Lake Danao is still part of San Francisco town, which is actually the whole island of Pacijan. From the main highway, there is a dirt road that goes 1.35kms to the lake. Oh it’s a park! Wow!

What a serene breezy place! Nature at its ultimate in tranquility and beauty!

Beauty I said? Well, I meant the beauty of nature. However, and am not joking, when we drove into the entrance of Lake Danao Park, an excited beauty (a woman) waved and greeted us with “hellooooo”! Randy whispered to me that she was/is a prostitute who seemingly mistook us for some “client”. She seemed to know Randy and asked “ikaw diay?” He answered a defiant “di oi!”. And I overheard her say that her expected “client” is also Japanese. And referring to me he said “he is not”. The girl giggled and waved at me saying “hi sir, sorry”! Whaa hehehe! Anyway…

The park has a picnic area with tables and chairs amidst trees and the nearby mangrove forests. Oh, the caretaker has a caged sawa (boa snake), but that is just about it in this place. No food. There is a little sari-sari store some walk away from the parking area and we were told they also cook food for visitors. A manag selling ‘bingka’ also came by. But we did not need food, we just ate in the middle of town few minutes ago. I wanted beer, and there was none hehe!

We instead started roaming the vicinity of the park where mangroves are lush. There is a little grass garden and a wooden bridge that connects to the pontoon for the Sakanaw. Sakanaw? Yes, sakanaw hehe! It is some kind of a boat or raft with bamboo tables and chairs, the engine fitted at the end with a motorcycle’s handlebar for steering. Unique! This thing is what visitors use to leisurely circle around the lake. Sakanaw is actually a contraction of two words: ‘SAKAyan’ meaning boat or a thing to ride on, and ‘DaNAW’(Danao) the lake’s name. So it is the unique “sakanaw”. And nice for them to have coined such a new word, for indeed, I think it’s the only one of its kind. The ride is P500 for 10 people or less. Additional 50 per head until the full capacity at 20 persons excluding the “driver”. In our case, there were only two of us, we pleaded with the driver to let us try drive the sakanaw. Interesting!

Where do you go riding the Sakanaw? Just cruising slowly along the serene waters of the lake. Some say it is shaped like the number 8 and some say it is shaped like a guitar. I say it probably became so when two crater lakes merged. Just my hunch hehe! Ah there are two little islands in the lake. The bigger one is called snake islet while the other is crocodile islet. When we neared and circled both, I have not seen serpents nor crocs hehe!

Fishing is one activity that most visitors do in and around the banks of this lake. There are ponds for a sure catch and there is the whole lake for a chance at them free roaming fishies! There is also a fish breeding place managed by a government department and they grow not only tilapia but even koi and other aquarium-type fish. There are paddle boats if you want to tire yourself around this big lake hehe. And I saw signs to trails that supposedly go around the entire lake. Hmm, not for me!

Oh there is some restaurant called Green Lake Park managed by the owners of Mangodlong and Santiago Bay Resorts. Ah, we were not hungry yet. We instead went to these two resorts. Yep, that’s where we went next!

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