Laguna de Bay (or Laguna Lake) is the largest lake in the Philippines and the third largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia (in terms of surface area) after Tonle Sap in Cambodia and Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia (Wikipedia).
Located on Luzon island, northern Philippines, between the provinces of Laguna to the south and Rizal to the north, Laguna Lake has a surface area of 949 square kilometers and has an average depth of only about two meters. Laguna de Bay drains to Manila Bay via the Pasig River and is one of the primary sources of freshwater fish in Luzon.
Laguna de Bay is believed to have been formed by two major volcanic eruptions, around 1 million and 27,000 to 29,000 years ago. In Philippine mythology some experts on the evolution of local mythologies suggest that the legend of Mariang Makiling may have started out as that of the Lady (Ba’i) of Laguna de Bay, before the legend was transmuted to Mount Makiling.
Mabuhay ang Laguna de Bay!
The Mt. Makiling in Los Banos, Laguna province is a well-known national park that often figures in Philippine myths and legends.
Maria Makiling, for example, is the symbol or reincarnation of Mother Earth or an earth goddess that withholds her favours to those who defile the environment. For many animists worshippers or practitioners in the Philippines, Mt. Makiling is also one of the sacred places of worship and annually attracts disciples of animist religions.
The mountain itself is a treasure trove of rich flora and fauna, rare Philippine hardwood and has geothermal properties. The premier agricultural university in the Philippine, the UP at Los Banos, is also located in the foothills of Mt. Makiling, as well as a high school for gifted art students.
With warm-water bath resorts dotting its foothills, Mt. Makiling is a favorite destination for Manila residents and visitors on a day-long trip. It is easily accessible from Manila and other southern Luzon provinces.
Mabuhay ang Mt. Makiling!