Once upon a town… Mapanuepe Lake

…well not really a town just some catchy line for the title. Instead, Mapanuepe Lake was created after Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991, and the location of this Lake used to have 2 barangays (Barangay Aglao and Barangay Buhawen).

Location: Brgy. Aglao San Marcelino, Zambales, Philippines
Travel Time: 5hrs
Travel by: Land (Private Vehicle)
How to get there : I can’t suggest a different DIY for this as it is better to Drive or rent a van going to Brgy Aglao. So what we did is we used WAZE and asked the locals in San Marcelino, Zambales. We also asked the cyclists we saw in the area.

Day 1 (Friday)

7:00am – 10:00 am – waiting for a Friend to show up for work
10:00 am – found out he is on Sick Leave
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – he said he’s browsing the net and checking places to go the week after
4:00 pm – he finally said he wants to go to Mapanuepe Lake, and I was like where is that?
4:00- 5:00 pm – researching on how to go to Mapanuepe
5:00 pm – finally decided if we’re pushing on this trip, I’ll just drive since it’s just a day trip
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – messaged another officemate who is also out sick
6:30 pm – the 2nd friend who was out sick replied
7:00 pm – finally decided to go… the next day (Saturday)
10:00 pm – decided when and where we’ll meet
11:00 pm – Lights out

Day 2 (Saturday)
3:00 am – Friend 1 is at Ayala Station waiting for me
3:01 am – he is calling where I am
3:02 am – answered the phone, said i just woke up (woops)
4:20 am – arrived at our meet up place
4:40 am – picked up friend # 2
No More Stop overs from QC exit to NLEX then take the San Fernando Exit
7:39 am – Arrived at San Marcelino, Zambales, at the overlooking view of the Lahar dammed area where Dizon copper mine used to operate.
8:30 am – Stop over at the Barangay hall of Buhawen which is just 5mins away from the jump off
**We stopped to inquire on how to get a boat, and also where we can buy food. We have packed meals, but we don’t have rice… which was a nightmare! The nearby store offered to cook rice for us, but it will take a while since it’s only 8:30 am. So we just opted to buy bread and match it with our Pork Adobo.

9:04 am – Arrived at Aglao/Buhawen in San Marcelino Zambales (Jump Off)
**It’s actually just a 3-5min walk from the Barangay hall to the Jump Off.

9:20 am -Started our boat ride crossing the other side of the lake
It was about 5-10mins boat ride. We just stayed there for a few hours because the sun is too high and it’s too hot, the only shade we have is my umbrella.
11:00 am – departed the other side of the lake
The barangay captain offered their barangay hall’s restroom so we can take a shower free of charge.
People there are really nice and only asked to invite friends to visit their small place.
12:04 pm – left Brgy. Buhawen
*when we left, tourism representatives and I guess bloggers/photographers arrived to promote the place.

Yes we left early as there’s really nothing to do there. As for now, if you’re not going to swim, you can just camp out there if you wish to stay overnight. We suggested that having an activity like Kayaking will really attract more tourist and give income to the locals. Btw, you can also swim in the lake, and if you don’t know how to swim but still want to take a dip, life jackets will be provided.

2:14 pm – we arrived at subic and ate our late lunch at Ben’s Kitchen (and just a side note, their food is really good)
3:30 pm – left subic to go home and rest
6:30 pm – Touch down at my Humble Abode!

**NOTE: Buhawen (stated in Iphone Picture Location), but some sites spells it as Bajaoen.

View of the lahar dammed place on our way to Mapanuepe


On our way to the other side of the lake


Yep that’s our jump off and that beauty is my partner in crime


Hello from the other side… I don’t think this picture is filtered so yeah, picture perfect


To view more pictures, click here.

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