San Pablo’s café by the lake

Café Lago has become a go-to place and a household name among tourists who want to experience San Pablo’s seven lakes that the café’s owners help to rehabilitate.


Tourists who visit San Pablo will be awed by the natural scenery of the city’s seven lakes. Among these lakes is the more accessible and the biggest of them, the Sampaloc Lake. Located near the poblacion, the lake treats visitors to different activities such as biking around the 104 hectares of the lake, birdwatching, or simply taking a stroll and admiring the view of Mount San Cristobal nearby. Because of the influx of visitors in this area, a number of restaurants and cafés were established by the lakeside and one of them is Café Lago.

The story of Café Lago is deeply rooted in the history of Sampaloc Lake and it all began with an advocacy. At 80 years old, Armando “Mandy” Mariño is still an active participant in the call for the rehabilitation and the saving of the seven lakes from pollution and overfishing.  But it all started in the ‘80s.

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