Laguna de Bay is the Philippines' largest inland water body covering 98,000 hectares and situated at the heart of the CALABARZON (includes the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal And Quezon) area - the region's highly urbanized and developed center.  The lake is bounded by six (6) provinces, twelve (12) cities, and forty-nine (49) municipalities, of which are lakeshore towns.  A total of twenty-four (24) sub-basins drain directly to the lake, with the Pagsanjan-Lumban Rivers System contributing to as much as 35% of the total inflow to the lake.  (Laguna Lake Development Authority, 2005) 

Importance of Laguna de Bay

1. The lake is a major lifeline for most of the countryside townspeople.  Fisheries is still the lake's most dominant use as of the present, with an estimated annual potential yield of 80,000 to 90,000 MT for both fishpens and open water fisheries.  Croplands in the lakeshore towns, aside from feeding locals, contribute significantly to the food supply of Metropolitan Manila.
2. Many workers in the Metropolitan Manila area take up residence in the nearby lakeshore towns, notably San Pedro, Calamba, Los Baņos, Taytay, Pateros and Binangonan, to name a few.  Not only are the residential developments in these areas more affordable, they are also relatively more peaceful and less polluted compared to the big city.
3. Laguna de Bay provides a major transport route that makes mobility within the lake and around lakeshore towns easier.  The lake also serves as a reservoir for floodwaters to save Metropolitan Manila from flooding during the rainy season.  The Manggahan Floodway was constructed to divert floodwaters from Marikina into the lake.
4. The waters of the lake are also used to generate power to a limited extent.  A pump storage hydroelectric power station is operated in Kalayaan, Laguna producing about 300 megawatts of electricity.  Efforts are underway to increase this capacity to 600 megawatts.  The Lake offers sufficient water for a year round source of irrigation for farmlands in the Laguna de Bay area.  However, these areas targeted for irrigation are rapidly being converted into industrial and residential land use.
5. At present, the lake is also a source of domestic water supply although on a very limited basis.  In the long term, however, Laguna de Bay is being considered as a major resource that will help supply the domestic water requirements of nearby towns.  In fact, it could be considered as the only alternative source of domestic freshwater for southern Manila provinces.
6. Laguna de Bay inspired a rich culture and a wealth of traditions in the lakeshore communities.  The area is proud of its heritage which evolved through centuries of varied cultural influences.  The most prominent son of the lake is the country's national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, who was born in Calamba, Laguna.  Laguna de Bay was romanticized in his two novels which sowed the seeds of independence from the Spanish conquerors.
7. Laguna de Bay is home to a variety of organisms that comprise its biodiversity pool.  Of note are the 31 species of fishes, 154 species of phytoplankton, 36 species of zooplankton, and 24 species of macrophytes.  Other organisms thriving in the lake include different species of mollusks, crustaceans, and birds that feed on the lake's resources.
8. The lake also serves as habitat for various species of birds.  It is believed that 17 bird species may be found in the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, while 20 species can be found in the Pakil and Real areas.  These are restricted-range birds of the Luzon endemic-area. (Haribon Foundation)

  - by Amy M. Lecciones

fish pens at Laguna de Bay petroglyphs of Angono traditional fishing at Laguna de Bay salambao... traditional fishing at Laguna de Bay

 Basic Information
 surface area: 900
2.5 meters
20 m (Diablo Pass)
283,000 hectares
 shoreline: 238 km
7 months
 1. aquaculture and fisheries
 2. water for irrigation
 3. transport route
 4. power generation
 5. water sink
 6. industrial cooling
 7. recreation
domestic use
The 29 Lakeshore Towns
 1.   Bay
 2.   Biņan
 3.   Cabuyao
 4.   Calamba
 5.   Calauan
 6.   Kalayaan
 7.   Los Baņos
 8.   Lumban
 9.   Mabitac
 10. Paete
 11. Pakil
 12. Pangil
 13. Pila
 14. San Pedro
 15. Santa Cruz
 16. Santa Rosa
 17. Siniloan
 18. Victoria
 19. Angono
 20. Baras
 21. Binangonan
 22. Cardona
 23. Jala-Jala
 24. Morong
 25. Pililla
 26. Tanay
 27. Taytay
 28. Muntinlupa
 29. Taguig 

Source: LLDA, 2005  

The 24 Sub-Basins
 1.   Angono
 2.   Baras
 3.   Biņan
 4.   Calauan
 5.   Caliraya
 6.   Jala-Jala
 7.   Los Baņos
 8.   Manggahan
 9.   Marikina
 10. Morong
 11. Muntinlupa
 12. Pagsanjan
 13. Pangil
 14. Pila
 15. Pililla
 16. Siniloan
 17. San Cristobal
 18. San Juan
 19. San Pedro
 20. Santa Rosa
 21. Santa Cruz
 22. Santa Maria
 23. Taguig
 24. Tanay

Source: LLDA, 2005  

a wood carver of Paete

a Juan Blanco painting of Laguna de Bay


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