The imposing Mt Mayon, from any angle in Albay looks picturesque but there are places that’s more conducive for gawking at its glory. Still in Camalig near the Natural Carpets Industries (NCI) workshop is Sumlang Lake. This 14-hectare lake used to be a carpet of lilies until the village residents decided to clean it up three years ago and uncovered its placid beauty. They saw the potential of its unobstructed view of Mt Mayon as the backdrop for this scenic lake. To this date, it is a rising destination in Albay, enjoying 300–500 visits on weekends.
Sumlang Lake Reborn
Felipe Napa of NCI is also the village chief of Camalig, Albay. He helped adorn the lake with some of his outdoor rattan products and placed them on bamboo rafts. Some old metal barrels were also recycled to chairs for the free cottages. Truly a stylish and comfortable way to enjoy the view. But it was the bamboo raft race event in 2014 where Sumlang Lake got some buzz when it hosted the event. To date aside from the rattan outdoor furnitures, guest can rent the rafts to explore the lake. Prices differ on the size. The small ones for Php 25/hour and the larger ones can cost Php 200/hour that is good for 8–10pax. Kayaks and pedal-boats are also available to rent.
There are no entrance fees for Sumlang Lake but registration is required and optional donations are welcome. People are free to bring their own food for picnics like what we did during our shoot there for a prospective cover.
Getting to Sumlang Lake
Sumlang Lake is only 300 meters from the National Highway and can be reached in 5 minutes from the town proper. Tricycles can take visitors to the lake from Camalig Church.
Coming from Legazpi or Daraga vans and jeeps pass by the area. Tell the driver to drop you off Albay Agri Ethno Eco Village ( Agri-Village ) in Cabangan, Camalig. From there you can walk the 300meters or ride a tricycle.
If you have your own vehicle, parking is available but limited.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.