San Pablo, Laguna

The Legend of Sampalok Lake

Sampaloc lake

In the province of Laguna in the Philippines, there is a lake called Sampalok (tamarind) Lake. It is said that this lake does not exist during the early times. This is how the lake emerged:

In the time that Magellan has just discovered the Philippines, a wealthy couple from San Pablo, Laguna owns many land, fruit-bearing trees, and a very beautiful house. One of the trees that they possess is a sampalok (tamarind) tree that bears very sweet fruits. This tree is the main source of their fortune.
Though this couple is famous for their wealth, they are more famous for their bad attitude. They are selfish and greedy, and all they think about is getting money by selling their properties. Because of this, the townspeople despise them. However, they still come to them to buy the extraordinarily sweet tamarind fruits.

One day, an old beggar with torn clothes went to the couple and begged for food. She was shivering from hunger. The two just scornfully stared at the old woman and then ignored her. The beggar continued to beg for food but the couple just kept on ignoring her.
“Your wickedness is unbelievable!” exclaimed the old beggar. “Punishment from the heavens must be brought upon you!” then the beggar’s face suddenly lifted up.

The couple’s faces turned pale. They wanted to scream but they couldn’t. “All you wealth will disappear!” the old lady declared as she tapped her cane against the sampalok tree. The old lady disappeared and water sprung from near the sampalok tree and drowned all the couple’s properties. The couple were not seen after that incident and the people assumed that they too were drowned by the water along with their wealth.

Sampaloc lake with balsa

The water that sprung from the sampalok tree eventually became a lake and was called Sampalok Lake.

Translated from Rene Alba's "Mga Alamat Pilipino (Para sa Mag-aaral)", published 1914 by Century Publications.

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