Kayangan Lake was like finding gold at the end of the rainbow. It was an arduous trek up a hundred steps and down several more to get there but it was certainly worth all the huffing and puffing. This thermal lake was a paradox of water alternating between hot and cold while we swam. The grandeur of tall karst formations competed with the tranquil scene below. It was like swimming in an underwater amphitheater complete with eerie chambers from where schools of small elongated fish called tunggao by the locals emerged like gladiators out to do battle with the thin small scorpion-like shrimps which also abound in the lake. I remained transfixed for a long time while snorkeling and relished the vivid impact of being in the middle of floating leaves in various levels 1 to 6 inches from the surface. The curtain of brown, beige and green spattered leaves floating all around me served as an upper layer in deep contrast to the teal water and the natural rock formations below. It was a pity that our companion, Allan Lumbo of Turismo Mismo, stayed at the fringes afraid to venture into the middle of the lake because he said he was not a good swimmer. He missed all of these.
The group agreed that Kayangan Lake was definitely an experience of a lifetime. Little did we know that our hosts had another treat awaiting us at Twin Lakes.