Lake Pingganon and Why You Should Never Visit It

The more you get to know Cebu, the more you realize that there’s so much that you don’t know. Despite the efforts of keeping the people abreast with everything about the province, there are still things that are left unknown to many – just like this lake that has been long treasured in Loay, Toledo.

Lake Pingganon, or fondly called as Lake Bensis, is a man-made lake sitting among the remote ranges of Barangay Loay, Toledo. It was a former dumpsite of Atlas Mining Corporation but has been converted into a fish farm through the joint venture of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and Atlas Commission Farmer’s Multipurpose Cooperative.

Lake Pingganon or Lake Bensis | Photo by Shiela Pacquiao
Lake Pingganon or Lake Bensis | Photo by Shiela Pacquiao


Like many outdoor sites, Lake Pingganon is a treasured sanctuary among outdoor enthusiasts. It has become a place to breathe from the hassles of the city, to commune with nature, to immerse with the locals, and to bond with fellow outdoorsmen. Seeing the destructions brought about by many visitors on many tourists spots, they have long kept the secrecy of the place. But in this age of social media, nothing is ever made secret. Once a photo is uploaded, there’s no taking it back. Many were outraged when Lake Pingganon was made known to public – in fear that the once cherished sanctuary would be filled with trash and destroyed by irresponsible visitors.

Lake Pingganon or Lake Bensis | Photo by Shiela Pacquiao

But no one has the monopoly of everything. We can only work together to keep the sanctity of the place for the generations to come. Making it visible to the public eye may be deemed damaging, but it could also mean having more people to witness its beauty, appreciate its existence, encourage sustainability, and promote economic opportunity to help the local community.

If you are not ready to respect the place, to take part of its preservation, and to advocate environmental awareness, DO NOT VISIT LAKE PINGGANON.

If you are not willing to keep your trash, respect fellow campers, and follow guidelines and restrictions, DO VISIT LAKE PINGGANON.

If you are not willing to adhere to the LEAVE NO TRACE Principles: “Take nothing but pictures. Kill nothing but time. Leave nothing but footprints”; DO NOT VISIT LAKE PINGGANON.


Lake Pingganon or Lake Bensis | Photo by Shiela Pacquiao
Lake Pingganon or Lake Bensis | Photo by Shiela Pacquiao

If you can adhere to all of these, here are the means of how to get to this place:

  1. Via Tabunok: From Tabunok, Talisay City, ride a habal-habal going to Loay, Toledo. Ask the driver to drop you off at the World for Christ Church. Make sure to register on the log book provided before going downhill to the lake. The hike would only take 3 – 5 minutes depending on your pacing. FARE: P80/head. NO ENTRANCE FEE as of this writing.
  2. Via JY Square: This is quite a longer route so expect more than an hour ride. It would take a longer negotiation, but some campers were able to agree with P500/head back and forth to Lake Bensis/ Lake Pingganon.
  3. Thru Hike: If you are fond of long dayhikes, you may join hiking groups who have frequented to this area. They usually begin either from Guadalupe or Banawa traversing to Babag, Bonbon, and Bitlang – approximately 8 to 12 hours hike.

Let us not make the environment suffer because of our greed and irresponsibility. Don’t forget the LNT!