Lake Bato is located in Bato Town, approximately 9 kilometers southwest of Iriga City, Camarines Sur. This inland body of water measures 26.9 square kilometers in area and an altitude of 10 meters. It belongs to the top ten major lakes of the Philippines ranking seventh (7th). Being a popular habitation of wild ducks, Lake Bato is a choice site for duck hunters.
Lake Bato is bounded by two municipalities: Bato in Camarines Sur in the northern portion and Libon in the province of Albay in the southern region. It is mainly surrounded by extensive marshes and some swamp forest, fed by local run-off several small streams. The freshwater lake empties into a tributary of the Bicol River which enters a nearby sea in Naga City. The bottom of the lake is muddy clay.
Legend of Ibalon
According to an Ibalon legend, a great and wild deluge occurred that resulted to the eruption of volcanoes followed by earthquakes that cracked the land. It caused to reverse the course of Inarihan River where a mountain sank and led to the emergence of Lake Bato.
Flora and Fauna
This freshwater lake is endowed with diverse flora and fauna. There are approximately 20 species of larger aquatic plants that have been identified in the lake. These floral species include water spinach (Ipomea reptans), hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), and water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes). Lake Bato is even more popular in terms of fauna. The infamous Sinarapan (Mistichthys luzonensis) is hailed the smallest commercially harvested fish and is found in lakes Bato and Buhi, both lakes located in Camarines Sur. Other economically important faunal species found in Lake Bato are tilapia (Tilapia nilotica and T. mossambica), carp (Cyprinus carpio), freshwater shrimp (Macrobachium sp.), catfish (Clarias sp.), and climbing perch (Anabas testudineus).
Lake Bato is a significant fishery for Bato town. The fishing town is also known for its woodcarving and pancit bato, a noodle made of flour, eggs, and iodized salt.
Philtranco and Superlines Transport are the major transport lines from Manila to Bato. Bato Town is approximately 500 kilometers from Manila. The distance from Pili to Bato is 24 kilometers and from Naga City to Bato is 49 kilometers.
1. http://www.pcamrd.dost.gov.ph/systems/zone2/bato.html (Accessed 26-March-2010)
2. http://www.aenet.org/volcano/sinarap.htm (Accessed 26-March-2010)
3. http://www.biyahero.net/index.php (Accessed 26-March-2010)
4. http://www.arcbc.org.ph/wetlands/philippines/phl_lakbato.html (Accessed 26-March-2010)
5. http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/003/W6928E/w6928e0o.htm (Accessed 26-March-2010)
Content written by: Richard Hidalgo