|Lake Caliraya is a man-made lake situated in the municipalities of
Lumban, Cavinti, and Kalayaan in Laguna province, Philippines.
Created in 1939, the lake has developed as a popular spot for water
sports and outdoor recreation including fishing. Surrounding the lake
are a number of resorts catering to tourists and vacation homes
abound because of the beautiful scenery and favorable climate.
Lake creation Lake Caliraya was created after the construction of
Caliraya Dam, an embankment dam started in 1939 by US Army
Corps of Engineers Chief in the Philippines, Lieutenant Colonel
(later Major General) Hugh J. Casey, with the approval of
Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon. The
Caliraya River was dammed at its outlet from a large flat plateau area
providing a large water reservoir for generating hydroelectric power
for Southern Luzon. The dam was over 100 feet (30 m) high from
which a diversion canal was constructed several miles to the head of
a steep slope about 950 feet above Laguna de Bay. Large penstocks
were constructed diverting water down to the powerhouse below,
with tailrace to the bay. The high head permitted the use of
high-speed turbines and generators at relatively low unit costs. Initial
estimate for the project was $5 million, or 10 million pesos, and an
output of 40,000 horsepower.
Geography and geological phenomenon
Lake Caliraya is situated approximately 1,200 feet above sea level,
and is perched high in the Sierra Madre. The lake experiences cool
climate all year round. Winds start blowing in Lake Caliraya from the
beginning of September up to late May.
Lake Caliraya's bottom, as well as the surrounding hills, are
characterized by a reddish clay topsoil. The lake's floor has a very
soft clay bottom. Local residents of the lake's surroundings still tell
stories about certain areas in the lake that are reputed to have sucked
boats down - an unfounded claim typical among superstitious locals.
The early developers (Kalaw, Nieto and the de Padua families)
seeded the lake with largemouth bass, and through the years, the lake
has remained the most popular bass fishing spot in the country.