The Largest Lakes In The Philippines

Laguna de Baý on the island of Luzon.
Laguna de Baý on the island of Luzon.

The Philippines is a vast archipelagic country in the Pacific Ocean that consists of about 7,641 islands. Located in Southeast Asia, the country is known for its many diverse and spectacular natural features, including numerous lakes. Most lakes in the Philippines were created through volcanic and tectonic activity, which resulted in the formation of lake basins. Additionally, the obstruction of rivers due landslides and lava flows, for example, have also created many of the lakes in the Philippines. The country's largest lakes are highlighted below. Laguna de Baý is the largest lake in the Philippines. 

The Five Largest Lakes in the Philippines

1. Laguna de Baý

Laguna de Baý is the largest lake in the Philippines. Located east of Metro Manila and covering an area of 949 sq km, the lake has an average depth of is 2.8 m. The lake forms the shape of a stylized "W," as it contains three lobes and two peninsulas that jut out from the north. The middle lobe, located between the peninsulas, fills a large volcanic feature named Laguna Caldera, and the island of Talim is located in approximately the middle of the lake. The lake has 21 tributaries and the Pasig River is its major outflow. Laguna de Baý is a major source of freshwater fish in the Philippines.

2. Lake Lanao

Lake Lanao is the second biggest lake in the Philippines, with an area of 340 sq km and a maximum depth of 122 m. The lake is located on the island of Mindanao, within the Lanao del Sur province, and is the largest lake on the island. Lake Lanao was formed by volcanic and tectonic activity, and is also regarded as one of the oldest surviving lakes in the world. Four rivers drain into the lake, while the Agus River is its only outflow. A hydroelectric plant located along the Lanao-Agus River system supplies about 70% of the island's electricity. The lake is home to 18 endemic species of cyprinid fish, as well as many waterbirds.

3. Taal Lake

With an area of 234.2 sq km, Taal Lake is the third largest lake in the Philippines. Located on the island of Luzon, in the province of Batangas, the lake’s waters fill a large caldera formed by volcanic eruptions that occurred thousands of years ago. Taal Lake is high in sulfuric content due to its location in the volcanic region.

4. Lake Mainit

With a surface area of 173.40 sq km, Lake Mainit is the country’s fourth biggest lake. It is the deepest lake in the Philippines, with a maximum depth of 223 m. Lake Mainit is located in the northeastern part of the island of Mindanao.

5. Naujan Lake

Lake Naujan is located on the island of Mindoro, which is part of the province of Oriental Mindoro. It has an area of 81.25 sq km, making it the fifth largest lake in the Philippines. The lake is situated in the center of Naujan Lake National Park and is also a Ramsar Wetland site. Many rivers and streams feed the lake, but the Butas River is its only outflow. Naujan Lake National Park is a popular tourist destination that features activities like boating, bird watching, and picnicking.

List of the 10 Largest Lakes in the Philippines

RankLakeSurface Area (km2)Province
1Laguna de Bay949Cavite; Laguna; Rizal; Quezon
2Lanao340Lanao del Sur
4Mainit173.40Surigao del Norte; Agusan del Norte
5Naujan81.25Oriental Mindoro
6Buluan61.34Maguindanao; Sultan Kudarat
7Pantabangan69.62Nueva Ecija
8Bato28.10Camarines Sur
10Buhi17.07Camarines Sur

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