Muntinlupa and Taguig cities share large borders with Laguna de Bay; in both cities, the lake front is a different world from the rest of the urban area. After taking the PNR to Sucat in Muntinlupa I bike just 10 minutes along a coastal road called Quezon until I see signs for the Lake Front, 500 M ahead. Along the lakeside of the road are houses and other structures so it's hard to see where the access road is at first, but turning into the side street I see a fountain in the distance and come upon a large plaza with concrete kubos, a small government office, and plenty of bayfront seating on ledges where couples spend time together, fishermen fish, and students hang out after school. People walk or bike there; a few motorcycles are parked outside where there is an open air basketball court. It's a wonderful waterfront park that should be replicated along the length of the bay.
The following day I biked back to the lake front but on the Taguig side. There I found a new jogging and bike path that is being built ride on the edge, offering an uninterrupted view of the fishponds, houses, and mountains on the other side. I asked one of the fishermen to take me out for a short "pasyal" (stroll- but in this case tour). We rode through the dense water hyacinth through some narrow fishnets where a man was in the water scaring the fish into the nets by slapping the water, an old trick of the trade, and onwards to visit Tatang Mimi, a local leader among the fishermen.
Later I biked just 30 minutes into BGC, the leading Central Business District in Metro Manila. To be on the lake with fishermen and then half and hour later in the center of "modern" Metro Manila is a fascinating prospect; few other cities possess geography to have fishponds in such proximity to downtowns. Laguna de Bay has a large role to play for Muntinlupa and especially Taguig given the close distance to world-class hospitals, offices, and fast growing residential areas, in terms of public space, food sustainability, and recreational amenities, as long as they are developed within the appropriate disaster resilience framework. These possibilities should be explored and fostered to ensure the sustainable development of these areas in harmony and partnership with one another. If this is done, connecting Laguna de Bay with the rest of the city will be an innovative, mutually beneficial approach for both cities.