COMPOSTELA VALLEY 2011: Lake Leonard

Had a fieldwork assignment in May 2011 to the far flung valleys of Compostela Province.  The objective of the fieldwork is to assess the integrity of a dam at Brgy. New Leyte, Maco, Compostela Valley. The dam structure is a remnant of the once glorious mining past of the area. 

The dam of interest prevents the bulk of surface water contained in Lake Leonard from flowing to downstream communities. Lake Leonard is actually the caldera of Leonard Kniassef Volcano, the only active volcano in Mindanao. The caldera was once known as Crocodile Lake due to the existence of the indigenous species of Crocodylus Mindorensis on the lake. Folklores of the Mansaka Tribe inhabitants of the mountains and valleys of Compostela accounts the presence of a deadly reptilian species on the lake which brought fear and unrest to the tribal communities. Several references mentions that the crocodiles were completely killed off by mining activity in the area. 

The deepest portion of the lake was measured to be at least 2.75meters and its basin approximately 194hectares. What do you think? Could this place be the reality of Lake Placid?

Personally, I'd like to see crocodiles thrive on these lakes again. The habitat is theirs, in the first place. Today, tilapia is the dominant fish species on the lake which was introduced in early 2000.

The clear water of the lake perfectly reflects the lush vegetation bounding it. I felt like jumping and swimming at the lake when I saw the unforgettable sight. The thought of the possibility of crocodiles still existing on the lake discouraged me. But I saw the locals fishing at the lake, so I guess it must be safe.

Efforts to promote the lake as a tourism destination was considered by the local government. However, the accessibility of the area and perhaps the peace and order situation in the area limits them to a handful of tourists. I'm probably the only tourist out there in the last month or so.



  1. ang ganda ng lake leonard.nakapunta na aq dyan!

  2. Do you know the exact coordinates of Lake Leonard? If so, please let us know.. We some kinda need the data :-) Thanx

    1. I have it in my fieldnotebook somewhere, but it was a long time ago. Try google earth for the coordinates. ;)


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