San Pablo City, Laguna
November 30, 2012
Another vacation gone so fast. I went back home to the Philippines last weekend to attend yet another wedding for the year in which I am part of the entourage as secondary sponsor (again). Due to time constraint, we were only able to plan for a quick getaway from the city with my family to Villa Escudero on Bonifacio Day.
Villa Escudero is a coconut plantation located in San Pablo, Laguna, just within the border of Tiaong, Quezon province in the Philippines. It is a famous tourist destination and just two to three hours away from Manila. Before going there though, make sure that you have made reservations in advance. I think they’re quite strict on this so they can control the crowd visiting the place. We went there on a PH public holiday so we made sure to make reservations before heading there. For more information about their amenities and how to do reservations, check the Villa Escudero website. We booked the day tour, which in my opinion is enough since there isn’t much to do. But if you want to relax and just stay overnight to rest and enjoy the peace and quiet, you can book one of their rooms.
We reached the plantation after two hours drive from Muntinlupa City. Upon arrival, we were directed to the reception hall where we gave our reservation info and they gave us tickets for the museum tour, carabao rides and buffet lunch. We were also given welcome drinks of sago at gulaman. Afterwards, we were directed to the AERA Memorial Museum. From the outside it looks like a Catholic church, though inside are a lot of historical and religious artifacts displayed (cameras are strictly prohibited inside the museum). After the tour, we boarded a carabao-drawn cart ride accompanied a singer and musician serenading us with Filipino folk songs, which is quite cool as we were able to sing along with them the ‘Ang Pipit‘ song, while they take us to the resort proper.
When we reached the pavilion, it was still quite early for lunch and we were hungry so we ordered from their restaurant. The food was prepared upon ordering so it was still hot and tastes good. I also tried the cafe’s Chocolate Macadamia Nut Ice-Blended Coffee (120php) as per Babe‘s suggestion, which is quite nice, although a bit sweet for my taste. 😀 While waiting for lunch to be served in their Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant (opens at 11:00 am), my sisters and I tried bamboo rafting in Labasin lake, which is among one of the activities you can do here.
After bamboo rafting, which was quite tiring to the arms and exhausting especially since the sun is shining so brightly above us, we headed to the Labasin Waterfalls restaurant for their buffet lunch. If you don’t mind eating while getting your feet wet with the possibily of getting wet yourself, then you would enjoy dining in the Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant. This is actually one of the main reasons people go here, to experience dining with the waterfalls behind you. The food they serve is not so bad as well, it was very good in fact. And the staff are all very accomodating that you can’t help but smile at their enthusiasm. The staff took care of us very well that he even gave us newly cooked fish since we weren’t able to get from the buffet table, plus he gave us a plateful of dalandans when my mom asked him for some.
Afterwards we went back to the pavilion to watch their cultural show. Another one of their main attractions, the cultural show (Philippine Experience Show) where they showcase the different traditional dances of the country. The dances I recognized were Tinikling, Singkil, Sayaw sa Bangko, Maglalatik and Pandango sa Ilaw. And what’s more amazing is that the show is performed by the resort’s own employees. If you’re going here you must take note that the cultural show is during Fridays-Sundays and Holidays only.
After the show was finished, they would allow the guests to take pictures with the performers should they wish to. We concluded our day tour by riding one of colorful their jeepneys back to the parking area. It was a very nice experience and recommended for those who have foreign visitors coming over and wondering where to take them.
For more information, visit their website: