Villa Escudero is one of the many famous attractions in the Philippines, it is located 10 kilometers south of the city of San Pablo, Laguna on the border with Quezon province. It's about 2.5 hrs away from Metro Manila.
Villa Escudero was founded in the 1880s by Don Placido Escudero and his wife Dona Claudia Marasigan. Originally planted to sugarcane, the crop was converted to coconut by their son Don Arsenio Escudero in the early 1900s. A pioneering agro-industrialist, he built the country's first working hydroelectric plant to supply his dessicated coconut factory and Villa Escudero, where he and his wife Dona Rosario Adap built in 1929. Their children opened the estate to the public in 1981. From then on, the resort started to become one of the tourist destinations here in the PH. (source: Villa Escudero)
|On our way to Villa Escudero|
|Carabao cart ride going to the waterfalls restaurant|
In the buffet table, many Filipino dishes were served for our empty tummies. I can't name the foods served anymore but they were mostly the foods served in a Filipino karenderya. There were no spoon and fork to use but we were given chopsticks (well, we ate with bare hands instead!). I wasn't very full, I don't know if it was just me but I felt that the foods were "nakakaumay". I am a type of person who eats A LOT in order to be full but at that time, (I can still clearly remember, lol) di talaga ako masyadong nabusog!
|Buffet table at the resto|
|Having fun at the waterfalls restaurant|
|Bamboo rafts and the quiet lake at 30 feet|
|can't go rafting so we had our pictures taken instead! lol|
CheVy just took photos, chatted and rested beside the pool while we were swimming. We stayed there 'til we decided to go home. It was a quick stay but we still enjoyed it. The place is very calm and quite (of course too far from the very noisy and polluted Metro) and it really takes you back to the old Filipino setting.
|Nate and mama at the pool|
|Nate having so much fun at the pool|
Things that we missed during this tour were the museum (because, unfortunately, 7 years old and below, not allowed to get inside and CheVy didn't go inside the museum either), and the bamboo rafting.
I think we only stayed there for about 4 - 4.5 hours which is quite a short time for the day tour but it was still a good experience. In Villa Escudero, you get a glimpse of the traditional Filipino life and setting. And if you're fortunate enough to visit the place on a weekend or holiday, you'll experience the cultural show that starts from 2pm to 3:15pm at the Pavilion Hall. However, when we were there, we saw their practice for the weekend's performance (at least, lol).
|Pavilion Hall (this is where they have the cultural shows)|
1. The serenity of the place, even though they opened it for public, they're still able to keep the place calm and peaceful.
2. The employees' uniforms! Love it, just love it. It's definitely Filipino!
3. The place - I'm saying this for the nth time, the place keeps your spirit at peace.
4. The carabao cart, I can no longer remember the last time we rode a carabao cart (smaller ones we used when harvesting coconut), but I'm certain that back when I was Elementary, so while we were on the cart, my memories took me back to my childhood days.
5. Clean restrooms
Things the management can consider to better assist their customers:
1. If they have chopsticks, they better have spoon and fork. OK, I know this can be for the Korean tourists because we've seen many when we were there but, although we know how to eat using chopsticks, if it's not what we're used to, we'll not like using it so since it's a Filipino setting, I think they can either just completely remove the chopsticks and have us eat with bare hands or add spoon and fork.
2. I wish they have a "short time" rate for those who couldn't be there at around 8am for their day tour. Their pricing is quite high, but I think that's reasonable for those who can completely roam around the place. How about those who arrived at noon and those who can't get inside the museum or go bamboo rafting like us, I hope they have a way to somehow cut their rates (I don't know, just saying), hehe.
Since we got the day tour rate, here's what we had:
P1,250 - adults
P625 - Children below 4feet
P700 Children below 4feet
8am to 5pm
We got there buy renting a van, we got it for Php 4,000 pesos. It's a lot cheaper if you go in large groups since you'll have to pay less on the van. There are rates offered in MetroDeal from time to time with vans all ready to just pick you up from Metro Manila. During this visit, didn't get an offer from MetroDeal, the van was Ivy's contact.
Other Attractions and Amenities you can do are:
*Philippine Experience Show
*Sports & Recreational Facilities
*Observe how coconut is harvested
Overall, we had fun, it was an awesome experience still but I think their prices are really high and that Villa Escudero is a bit overrated. The waterfalls restaurant was not we were expecting, I think our expectations were a bit too high because of the popularity of it and when you see that it was not what you were expecting, you get a little disappointed at some point. Also, the restaurant is a bit dangerous and slippery due to the algae, one tourist slipped and hit her b*tt big time, I know she felt so embarrassed and I felt really sorry for her. Nevertheless, again, we still had a great time and I am very happy to finally be able to visit and experience Villa Escudero.
AND BECAUSE WE HAD SO MANY PHOTOS, HERE'S MORE :)
|Food and drinks served at the pavillion|
|The carabao carts (there are too many of these!)|
|Two of the employees singing for us|
|The coconut plantation visible at the back|
|Water fountain in front of the Pavilion|
|Halo-halo by the pool? Why not!|
|The view of the lake just near the pool|
|World war 2 aircraft|
|Pool is ♥|
|Restroom beside the pool|
|left: hallway to the waterfalls restaurant|
|Guests enjoying their lunch with their feet dipped in the cool waters!|
|view during the carabao cart ride|
|Thank you CheVy for this wonderful time together, 'til next time! ♥|
For more information, visit their website at www.villaescudero.com.