Monday, December 31, 2012

Get Close to Nature in Villa Escudero (now Hacienda Escudero)

There are two things I love about Quezon Province, the Pahiyas Festival and Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort.

Villa Escudero is located 10 kilometers south of the city of San Pablo, Laguna on the border with Quezon province in the Philippines. It is a resort offering village tours, museum tour, buffet food in the waterfalls, and cozy accommodations. 

It has developed a worldwide reputation as a focal point to experience Philippine culture, arts and history in a beautiful rural setting.

Last March 2012, I was given the chance of exploring and enjoying what the resort has to offer to local and foreign tourists. And indeed, it is one of my best experiences in travel.

From Manila, one has to ride a bus going to Lucena City.

The bus ride is approximately 2 hours.

When you reach San Pablo City, the travel time to the entrance of the resort is just 10-15 minute ride from the arch of San Pablo City.

Reaching the border of Laguna and Quezon, you have to take a tricycle ride to the resort and the ride is just 5-8 minutes.

Then, you will alight at the entrance of the resort and register and pay the necessary fees.

Monday to Thursday
Adults P1,250
Half rate P625.00 (children below 4 feet)

Fridays to Sundays and Holidays
Adults P1,400
Half rate P700 (children below 4 feet)

The fees include the welcome drink, museum tour , carabao cart ride, use of the outdoor recreational facilities and lunch at the waterfalls.

The carabao cart ride will take you around the resort.

And during the carabao cart tour, one will be serenaded with Filipino native and folk songs.

You will feel the culture and the warmth of Filipino hospitality.

My first stop that day was to go to the museum.

From the registration area, the distance to the museum is just a 5-minute walk.

I went inside the museum and saw a variety of collection from coins, jewelry, pottery, costumes and even icons of saints.

After the museum tour, I strolled around the museum and enjoyed the scenery.

The resort also has a collection of vintage cannons and airplanes used during World War II.

Afterwards, I boarded the carabao cart tour and proceeded  to the swimming area.

Additionally, the resort offers cultural show at 2:00 - 3:15 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and selected Holidays.

After 10 minutes, we arrived at the swimming area.

I had no pans of swimming that day. It was a just a one-day tour. I've always wanted to see this place.

There are several pools available for tourists inside the resort.

But the swimming pools are not the best part of the resort.

It has something unique to offer.

It has a river tour similar to the one offered in Loboc River in Bohol and in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

The river is simply fascinating and majestic!

I boarded their bamboo raft and cruised along the river. While cruising, I tried to catch a fish. Unfortunately, they were very elusive that day and I ended up holding an empty bag.

But I still enjoyed the cruise along the river!!! =)

I paddled myself along the river banks.

After two hours, I boarded anew the carabao cart ride and proceeded to falls where I took my buffet lunch.

After ten minutes, I arrived at the falls and marveled at the sight of the man-made falls (it is actually a dam).

There were a handful of tourists that day.

During weekends, the resort is loaded with tourists.

And enjoyed my sumptuous meal that day!

After my lunch, I went around the resort.

And my last stop that day was the church inside the resort.

A lot of personalities had wed in this church.

Going back to the registration area, I decided to walk.

You can see a lot of things inside the resort.

There were birds flying everywhere. You can enjoy a simple bird watching experience.

This is Villa Escudero!

Room rates vary per person (inclusive of meals)
Long House 
River Unit 
Executive Suites
Gumamela suites

Contact Nos.

(032)-521-0830 / 523-2944 / 523-0392
Fax No. - (632)-521-8698

Website -

One of the best tourist spots in the Philippines! =) 

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Tourist Spots in the Philippines (My choice)

I have traveled in almost all the provinces and tourist spots in the Philippines for 6 years.

There are only three provinces left for me to visit.  The provinces are Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. But by next year (2014), I plan to finish all the provinces.

It's about time that I make my top ten tourist spots in the Philippines. The top ten are ranked (one being the highest) and arranged. And my top ten tourist spots are -


No. 1 in terms of landscapes and seascapes.

Peace and serenity (zero-crime rate)

The people (Ivatan) and the vernacular houses

Three major islands (Basco, Sabtang, and Itbayat)

White beach in Sabtang

Best sunset

Bicycle transportation 

Three lighthouses in the islands

Dinner at the lighthouse

Valugan Boulder Beach
Related Article -


Number one in terms of marine sanctuary

Ranked by CNN as the number one beach in the Philippines for 2012

Numerous and breathtaking limestone formations

Best island hopping experience in the Philippines beating Coron

Big lagoon and small lagoon

Island hopping


Experience island hopping, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, spelunking and enjoy your lunch in one of the white sand islands.

Heaven on earth!

Related Article -


Falls No. 1
Seven Falls

3 Lakes

1 Tribe

Falls Nos. 3, 4, and 5

Lake Sebu

Lake Lahit

The Adventures

- Highest zipline in Southeast Asia

- Zorb ball

- Trampoline jump

- Trek to the Seven Falls

Related Article -


No. 1 in terms of pristine white sand beach
No. 1 in terms of night life
Number in terms of resorts and amenities


Spelunking at the Sumaging and Lumiang Caves

Hanging Coffins

Echo Valley

Underground River

Bomod-Ok Falls

Spelunking, trekking, and climbing

Sumaging Cave

Hanging Coffins

Related Article -

2 Lakes (Barracuda and Kayangan)

White sand beaches

No. 1 in terms of wreck diving

Island hopping

Limestone formations

snorkeling and kayaking

Kayangan Lake

Twin Lagoons

Scuba diving

Related Articles -


Pristine crystal clear and blue waters

The only one in the Philippines

Island hopping

Related Article -

Padusdusan Falls

Numerous falls

Mt. Canlaon

Cold weather

Good accommodations

400-year old Balete tree

                                                  The road

The rice terraces

Related Article -

Sunken Cemetery

White sand beaches

Three islands (Main island, Mantigue and White Sand Beach)


Hot and Cold Springs 

The habal-habal tour

Related article -


 Bantayan Island

Camotes Island

Malapascua Island

Other islands include Oslob, Mactan, Olango

These islands will be my summer 2013 escapade! =)

Related links -


Others –