Villa Escudero Plantation and Resort

April 12, 2015

I'm back!  It's been quite sometime since I last posted anything on this blog.  I've been very busy lately with my new found love, PSE.  Maybe I'm getting old (or should I say mature because the word "old" sounds a little bit harsh), I'm starting to become more aware of our finances and I'm trying my best to help my husband grow his hard earned money through investing.  Anyway, I'm not going to talk about investments on this post, instead I will be sharing with you a long overdue post of our family getaway at Villa Escudero.

Villa Escudero is a coconut plantation located in San Pablo City, Laguna which is just about two hours drive away from Manila.  It was actually my second time to visit this place, the first time was a day tour in 2011 when my husband and I were still in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.  For those who didn't know, I was raised by conservative and traditional parents who would never allow me (and my siblings) to go on an overnight out-of-town trip unless it is a mandatory school-related activity.  So technically, it's my first time to experience an overnight stay in Villa Escudero.

Upon arrival, we headed to their reception area for check-in where we were warmly welcomed by their staffs wearing baro't saya and handed us a gulaman as a welcome drink.  By the way, please be informed that you need to make an advance reservation if you intend to stay overnight in the resort because their units are often fully booked.  In addition, bringing in of outside food and drinks are not allowed. So don't bother because they'll only end up getting confiscated at the entrance gate.

Just a few meters away from the reception area is the AERA Memorial Museum which is usually mistaken as an old church (because it actually looks like one).  This houses the colonial and religious art collections of the late Arsenio and Rosario Escudero.  Photography inside the museum is strictly prohibited that's why this is the only photo that I can share with you.  Let's leave the inside of the museum as a little mystery that's up for you to find out.

After checking-in, we went to the pick up area where carabao drawn carts await the guests to be taken to the activity/accommodation area.  This one is really unique, perhaps the only resort in the Philippines (I'm not quite sure of that) which has this kind of transportation for their guests.  You will definitely enjoy the ride especially with the music being played by their staff on guitar and the melodious voice of their singer singing Tagalog Folk songs like "Paru-parong Bukid".  It really feels good to experience a country-like life every once in a while!

For our accommodation, we chose the river unit which can accommodate up to a maximum of 12 persons.  It has a kitchen, dining, and a living area which is overlooking the river.  This room is spacious and the view of the river made the place even more peaceful and relaxing especially during sunset/sunrise.  The only problem I can see here is the non-availability of an air conditioning unit.  In our case, it's fine since we stayed here last November when the weather in the Philippines is pretty much cooler.  However, I cannot imagine if this accommodation would be comfortable enough for the guests during the summer season (better get their Executive/ Gumamela suites or the Katakataka unit which is fully air conditioned).  Another thing also, for those people who are staying overnight, please be advised that basic toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, and lotion) which are usually complimentary in hotels/resorts are not available here so bring your own.

After resting for quite a while, we headed to their famous "Waterfalls Restaurant" to have our lunch.  Cool isn't it?  Literally speaking, you will definitely feel cool and refreshed eating your lunch in this place because you will have your feet soaked (so better get there on a foot wear that's easy to slip on/off) in crystal clear running waters of the so called man-made waterfalls.  Since the theme of the resort is Philippine country life, expect nothing less than a feast of your favorite Filipino dishes served on a buffet table made of bamboo.  See, this is what made this place so popular, not only among the locals but the tourists as well.  That is why it is no longer surprising to see this part of the resort jam packed during lunch time.  Whoever it is who have thought about this idea of using this spillway of the Labasin Lake dam to be a waterfalls restaurant is a genius!  It's really a one-of-a-kind dining experience you wouldn't dare to miss.  However, I would not advice this place if you've got a company who'll have a hard time taking the stairs because obviously, this place isn't accessible for PWD.

If you are planning to visit this place, I would strongly suggest you do it on a weekend because of their Philippine Experience Show.  It is a production number of the resort's staffs, accompanied by musicians playing rondalla, showcasing our country's rich culture through a series of dance numbers lasting approximately 1 hour.  This show is no mediocre intermission number but a world class performance created by the National Artist for dance, Ramon Obusan of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.  Villa Escudero's staffs are not just courteous and cheerful people, they're equally talented individuals as well!

You can also find the Chapel of the Ascension within the resort's vicinity.  It is a beautiful, spacious, and air-conditioned chapel perfect for intimate wedding celebrations.  Actually, I was thinking of having our wedding held on this chapel the first time we visited Villa Escudero.  However, we thought that having a destination wedding will pose a lot of hassle and more expenses on the part of our guests so we just decided to let this one go.

Our overnight stay in Villa Escudero was really worth every penny.  Spending Php 2,780/head which would cover your accommodation, full board meals (which by the way is a festive buffet), and many other activities that you and your family/ friends can enjoy (rafting, fishing, bird watching, biking, basketball, tennis, billiards, ping pong, swimming and videoke) is really super "sulit".

Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort
San Pablo City, Philippines
Telephone Nos. (632) 521-0830 / (632) 523-0392 / (632) 523-2944
Fax Number:  (632) 521-869

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