After a pretty rough week at work, I invited a friend to relax and unwind. He said it was very timely since he also needed a bit of a break from the business he runs. It was him who brought up the idea to go to Villa Escudero and offered to use his car for travel convenience. And since I have always wanted to go there I immediately agreed to the plan.
Villa Escudero is a good alternative tourist spot for those looking for a travel destination since it is just three hours ride from Manila.It is a self-contained working coconut plantation founded in the 1880s turned into a resort. Location: Villa Escudero, Km 91, Tiaong, Quezon.
We called the number posted on their website to check for room availability, however, all of the rooms were taken. Good thing the operator mentioned that we can still avail the day tour package from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Day Tour Fee: Php1,450 (Mon-Wed), Php1,600 (Thu – Sun/Holidays)
How to commute to Villa Escudero:
In Buendia Bus Terminal ride a Jac Liner Bus and tell the conductor to drop you at the Tiaong Boundary. The plantation is near the Quezon boundary arch. Travel time is approximately 3hrs. Fare is Php200. Then take a tricycle going to the Resort for Php20 fare.
Day Tour Amenities:
1. Museum– It’s said that the Escudero Private Museum is one of the largest museums in the country. Various artifacts collected from all over the world can be seen there however I don’t have pictures to share because it’s not allowed to bring a camera inside the museum. It houses a rich collection of artifacts, relics, religious antiques, coins etc. This is found inside a prominent pink building in the villa that looks like a church at first glance.
2. Bamboo Rafting– I enjoyed a leisurely paddle on a native bamboo raft on the still waters of the river. There’s no extra fee as it is included in the day tour fee. I spent two hours paddling and resting once in a while under the shade of the trees surrounding it. You can get to this place by riding a Carabao cart that will pick you from the reception area and will bring you to the cultural hall that’s adjacent to the river.
3. Waterfall Restaurant– This is one of the centerpieces of Villa Escudero and where I’m very excited about. You can enjoy a traditional Filipino buffet lunch eating with your bare hand (Kamayan style) while soaking your feet in the shallow running water. Eating like a true Filipino!
The dining area is located below the spillway of the hydroelectric dam. It supplies water to the plantation and the flowing water was used as a backdrop waterfall for the restaurant. The tables were set firmly and long buffet tables with selection of Filipino food can be found stationed on the side of the river. However, there’s not enough dining table to accommodate all guests so you have to wait for your turn. There is extra charge for drinks like coconut or juices.
Note: Buffet Lunch at the Waterfalls is highly weather-dependent and may be transferred at any time for the safety of our guests. Also, there’s a luggage area where guests can leave their bags and a big shoe rack in the entrance of the waterfalls area where you can leave our shoes. Lockers can be rented for Php50.00 plus a deposit of Php50.00.
4. Philippine Experience Show– Witness the country’s rich culture that has been preserved by traditional dances and music in the Philippine Cultural Show. It is scheduled from 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and selected holidays.
5. Swimming pool– Enjoy the swimming pools that include one pool for the children, an infinity pool, and an adult only pool located above. Only those wearing proper swimming attire will be allowed to use the pool. The adult pool is strictly for 18 years old and above.
What I like the most about this place is it brings back the heritage with the museum, cultural show, carabao ride and the Filipino traditional buffet. All in all the resort is worth visiting. I had a great experience.