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Villa Escudero in San Pablo, Laguna is the only working coconut plantation in the country that is open to the public as a resort destination. The plantation was built in the 1880s by Don Placido Escudero and was opened to the public as a resort by his heirs in 1981. Since then, it has become well-known as a resort that showcases the rich Philippine culture and heritage while at the same time, providing leisure and entertainmentt.
I have been to Villa Escudero twice: when I was an excited teenager and when I was a more relaxed adult in my 20s. Both times were exciting and satisfying visits although during my first time here, there were relatively few amenities available. I can still remember that upon arrival, welcome drinks were immediately served to us. As we were also from Laguna, we arrived at Villa Escudero at about 10 Am so we proceeded to visit the museum, which is a replica of an Intramuros church. The museum features relics and items dating from the Spanish colonial era such as silver altars, gilded carrozas, ivory saints, embroidered vestments, Oriental ceramics, costumes, weaponry and even romantic love letters!
After our museum tour, we rode in a cart pulled by a carabao while folk singers were serenading us. The carabao ride took us to the famous waterfalls dining area, and I think this was the highlight of our trip. Where else can you eat your lunch with waterfalls (man-made) as your backdrop while cold spring water flows at your feet? They served delicious Filipino dishes such as lechon manok, sea foods and fresh vegetables and you can eat as much as you want. See this blog if you want a more recent review of Villa Escudero food.
I can also remember that we rented bicycles so we can go around and explore the rural village, which is actually the residence of Villa Escudero staff and workers. Their houses are made of native materials (nipa huts). Other activities that can be done in Villa Escudero are the following: swimming (2 standard and 2 adult pools); rafting at the lake (with bamboo rafts); recreational activities (karaoke singing, pool, darts, tennis, or basketball) at the Recreation Hall and Grounds; shoppping at the Souvenir Shop; and snacking/dining at the Coconut Pavillion. Cultural shows are also held every Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at the Coconut Pavillion.
The day tour package rates are the following:
Day Tour Packages
* Mondays to Thursday
Adults : P1,105
Half rate : P550 (Children below 4 feet)
* Fridays to Sundays & Holidays
Adults : P1,250
Half rate : P625 (Children below 4 feet)
Includes welcome drinks, carabao cart rides, use of outdoor recreational facilities and lunch at the waterfalls.
Shall I come back to Villa Escudero? Of course I would love to, I want my kids to experience its rustic ambience and be exposed to the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines. I also would like us to spend a night at the villa to deeply appreciate its rural village ambience. But I still have to save enough money though for an overnight stay here is a bit expensive, though reasonable.
Here are some important reminders from Villa Escudero:
For reservations, you may contact the following:
Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort
San Pablo City, Philippines
1059 Estrada Street, Malate 1004 Metro Manila
Provincial Mailing Address
P.O. Box 4 San Pablo City 400, Philippines
You may also check the rates and make your reservations online at this website: http://www.villaescudero.com/reservation.php
How to get to Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort
Land routes: Take the South superhighway and exit at 50A (Lucena, Legazpi, Batangas exit). Turn left at the Sto. Tomas junction and left again at Tanauan-Sto. Tomas junction. Head straight down, passing by the town of Alaminos and San Pablo City proper.
Slow down upon seeing the welcome arch to Quezon province and turn left immediately after the arch.
Bus Lines: (Lucena route) BLTB, Tritran, JAC, Dessert Fox, Jam
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