Posts Tagged ‘ Philippines ’

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Chillin’ at Villa Escudero

Villa Escudero straddles the border of Laguna and Quezon provinces south of Manila. The entire place is owned and managed by the Escudero family. The motif includes rural life in the Philippines, Castilian and turn of the century collections both local and foreign. You have to see it yourself.

Since 2008 when I last visited, they no longer allow cameras into the pink church/gallery of collections. The collection contained in the church/gallery is virtually a hodgepodge. Stuffed animals and petrified butterflies and insects above, life-sized Catholic saints below. However. it’s not accurate to say they’ve put the heavyweight articles on display on the first floor and the lightweight ones on the balcony, because there’s a vintage deep-sea diving suit and helmet which resembles an astronaut’s gear rather than a diver’s up there. It looks as if it might weigh a ton (Sealab 2020, an animated TV show decades ago, had this aqua gear).

The pink church looks Castilian, but the garden in front of the church seems Victorian in contrast.

The carabao, named Madonna, pulls this thing on which guests travel from one area to the next in this vast place. Guests are assisted by Filipino-costumed usherettes.

One of the usherettes sat beside the guitar man who played familiar Filipino folk songs, some I learned as a kindergarten student. You half expect these two musicians (the usherette sings the melody) to play Filipino love songs and then end up surprised that you know the tune and some of the lyrics of their songs, so I ended up singing second voice.

You get to Villa Escudero presumably hungry so they have a Filipino buffet al fresco dining, feet dipped in water falling from a man-made dam. Some tables are sufficiently covered by leaves of trees, but the part where a waterfall forms, is uncovered. The current from the waterfall is gentle but the area is very slippery so it makes sense actually to wear aqua shoes to lunch.

The right side is where the one buffet table is situated, so there’s quite a long line, but you can go back to the table for more food. No spoons and forks, you get chopsticks. You may also want to bathe beneath the waterfall, or skip doing that and just opt to go swimming in their pool.

We went rafting in the man-made lake that fed the waterfall. It looked easy to maneuver the bamboo rafts, but the execution was harder than we thought. Technique was still necessary to be able to paddle away from the platform and get the raft back. The men who handed us paddles and life jackets did not provide the technique so we had to figure it out before we melted under the heat of the noon sun.  Oh by the way, those lakeside huts are for rent in case you want to stay longer than the usual day trip.

P.S. I’ve watermarked my photos here with O.V. as the owner of these images for my Villa Escudero blog.

 

Hovering Over Paradise (November 2014). Elevation Elation!!!!

Spelunking then superman ziplining in Puerto Princesa Palawan. These were my stunts last week!

Spelunking then superman ziplining in Puerto Princesa Palawan. These were my stunts last week!

Top of the morning! Overnight at the Acua Verde, San Juan Batangas

Photo by Onnah ValeraTop of the morning! Overnight at the Acua Verde, San Juan Batangas

Wake up in Iloilo City, head off to La Paz Market for Madge Cafe and smell the coffee in the oldest cafe in Iloilo and certainly the darling of its most influential and its tourists!

Photo by Onnah Valera Photo by Onnah Valera Photo by Onnah Valera2687_725793675_n

All that glitters on Boracay, sea and sand#it’smorefuninthephilippines21

Photo by Onnah Valera