After spending the whole day settling down and resting after arriving from Catanduanes, we were all ready to hit the roads again! But little did we know that the moment we drove off from home, we will be on the roads for the rest of the day…
[Catanduanes & Luzon | Philippines October 2015]
15 October 2015
Villa Escudero, Tagaytay & Taal Church
It has been a while since the last time I visited this part of the Philippines. So the friends had very carefully planned out an entire day’s worth of activities so that we spent our time to the fullest!
We woke up and set off bright early on our mini road trip! But we encountered pretty terrible traffic conditions and our travelling time was extended unexpectedly. I think we were in the car for a good three or four hours, so we could only satisfy the hunger with a quick breakfast from the drive-thru before we arrived at our first destination!
Villa Escudero | Quezon, Philippines
In the 1880s, the estate was a sugarcane plantation founded by the Don Placido Escudero and his wife. It was a simple plantation until their son converted the sugarcane plantation to a coconut plantation and introduced the country’s first working hydroelectric plant to supply his desiccated coconut factory in the early 1900s.
Eventually, the plantation developed into tourist destination offering rich cultural heritage in the estate and it was opened to the public in 1981.
Since they do not provide any maps or leaflets that I can grab, I had to quickly snap a photo of the estate’s map at the main lobby while the friend grabbed the Day Tour tickets (P1,250 per adult on Mondays to Thursdays) for us which will allow us access to the museum, outdoor recreational facilities and also lunch at the Waterfalls Restaurant!
The museum is located just beside the main lobby so we walked over to check it out before lunch.
It was founded by Arsenio and Rosario Escudero and it houses one of the largest collections and unmatched in its eclectic diversity. In the museum, a replica of a long-gone church in Intramuros, you can find a wide collection of silver altars, ivory Santos, embroidered vestments and carved images and even oriental ceramics, costumes, household furniture, weaponry and many more.
The extensive collection was quite eye-opening and we spent quite a long while looking through the collection! And when we were done, we were famished! We hopped onto a buffalo cart to take us to the Waterfalls Restaurant for lunch!
I have had meals at the oddest of places but this is truly my first time eating with a waterfall as a backdrop and water running below the dining table where you can soak your feet in the crystal clear spring water! Anyway, you can get a small selection of local dishes (free flow!) and even fresh coconut juice at the Waterfalls Restaurant! Such a fancy experience actually!
Coffee break @ Starbucks | Tagaytay, Cavite, Philippines
I attended another friend’s wedding at Tagaytay two years ago but I haven’t had the chance to look around even though it was my first visit to Tagaytay. So the friend planned to drive around to Tagaytay after lunch for our next stop of the day!
Although there are many cafes and restaurants at Tagaytay, we chose to stop by Starbucks at Twin Lakes Megaworld, dubbed as the most beautiful Starbucks outlet in the Philippines, for a coffee break before we went on with our road trip! Such a pity it was drizzling a little and rather gloomy outside!
Anyway, for the last stop of our mini road trip, we were supposed to visit the friend’s family at Batangas and we took a quick look around town before heading over for dinner. But the friend had insisted that we visit the Taal Church even though it was already getting dark and when we got there, I understood why she had insisted!
Just like every other church I had visited in the Philippines, Taal Church has a long history dating all the way back to the 1575! It was initially located on the banks of Taal Lake before it was relocated to its current location. And Taal Church is the largest church I have ever came across!
The church was so tall that it looks so grand and majestic with its beautifully aged stone facade even though it was really quite dark when we got there. It was a true pity that I couldn’t get a better picture! Then again, that will make it a valid reason to look forward to the next time I get to see Taal Church, of course in a better light! Haha!
Anyway, with that… We ended our 14 hours road trip complete with four stops, countless of coffee breaks along the highway, lots of candies and gums and singing along to the radio! Hehe! Thank you to the friend who planned and drove us around! Road trip success!
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