|Arrival at the resort|
|Our carabao cart ride|
Villa Escudero Plantation & Resort, an exotic 450-hectare Class “AA” resort, was opened in 1981.
A favorite destination among local and foreign tourists, it is situated within a vast 800-hectare (2,000-acre), self-contained working coconut plantation that encompasses San Pablo City (where most of its land belongs) in Laguna and the towns of Dolores and Tiaong in Quezon.
Upon arrival, guests here are welcomed at the reception hall with a warm greeting and cool native sago or fruit drinks.
|Labasin Hydroelectric Dam|
After the welcome, guests are uniquely toured around the park-like setting of the resort via a large, festively-decorated and carabao-pulled cart (aptly named Macho). Along the way, local female folk singers serenaded us with Filipino songs to the accompaniment of a male guitarist.
All are appropriately dressed in native costumes: the women in baro't saya or kimona and the men in camisa de chino and colorful trousers. Truly a laid-back and unique countryside experience in a serene pastoral atmosphere.
Delicious native-style buffet lunches are served beside the man-made Labasin Waterfalls, actually the spillway of the Labasin hydroelectric dam.
Guests sit at rows of shaded wood and bamboo dining tables with 8 inches of running spring waters swirling around the calves of our bare feet, a truly singular and memorable experience as we dined al fresco with the falls as a backdrop.
The Labasin dam also created a long, narrow and deep artificial lake or reservoir from the waters of the Lagnas River. Filled with dalag (mudfish) and tilapia, fishing is offered here but we opted to avail of the relaxing bamboo raft ride at this lake which was included in the day tour.
|Frolicking at Labasin Falls|
Villa Escudero Plantation & Resort: San Pablo City, Laguna. Manila booking office: 1059 Estrada St., Malate, Manila. Tel: (632) 521-0830, 523-0392 and 523-2944. Website: www.villaescudero.com.
How To Get There: About 10 kms. (6.2 miles) south of San Pablo City, enter the Laguna-Quezon (Tiaong) border arch and, a few hundred past the arch, on the left, is the entrance to the resort.