Relaxing at Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort
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*Photos Captured by OPPO F3
If you are looking for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life, one such place to add to your itinerary is Tiaong, Quezon. Aside from its stock of deep coconut plantations, it also has an extensive collection of resorts and cultural heritage parks perfect for those who love to relax and to look back at the rich colonial culture and history of the Philippines in a beautiful rural setting.
Situated in Lusacan in Tiaong, Quezon, Villa Escudero (official website), a vast coconut hacienda converted into a resort and leisure park, is a famous vacation destination for foreign and local tourists alike. The Villa has an aesthetic beauty made by nature, then developed by man, that boasts an enchanting view of the river flowing from Mt. Banahaw. Among the resort’s amenities are Coco Pavilion, a museum, rustic rooms, a chapel, and a sparkling blue water swimming pool with jacuzzi on the side. Activities include fishing, biking, rafting, indoor games like table tennis and billiards, chasing waterfalls, carabao riding, and cultural shows, which are performed every Friday to Sunday.
Things to do at Villa Escudero
The beautiful lake-side spot of Villa Escudero has lots to offer to local and foreign vacationers regarding culture, history, and activities. Discover the best things to do in this relaxing spot with this list of must-try activities:
Ride the e-jeep or carabao through the rural setting of the Villa
At the entrance of Villa Escudero, you will be welcomed by the staff that will check your ticket. Upon entering, guests have two riding options: by carabao or e-jeep, which then transports them to the reception area. If guests want to see more of Villa Escudero, they can ask the front desk to use the e-jeep or carabao to roam around the area. Or guests can stroll leisurely on their own around the Villa.
Chomp down on heirloom Philippine cuisine at the Coco Pavilion
Buffet breakfast and dinner are served at the Coco Pavilion, which features heirloom Philippine cuisines. Different sets of food are usually served every Feast of the Ascension: The Official Fiesta of Villa Escudero–pritong puel, pritong umpiang ubod, kinilaw na tanigue, ensaladang talakitok, chicken galantina, pinais na hipon sa kulis, pastel de lengua, Villa Escudeo estofado, callo madrileña. jardinera, adobong talong, roast whole lamb, jeweled rice, sotanghon special, crema de ube, palamig na melon, and adobong mani. Plantation meals serve are kinilaw na twakang, kulawong talong, nilasing na hipon, sinaing na tambakol at halya, kilawing tagalog, adobong batangan, iniha wna tagalog, villa fried chicken, ginataang balatong, ubod, sugpo at santol, pusit at mustasa, kuratsa at dahon ng sili, alimango at kamias, and bakule sa pandan, bringhe, pritong lunot na saging binudburan ng sangkaka, ginataang halo halo, pichi pichi, at sinukmani.
Eat a buffet lunch at the foot of waterfalls
Eating at the foot of the waterfalls at Villa Escudero is one of its iconic activities. The lunch menu includes tinolang tulya, sinuam na mais, kalabasa soup, tinolang manok, tagalog salad, pako salad, acharang labanos, gado gado salad, lechong manok, acharang papaya, inihaw na baboy, tadyang, and isda. Also on the menu are kalderetang baka, lumpiang gulay, ginatang kalabasa at sitaw, laksa, pancit ala Villa Escudero, pancit canton, galamaka, guinumis, and banana que.
Appreciate art collections and religious artifacts by visiting the AERA Museum
The AERA Museum is one of the most recognized attractions at Villa Escudero. In front of the museum, you will think twice about whether it is really a museum because of its pink architectural building structured like a Catholic church. Unusual collections of religious artifacts and an assortment of antique items are displayed inside. Walk through the anthropological and archeological artifacts, paintings, and statues that illustrate hundreds of years of Filipino and world heritage, which the Escudero family have collected from their travels. Note, however, that taking photos inside the museum is strictly prohibited.
Witness the Philippine cultural show
Villa Escudero values customs and traditions. As a result, cultural shows are presented by skilled performers, highlighting cultural dances from the different ethnolinguistic regions of the Philippines. The cultural shows are performed every Friday-Sunday while guests are enjoying their lunch.
Bamboo rafting at Labasin Lake
The best time to do bamboo rafting is in the late afternoon. Only two persons are allowed in a bamboo raft. Enjoy paddling while relishing a picturesque view of the magical Mt. Banahaw.
Fishing at the Labasin Lake
The lake is a breeding location for tilapias, which can be served at the buffet. Since tilapias here are countless, guests are given the chance to go fishing. What tilapias the guests may catch can be grilled or taken home free of charge.
Watch various types of birds in the coconut farm
At Villa Escudero, guests may participate in birdwatching events. As many as 90 species of birds are found at the resort.
Stroll through the Villa on a bike
If guests choose not to board an e-jeep nor to experience riding a carabao, biking is an alternative method to rove the Villa. Many types of bike rentals are available: bikes with sidecars for family excursions, mountain bikes, and bamboo bikes.
Swim in the pool with jacuzzi on the side
There are three swimming pools: one pool with a playground is for kids, another pool with a stunning view of Labasin Lake is for teenagers, and a 5-foot-deep pool with 4 jacuzzis on the side is for the adults.
Stay overnight in the rustic room
If you want to relax and feel the rural vibes, book a rustic room that gives you the ambiance of a home away from home.
Play indoor games at the recreational facility
If you want to protect your skin from the scourging heat of the sun, indoor games and activities such as table tennis, billiards, and videoke are offered.
Timeline of Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort
la EscuderoIn 1870, the Hacienda Escudero, at the time a sugarcane plantation, was developed by Placido Escudero and Claudia Marasigan, who reputedly acquired the land from a local native owner.
In 1929, the management of Escudero Plantation was transferred to Don Arsenio Escudero–the only son of Placido and Claudia–and Doña Rosario Adap. Don Arsenio then transformed the hacienda into an extensive coconut plantation. Since that time, the 800-hectare land, with a coconut factory and hydroelectric plant, has established itself as a well-known site in the region.
In 1970, Don Ado Escudero, the venerated son of Don Arsenio and Doña Rosario, after studying in New York, started to help managing the coconut plantation. However, during those times, the coconut industry in the country was facing a fluctuating demand in the marketplace. To address the situation, he used the knowledge from his formal studies in hotel and restaurant management, and so Villa Escudero was conceived in 1981.
Villa Escudero was opened initially by Don Ado to his family and friends, and then later, to the general public. From its beginnings as a venue for special occasions like conferences and weddings, among others, Villa Escudero has earned a reputation for being a popular picnic ground, a beautiful resort, and a heritage showcase of the many Philippine cultures–for locals and foreign tourists alike. The cultural shows, the museum and the resort itself are the living testimony that the Filipino heritage is still alive. The experience of being in a rural area showing the vibrant and rich history of the country is beyond nostalgia.
Villa Escudero, a hacienda-turned-cultural heritage park, is now a well-known destination to unwind, to relax, and to learn about the profound historical and cultural traditions of the early and modern Filipinos.
Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort
Location: Km 91, Tiaong, Quezon
Sales Office: 1059 Estrada Street, Malate 1004 Metro Manila
Telephone: +63 (02) 523-0392, +63 (02) 521-0830, +63 (02) 523-2944, +63 917-583-7727, +63 919-993-4744, +63 923-741-0605
Note: This stay was sponsored by Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort.
Also Read: Beautiful Beaches in Quezon Province