Friday, February 17, 2017

Laguna Road Trip from Metro Manila

Itching to travel but low on budget? No need to wait for the next salary to go on another expedition. A road trip to Laguna from Manila is easy to organize, affordable and fun. It's best for families or group of friends. So go ask your car owner friends if they are up for a two day road trip to explore the wonders of Laguna.

First and foremost, make sure that the cars you are using are properly tuned up and well maintained. I leave that up to my husband, so I can't provide details on maintaining automotive vehicles. 

For this trip to be maximized, you should be going to your first destination by 6am, at the latest. 

Here was our itinerary when my in-laws and I did the Laguna road trip.

First stop: Pisong Kape for breakfast 

Arrival here was around 8:30am. Pisong Kape is popular among bikers who climb up to Antipolo, Teresa or Bugarin. But the carinderia in front of Pisong Kape called Cafe Carmen is the more preferred eatery by riders. It's just that Pisong Kape is more popular as a landmark. They serve different viands with rice, but the Lugaw (chicken porridge) is their best seller. In fact, the best Lugaw I had ever tasted! 

Second stop: Pililla Wind Farm
Pililla Wind Farm

Eight kilometers from Pisong Kape was the Wind farm. This was really something to see. Never thought that windmills were that  impressive. They were huge! And can turn wind energy to mechanical energy-- so that was really cool. 

Third stop: Paete, Laguna
Put in another 35 kilometers, 1+ hours and we arrived in Paete. Known for their wood carvings and handicrafts skills, Paete is a place full of unpretentious artists. I was quite surprised though that prices can go up to thousands of pesos. We also visited their local church-- well maintained and very accommodating. 

Church of St. James the Apostle, Paete, Laguna

Inside the Church of St. James the Apostle, Paete, Laguna  

Wood Carvings made in Paete, Laguna

Wood Carvings made in Paete, Laguna

Jeepney wood Carving made in Paete, Laguna

Fourth stop: Liliw, Laguna

From Paete, we set your Waze to Liliw, which was around 37 kilometers away, 1 hour 20 minutes in travel time. Liliw is known for making footwear. There is a 500 meter+ road near the church where sellers are located. 

I got really excited here because they sell good quality shoes, sandals and slippers from P50 to P500 only. I had to restrain myself from buying pairs of shoes that I don't really need.

Shoe store in Liliw, Laguna

Shoe store in Liliw, Laguna

Before shoe shopping though, we had lunch first at Chef Mau Restaurant. It's always a good idea to shop with a full stomach anyway-- it lessens impulsiveness. The restaurant was also in Liliw, along the highway before you reach the shoe shops. Chef Mau Restaurant was right up my alley-- good food, priced right (or even on the cheap side as servings are more than enough, and quality and taste are both grade A). I never really thought that there was such a place in Liliw. 

The facade and interiors though were very provincial. We went there right before Valentine's Day and there were heart cutouts pasted all over the place. In this case you shouldn't really judge a book by its cover. 

They said their bestsellers are the Chicken Cordon Blue and Eggplant Roll, but the Laing, Pako Salad and Crispy Pata were my top picks. 
Pako Salad from Chef Mau Restaurant, Liliw,, Laguna

Laing from Chef Mau Restaurant, Liliw, Laguna

Grilled Pork Spare Ribs from Chef Mau Restaurant, Liliw, Laguna

Sisig from Chef Mau Restaurant, Liliw, Laguna

Chicken Cordon Blue from Chef Mau Restaurant, Liliw, Laguna

Fifth stop: San Pablo, Laguna 

And for the last stop-- San Pablo. We also stayed there for the night and rented a villa in Sitio de Amor-- really nice place. You can get rooms or villas from P3,000+, which has breakfast included already. 
One of the Villas in Sitio de Amor

An open villa where you can hang out in during the day, or night

It was much colder in San Pablo compared to the other places we visited, because of the seven lakes all over the city. The next day, we toured the city, and went to the second largest lake and ate lunch in one of the restaurants alongside the road surrounding it. Once again, we chanced upon a good place to eat at called Cafe Lago. There was also a ginormous friendly good-looking dog in this restaurant. 
One of the seven lakes of San Pablo

At around 3PM, we were all set to go back to the metro. We got in our respective houses by 6pm.

What made this trip special was that we didn't even have to spend a lot. But still was able to discover new places and spend time together. 

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