Laguna Road Trip

If you have a day off, and happen to be just living in Metro Manila or Region IV-A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon), you may want to have a little adventure in an inner area in Laguna.

Last summer, some of my friends came to our house and then we went on a road trip to San Pablo City (about 1.5 to 2.5 hours away from Manila, depending on the traffic), Nagcarlan, and Liliw (about 45 minutes away from San Pablo).

Since we were coming from my house, it took us about 30 minutes to reach San Pablo where Pandin Lake is (one of the seven lakes in the city). It is a hangout spot for everyone – couples, barkada, and the family. I kind of felt ashamed that I haven’t been there before. There are so many beautiful places in our country that we tend to take them for granted.

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From the parking area, you have to walk a few meters to reach the lake.
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LA or LA-guna? LOL
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The balsa will take you to the end of the lake, then you can just stay there to eat, chat, or just appreciate the view, or take a dip in the water.

There was a minimal balsa fee (sorry I couldn’t remember, such an irresponsible blogger haha). We bought food from Jollibee (read: takot magutom) before going to the lake. Little did we know that there is a “cooperative group” in charge of tourism in the area. They provide meals per request. Please order the paco salad (fern/fronds with salted egg, tomatoes and a calamansi-based dressing); it’s really delicious and refreshing (no picture, naubos agad, hehe). Meanwhile, bring extra clothes if ever you would want to go into the water.

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Playing with the baging
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I have this love-hate relationship with bodies of water. I may know how to swim but I still fear drowning every time I go farther from the shore. See, muntik na akong mahulog dito.

We left Pandin Lake after lunch then headed to visit the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery.

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I will not post a picture of how it looked like underground. See for yourself! Hehe

The cemetery was planned to serve as a public resting place for the people of the town while the underground chamber below the chapel of the cemetery will only house remains of Spanish friars and prominent people.  (via Wikipedia)

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Would you want to be buried in a casket or be cremated?

We stayed for less than an hour in the cemetery. Next stop: Liliw.

Liliw is just a few minutes from Nagcarlan and there is only one main road so getting lost is not a problem. I’m going to show you pictures I took last summer (during our road trip) and the ones I took with my mom two weeks ago, when I came home to Laguna (thanks to APEC).

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There is a street lined by shops selling locally made slippers and shoes. Nakakalula!

If Marikina City is the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, then Liliw is the Tsinelas Capital of the country. No kidding.

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Badong is the most famous shop here, having been featured in several TV shows in the country.
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Pambahay slippers
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Too cool for Birkenstocks LOL (150 each)
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LV ba kamo? I’m not sure if these are made of real leather. I didn’t ask because I’m not really a fan of knock-offs. I’m totally  fine with my non-branded tote.

Women would be the happiest customers, while the guys usually become the alalay. Most designs are for the ladies.

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I wanted to buy a pair of this white espadrille (390 pesos, pero for sure pwedeng tumawad) but they didn’t have stocks of my size anymore. I was meaning to use these as my clerkship shoes. I actually had one similar pair before and they were really comfortable. They lasted 6 months (used almost everyday). Not bad for the price!
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What I ended up buying: Left – 300 pesos (made of genuine leather!); Right – 150 pesos (synthetic leather, masakit sa paa, don’t buy these!)

I’m sure you’ll get tired and hungry after trying on too many shoes. I highly recommend Arabela…

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This is the most famous restaurant in Liliw. It doesn’t look so good on the outside but the interior is so cute and homey.
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Seafood in marinara sauce

My mom got a T-bone steak – not so good. I always order pasta when I’m here. I tried their pizza a long time ago, and now I can’t remember if I liked it or not.

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White House Bistro (since 1938 raw) – I’m not sure where they were located before. Definitely not in this same house.
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The Laguna experience would not be complete without these packs of pasalubong.
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My favorite: uraro and shingaling
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Ask the local folks where Orencia’s is. It’s not located on the main street, nor can you easily find their uraro in other stalls.
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Perfect with coffee or tea
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Make your own paco salad (50 pesos per bundle)
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Yummy when cooked with coconut milk (ginataan)!
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Drop by the Church of Lilio before leaving the town! This is just a few meters aways from Badong.

You can go back to Manila via Sta. Cruz if you don’t want to drive back to San Pablo. This is where Waze comes in. Haha

So, when’s your Laguna road trip going to be?

♥ Proud probinsyana,

Rach

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