Rediscover Being a Filipino at Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort

Calabarzon area is known for the coconut haciendas. And growing up in Southern Tagalog was exposed to villa life. Coconut trees and hacienda festivities are part of our identity in this region. Having to visit Villa Escudero made me rediscover being a Filipino in Southern Tagalog.

The entrance to the Villa is just right after the welcome arch from San Pablo City and before the entrance of Hacienda Escudero.

Villa Escudero Waterfall Restaurant

As what we all grew up with, Villa Escudero Waterfall Restaurant is a place where we all can gather at a foot of a waterfall, soak our feet in the cool water of Labasin River and eat sumptuous Filipino buffet lunch with people we consider family. It still is, but with added perks that are somewhat ​nationalistic as Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort depicts post colonial life of the Tagalog.

Pandanggo sa Ilaw , Lubang Island, Mindoro

Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group

Tinikling dance from (Waray) Leyte

 

Linggisan is a Samal-Tausug dance.


On August 15th, got a chance to witness a captivating performance by Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group [ROFG] at the Coconut Pavillion in Villa Escudero. Ramon Obusan was a beloved National Artist for Dance, his passion in Philippine dance and cultural work are pretty much alive in every performance of ROFG.  And Villa Escudero is the perfect venue for such cultural showcase.
 

BLTB Co. bus

Novelty sculpture of Filipino folklore

Real WWII bomber plane.

Arsenio Escudero Hydroelectric Power Plant

Heritage Village, home of the Villa workers.

Their own chapel at the Villa.

Villa’s in-house museum.

On board, their BLTB Co. bus or a carabao cart (and or an e-jeepney), learn about history thru art installations, artifacts around the resort also its in-house museum.

Casa Consuelo, an ancestral house from Pampangga.

Cafè Indigo

Even restored houses like Casa Consuelo and Cafè Indigo.

“The museum’s facade was modeled to the defunct San Francisco Church in Intramuros.” 

Up close and personal with Don Ado at Cafè Indigo.

​ ​“I borrowed the blue print from the architect, who’s a friend of mine then changed it a bit.” Don Conrado “Ado” Escudero explained to us when asked why it looked like a church while having afternoon snacks.

Inside the museum. The altar was the original Altar of Quiapo Church.

Religious sketch art but not just a sketch, it’s the text of the New Testament. And this one really blew me away.

Since most of the artifacts are religious ones, the church was a fit.

Guests can rent a bike to go around the Villa.

Go bamboo rafting.

Adult pool and Jacuzzi.

Kiddie pool

And it’s not all work at the Villa, guests can go biking, rafting and swimming.

Rooms don’t have AC but it’s cool and fresh.

Now, if a day is not enough, feel free to stay a night or two. They have cottages that can sleep in 2-4 in a room or a group villa with full board meals. Well, I stayed for two nights. 

I admit, only knew little about Villa Escudero before setting a foot in this 40 hectares resort. But in my three days of stay, I learned and re-discovered a lot. The place, the food, and the people are genuinely Filipino. 

So, how to go here?

Drive: Take Maharlika Highway bound to Lucena City then the Villa’s entrance is on the left side of the highway right after the Welcome to Quezon arch from San Pablo City. ETA 2 hours from Metro Manila.

Commute: Take a bus from either Cubao Terminal or Buendia Terminal bound to Lucena City then advice the driver or conductor to stop at Villa Escudero’s gate entrance.

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32 thoughts on “Rediscover Being a Filipino at Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort

  1. eliza says:

    I had been travelling to Quezon province several times.. but I haven’t been to Villa Escudero. One thing is for sure.. I will go there and see this Villa by myself. I so like the restaurant set up just right beside the falls. Thanks for all your great photos too. I’m sure you had a great time.

  2. ojandcigs says:

    I have a great friend form Manila, so I love this post! I can’t wait to share with him. And I’ve always heard such great things and seen such cool shots of the Villa Escudero waterfall.

  3. Mayuri says:

    I have watched Tinikling dance performance in Dubai and I absolutely love it. Villa Escudero looks like an amazing place to relax, rejuvenate and indulge in some unforgettable experience. 🙂

  4. Yukti says:

    Villa Escudero is stunning place for perfect weekend getaway and relaxation center. Lunch at foot of waterfalls must be so amazing and refreshing. Will definitely try this place.

  5. ROBERT LEE says:

    I was in grade school when I believe I first went to Villa Escudero. Back then, … to be honest, I do not remember anything but a swimming pool and grass. Even if I did, the resort as you showed in the photos is completely different from a long time ago. Exactly how long? 34 years ago, so that says a lot about how old I am today.
    One thing I would like to note is that it pleases me to see all these developments. It shows how the local tourism industry is thriving and that is brought about by the strong economy in the last ten years.

    • generosepomelo says:

      True, they started with the waterfall restaurant, then evolved into a resort. And if I’m not mistaken, they’ll build spa facilities as well. More than the resort aesthetics, they still keep the rustic vibe of Filipino countryside life which I love and hope more Filipino re-discover too!

  6. Kylie says:

    Wow! What an absolutely gorgeous location! I somehow have the thought that even though your photographs are stunning, I think it would be even more breath-taking to visit in person!

    I have a friend visiting the Philippines sometime next year, I’ve sent her a copy of this page! Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Indrani says:

    Villa Escudero seems like a great place for relaxing and holidaying. I am enamored by the waterfall restaurant, very interesting concept.
    The church facades are so beautiful. Lots to see around. A great place.

  8. Milton Coyne says:

    Wow, Villa Escudero is one of the places I really want to visit… their waterfall restaurant is really intriguing and I really want to experience it myself (and my mom too!). Their huge antique collection is also fascinating
    hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit this place soon

  9. jayresa03 says:

    It is one of my plans to go there. However I am having second thoughts because I read some reviews that the place was now dirty because of the hype. People usually flock at a certain place once they discovered about it. I hope travelers are responsible enough to clean after their own mess.

    • generosepomelo says:

      Thank you for raising that matter. I’ll try to get in touch with the management about this but in the 3 days that I was there it was all good. It is a sad reality that some visitors aren’t responsible enough of their actions and not realize the impact of such behaviour to the other visitors more so the property.

  10. Angelie says:

    I didn’t know Villa Escudero is hiding such beauty! The pool, the greens, and the villa will surely make everyone feel like royalty during their stay! Do you have any idea what their rates are? Planning to go here for my birthday! 🙂

    • generosepomelo says:

      Rates depend on the season and day of the week but varies from Php 950-1,600/per person for a Day Tour. Then if you spend the night, room price starts at Php 3,600. All inclusive of the waterfall restaurant buffet plus free use of the resort amenties.

  11. Nadine Smith says:

    I have always been wanting to visit Villa Escudero! It looks like a nature lover’s paradise. I heard that it can get tiring because of all the walking but I wouldn’t mind. I like that it’s also very accessible, and is just 1 bus ride away. I can imagine how fun it would be to visit and have lunch at the waterfalls! And the villa looks amazing and serene too!

  12. momi berlin says:

    I guess Villa Escudero has pretty much everything from food to scenery to even history and even hope. I like that they have a museum to offer a glimpse of our history. And I like the hope the place gives to visitors and workers alike. I’ve noticed the many workers Villa escudero employs and through the place, they could bring food at their table and feed their family.

  13. Eloise says:

    what a great adventure! I love the idea of having picnic tables in the shallow waters, how fun! Each photo looks amazing and is giving me the travel itch ; ) I’m glad you have this opportunity and I hope to some day in the future… thanks for the heads up on the Filipino resort!

  14. Irma says:

    I love history, museums and pink is my favorite color. And there is a pink museum in this resort – enough for me to visit the place. Nevertheless, the nature is absolutely remarkable and I would love to finally try bamboo rafting. Thank you for a great and useful review!

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