As I have shared from my previous travel post about Baguio, Junmark’s mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles, who have been living in the United States, came here recently for a three-week vacation. Villa Escudero, specifically, the Waterfalls Restaurant was one of the places they wanted to go to. OH WAS I THRILLED! I have been hearing about this Waterfalls Restaurant for some time now and I was sufficiently intrigued just by the name alone. How can I not be??? It evokes such a wonderful image. I imagined pristine waters gloriously streaming down and proudly glistening in the sun. I imagined enjoying the touch of the warm sun alternating with the cool breeze from the splash of water. These, while eating delicious food. Ahh heavenly! But will there be food in heaven? Just thinking out loud =pWe went there on a Monday after spending the whole Sunday in Tagaytay, where we were not really able to go around. After lunching at Josephine’s, half of the group had siesta upon checking in at John Peter Bed and Breakfast. My husband and I belonged in this group, haha! The other half spent time just catching up with another of Junmark’s aunt, who lives there. She generously hosted our whole stay in Tagaytay. She even gifted me with a bottle of perfume. How sweet she is! Thank you so much!!!
Going back to our Villa Escudero trip… We arrived there at about 11:30AM and were welcomed with some refreshments upon entering the reception area. We signed up for a day tour inclusive of museum passes and lunch at the Waterfalls Restaurant worth Php1,250 per person. We went straight to the Waterfalls Restaurant since the buffet was open only until 2:00PM. We rode a big Kalesa going to the restaurant and were serenaded with folk songs on our way there. Weeeee happy meeeee ^_^
To my disappointment, the waterfalls is man-made =(. My imagination was sadly unfulfilled. I can’t believe I was fooled by the photos I saw! In any case, there were a lot of tourists and they seemed to be enjoying themselves. I, myself, was still excited to get my feet wet and eat at such a setting. Despite my broken dreams, I was still able to appreciate the place for its brilliant and unique concept. I immediately went to the buffet, beguiled by the colors of watermelons and pineapples. Here, I was not disappointed. The fruits were very good! So sweet and refreshing! Since most members of our group were senior citizens, the waiters garbed in their traditional Camiso Chino, offered to serve our food instead of us lining up at the buffet. They were such gentlemen, good service!
The buffet consisted of classic Filipino dishes like fried Lumpiang Gulay (vegetable rolls), Beef Kalderata (tomato-based stew), Lechon Kawali (fried pork belly), grilled Tilapia and BBQ Liempo. Lastly, the dessert was a simple banana-cue (sugar-coated deep-fried Cardava). It was nothing less and nothing more than what I was expecting. They stayed true to their concept and sufficiently pleased. Although, some surprises would have been welcome too, like for example Sago’t Gulaman for drinks? =).After eating, we were fetched by another Kalesa and proceeded with our tour. We learned that 90% of employees of the 800-hectare property lives within the vicinity. Each of their families were awarded with about 300sqm of land to build their homes in. This piece of information was a breath of fresh air. I am definitely not privy to the overall working condition in this farm or the issues that they have but I have to commend the Escudero family for being generous enough to share their land to their employees. I wish more business people will do similar things. We need more sharing in this country. May more realize that in the long term, sharing will benefit everyone concerned. Happy and secured employees are more productive and loyal. This translates to better businesses and ultimately better profits.Our last stop was at the Museum modelled after an old church in Quiapo. It holds various collections from religious images, preserved animals, ceramics, dolls and clothing; but what stood out to me were the letters written by Arsenio Escudero to his wife, he lovingly called Charing. Arsenio was the only son of Claudia and Placido, the founders of Villa Escudero. I stood in awe and kilig reading those letters in old Tagalog. So romantic, sincere and thorough. I was so touched by his love and appreciation for his wife. Now, I wish I copied my favorite letter (an anniversary message) =(. It was just soooooooo sweet!!! Maybe I’ll go there someday just for that, hehe. Hopefully, the whole museum will be more organized and sufficiently labeled by then.