While you are having lunch at the Labasin Waterfalls which is an attraction of Vill Escudero, do be careful of the slippery rocks underneath the shallow water. I have seen one Korean tourist falling and injuring herself at lunch time.
During the weekend, especially Sunday, Villa Escudero will be crowded with both locals and tourists so be prepared. The crowd is not necessarily a bad thing because you may get to see many locals in their traditional costumes and there may be some Christian procession which I was very lucky to experience on a Sunday in May 2006 :)
While the traditional river units and other apartments at Villa Escudero are worth staying to experience the atmosphere of the place, be warned that most of the units do not have air-con and television. There are ceiling fan to keep you cool but it can be very hot and humid sometimes. To avoid the mosquitoes at night, each bed comes with a big mosquito net which did the job very well.
One big problem of going to Villa Escudero from Manila is the traffic jam. Firstly, there is the usual bad traffic jam at Manila itself. There is another traffic jam area as you get out of the expressway into the town of Alaminos heading towards San Pablo and Villa Escudero. There is only single road lane here and many vehicles and heading to San Pablo especially during the weekends. In order to bypass this jam, there is a side road near to Alaminos (you will see many vehicles using it) which makes the trip much faster but the locals will collect small amounts of money from you to use this road.
Between Lucena City and Atimonan is Quezon National Park. It is a sanctuary of birds and extensive forest. However, the place became popular not because of its inhabitants but due to its treacherous road. The road poses a challenge to even experienced drivers as it resembles a chicken's intestines. It is often referred to as "doble eme" (double M).
During daytime, locals assist passing motorists by acting as traffic moderators. They are mostly volunteers and do not receive a monetary compensation for it. Thus in return, motorists throw coins to them as sign of appreciation.
For night travel, it is advised to avoid this route and instead take the national highway. The latter was constructed as a safer, although longer, alternative to "doble eme". This is also the one plied by public buses and big trucks.
Known locally as the "Old Zigzag Road", but its most famous dreaded name "The Bitukang Manok" literally in English, 'Chicken's Entrails'. cuts through the steep sections of the Sierra Madre Mountains. It is nearly bordered by deep steep ravines throughout the whole road.
And it has many blind corners and hairpin turns.
Buses and large trucks are not allowed, partially because of the steep grades. They are directed to use the "New Zigzag Road", which is part of the Maharlika National Highway, between western Atimonan and eastern Pagbilao.
It was raining hard when we passed this road on our way to Gumaca. And due to its high altitude this road becomes very foggy and a bit slippery. So it would give your passengers a sense of relief if you can make lots horn honking and headlight beaming esp when driving at night time.
Also I wanna thank to the volunteer traffic aides (with candles) even when raining they are still staying till night time. As we return back on this route, we dropped by some pennies/coins to show our appreciation for their special effort/guidance.
Rafting at Labasin River is one of the main activities at Villa Escudero. Do observe the safety precautions while rafting (especially wearing the life jackets) as the raft is rather simple and the river can be deceptionally calm.
Very relaxing & nice accomodation and makes you feel closer to nature experience traditional...more
94 Kamuning Road, , Quezon, Luzon
Km. 94 Bo. Pinagsanghan, Pagsanjan, Luzon, Philippines
Good for: Couples