Villa Escudero: Where Filipino Culture is at its Funnest
There are many resorts you can go to in the Philippines, but few will immerse you in the Filipino culture in the way that Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort can.
Located just a few hours away from Manila, Villa Escudero provides its guests a glimpse into the Philippines’ past. From the sprawling greens amidst coconut trees to the carabao-drawn carriages, everything in this resort is definitively Filipino.
COCONUTS EVERYWHERE. As much as it is a holiday resort, Villa Escudero is a working coconut plantation.
Sure, there is a swimming pool that is decidedly untraditional, but this is just one in a myriad of the resort’s attractions, the rest of which, you must not miss:
WATERFALLS RESTAURANT. Enjoy local culinary delights along with the cool running water beneath your feet.
Waterfalls Restaurant – This is the most famous attraction in Villa Escudero, for obvious reasons. It has been featured in many ‘Most Unique Restaurants’ lists on the Internet. Also for obvious reasons. And you’d think that the view of the waterfall and the feeling of running water underneath your feet would be enough to make this a great restaurant, but the traditional Filipino dishes they serve are really delicious, too!
Museum – Housed in this museum are items that the Escuderos have collected in their lifetime. From stone tools, clay jars and native costumes to documents and bills from the late 1800s when the Philippines was still a Spanish colony, a walkabout in this old building, which happens to be a replica of an old church, is a walkabout in Philippine history itself.
Philippine Experience Show – On holidays and weekends, the staff of Villa Escudero put on one of the best cultural shows you can see outside of a formal theatre. Some of the most popular folk dances like Tinikling and Pandanggo sa Ilaw are showcased and the performances are at such a high level, it’s hard to believe that the dancers are actually regular employees of the resort from different departments such as Maintenance, Administration, etc.
CARABAO RIDE. The carabaos have different names that reflect their personality. This carabao is named ‘Ligaya’, which means ‘Joy’ in Filipino.
Carabao Ride – No visit to Villa Escudero would be complete without the carabao ride. It’s a nice way to see the plantation and having someone on your carriage to sing Filipino folk songs is a really good bonus.
Bamboo Rafts – A nice way to spend the afternoon is by paddling a native bamboo raft on the lake inside the resort. You’ll not only see another side of the plantation this way, you’ll get some exercise, too!
All these activities can be done on a day trip but for those who would like a lot of time to relax in between, accommodations are also available.
Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort
Contact Nos.: +632 521 0830 / +632 523 0392 / +632 523 2944
Article by: Ida Irigo
Photos by: Ida Irigo and Zara Irigo-Au