Travelogue: Getting Lost in Laguna

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

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VALENTINE REWIND. If you have been following me on Instagram (@seventhbliss) , I have mentioned that I forgot to blog about these photos we had on our valentine date last year (2015). I have no idea why. I must have overlooked it from my drive. Hence, I am sharing our story here today. Our trip to Laguna was supposedly a day hike at the Makiling Forest Reserve and then to see the famous Pagsanjan Falls. Unfortunately, we got lost because our GPS pointed us to nowhere. Well, not really that unfortunate because we found new places that were surprisingly good and beautiful as well. Sometimes getting lost is the best way to discover experience new things.So here allow me to tour you around Laguna from Calauan-Los Banos-Pagsanjan -Canvinti. Come let's get lost!

CALAUAN, LAGUNA
Isdaan Floating Restaurant

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It was already about lunch time but still we can't find our way to Makiling Forest Reserve and we were both starving so I told Pao to stop at any restaurant we could find along the way. Luckily, minutes later we saw a unique structure with some weird looking fish statues flocked by people and cars. Out of curiosity, we stopped our car and parked without hesitation. To our delight, we scored a table in just a matter of minutes despite of the long queue. Good thing because I am seriously starving.
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When we entered, I was surprised to see that it was a huge place inside. Isdaan Floating Restaurant is not your typical restaurant because it wasn't only a place for dining but for family bonding as well. It is both a restaurant and a fun park. There are elephants, Thai Buddhas, weird-looking Thai ladies with fishtails, a huge monkey, and a lot more of random statues. We even found a sculpted Barrack Obama in there. It's an eclectic park with random characters put together. There were even mascots like mickey mouse, or kingkong that strolls around so kids could take a picture with. I have no idea what's the restaurant's theme really but the place is sure is packed with fun and instagram-worthy spots. As a matter of fact, we took so much photos here compared to the other two places we went to.
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There are also numerous activities you could enjoy within the park. One is, you could enjoy fishing from the pond using fishing rods provided by the restaurant itself and have your catch cooked right away by their staffs. They serve your food in a very Filipino way--- rice in a small caldero, viand in a bamboo,and plates made of rattan and banana leaves! The food by the way was delicious. Aside from fishing, you could also ride a boat to tour the vicinity. Then, they have a "Tacsiyapo Wall" where you could vent out your anger and frustration by smashing plates, mugs, or even a TV set onto the wall. But you have to buy the items you wanted to throw at the wall.  Other activities you could enjoy are listening and watching musicians, dancers , marching bands, and acrobats perform. Or you could just have some fun-tour around and take endless snapshots. (^-^)
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LOS BANOS, LAGUNA
University of the Philippines Campus
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After lunch, we went to UP Los Banos Campus still on the quest to find the Makiling Forest Reserve. Pao told me that the jump-off point to Mt. Makiling is  somewhere in UPLB campus but too bad, we didn't do our research ahead so we some sort of wasted our time finding our way and relying on our GPS. Deliberating on weather we'll continue our search for the forest reserve or just go on to our next target place, we took a rest and later decided to see the UPLB campus instead. The place is huge and very quite. There's not much buildings and it is mostly green around which is such a breather for someone like me who went on a university surrounded by concrete jungle. We found some beautiful spots like the refreshing shade under a giant old tree and few interesting architecture within the vicinity.
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They have this area where there were few Japanese-ish , Chinese and Thai-ish structures. It looks pretty cool and very photogenic. I have no idea though how this area is called. There were few tourists around taking photos and some students having club meetings at the thai-inspired gazebo. We explored the place a bit before we finally decided to boycott our search for Makiling Forest Reserve and continued our Journey to Pagsanjan.
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PAGSANJAN, LAGUNA
Architectures in Pagsanjan
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We were on our way to the famous Pagsanjan Falls when we passed by these interesting architectures. We can't resist so we stopped by to have some photos. We saw the grand Pagsanjan church in a classic Renaissance style. It was very pretty! We also some old heritage houses which was pretty cool. It feels like we were transported back in time.
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CAVINTI, LAGUNA
Bumbungan Falls
Alright so, we went to Pagsanjan falls but unfortunately, we missed the last tour (-.-) . The guides told us that if we pursue our trek to the falls, we will reach the falls by night time. I was very disappointed because we came unprepared and we hadn't done our research well. So we left with a heavy heart. Luckily, on our way back we spotted this awesome place--- the Bumbungan Falls which is actually an unintentional waterfalls. It was part of a road before but was closed because the water from the Bumbungan  River overflows to the road which caused some trouble to the vehicles. They built a new bridge for the public and made this place into an ecopark. There was an entrance fee of 10 pesos and you could rent a cottage if you wish to stay for the entire day. We haven't seen the grand Pagsanjan Falls but I guess this makes it up for now. Hopefully we will get a chance to see the actual Pagsanjan falls next time.
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