It was getting on for late afternoon and I was on my way to Lucena when i realised that my bus from San Pablo would pass by the gates of Villa Escudero. I have heard so much about its famous restaurant under the waterfall, and i have often thought that given the chance i would visit and experience it for myself.
So i asked the conductor to inform me once we arrived there. I was dropped off and made my way to the gate house where the security guard informed me that the restaurant was 10km away into the estate, and he could organise a tricycle for P50 to take me there. I already know that most filipinos do not have a good sense of distance and so i re-estimated at about 4km, still too far to walk at 4pm and get out again to the road to continue my journey to Lucena, so i agreed.
A minute later the tricycle arrived and i hopped in, checked the time and off we went. Three minutes later we had arrived…… so even my estimate of 4km was wrong…… it turned out to be just 1km. That security guard had fooled me, but as i had already agreed to P50 i paid the driver.
The house was the first thing i saw, standing out with its bright pink exterior. The same with the church…. all pink. I took a couple of photos and also of the models of filipino life that surrounded the entrance…… but i was here to see the falls and eat in the restaurant. Time was ticking fast and all i wanted was to get in and out.
I asked where the restaurant was, and was told that i needed a ticket. So over to the reception desk i wandered, expecting to be told that it was a P50 or so entrance fee but to my surprise the receptionist asked for P1000. I told her that i was only passing by and had popped in just to see the attraction but she said that the restaurant was only included in a day tour package. I replied that i wasn’t interested in a tour but only the restaurant. She still insisted on my buying a ticket for P1000.
I declined and very disappointed I walked the 1km back to the gate in 15 minutes along a shaded road and within a few minutes was continuing my journey on a bus to Lucena.
So in my experience Villa Escudero is not worth a visit if you only want to have a meal in the restaurant. The entrance fee of P1000 is just not worth it for an hours visit. I didn’t have time to take a tour package and was really disappointed that i didnt get to see the restaurant in the falls………. maybe one day Villa Escudero will invite me to return 🙂
Getting to Villa Escudero
Take any bus that passes through San Pablo to Lucena and ask the conductor to drop you at the gates. DO NOT enter through the main gate where the guard is, but use the smaller entrance about 50 metres to the left ( closer to the “Welcome to San Pablo” archway over the road ) and walk the 1km to the Villa Escudero Estate. And remember , it is definitely NOT a P50 tricycle ride from the gate !!!!!