I think that one of the best things about the Philippines is that it is surrounded by natural bodies of water, so you are never actually more than an hour away from one, no matter how urbanized your specific location. Not to mention that a lot of these beauties are on display virtually for free.
I think it is nothing short of super cool to be anywhere near a waterfall, don’t you? I mean, if I could, I’d go down there every single day just trying to chill out with a glass (or 2 or 3 or 4) of red wine and a poetry book (naaaks!).
We left a little before 12 noon, after the run-of-the-mill Saturday morning errands, so we needed to stop over for lunch somewhere along the road, and this restaurant (actually basically a turo-turo place— where you literally just “point-point” at ready-to-serve dishes inside a little glass-enclosed counter —-but with proper tables and a clean bathroom, in fairness) just happened to be:
I love it just because of the name Iskargu which stands for “isda” (fish) “karne” (meat) and “gulay” (vegetable), a clever play on the French word escargot which is a dish of cooked snails. True to its name, and to my sheer delight, they do serve snails cooked in coconut milk (ginataang kuhol). Totally radical.
Taytay Falls is located deep in Majayjay, Laguna, about two hours and a half worth of driving from our home in Southern Manila. While I’d heard that you could actually drive your car up to where the 15-minute cemented footpath starts, a part of the road going that way was under construction when we went, so our family had the pleasure of hiring a tricycle ways up to that footpath. My 2 younger kids were so preeminently thrilled (judging by their shrill “oh joy!” clapping and shrieking you’d think they were jetting up to the moon in a space rocket) that the ride may as well have been the highlight of their trip for this week.
Reminder that it hardly costs anything to entertain four- to- six-year- olds.
There were some five to six sari-sari stores standing by the entrance of the footpath, and they were selling the usual fare of freshly grilled pork and hotdogs, local chips, soda, biscuits and bottled water so you need not worry about thirst or hunger.
Word of caution though, you do need to go to the bathroom before you start trekking along that footpath towards the waterfall unless you don’t really mind making like a bear and doing your most natural thing in the woods (why not, eh?). I would imagine though, that the overnight campers here (and anywhere else they set up their tents) are hard-nosed veterans at this sort of thing.
VERY, VERY pretty waterfall, indeed.
Weird that I’d never even heard of this place before. Not that I’ve set the bar on Philippine geography at all, but it’s just that for its awesomeness, this place gets very little adverts. It’s good to know, though, that some people do know about this place and a good number hangs around so it kind of makes you feel safe to be in the cold, dark and lush green forest.
Bone-chilling water. Maybe even more so on this overcast, not- much- later- to- be -rainy, day. But then, how many chances do you get to swim by a waterfall?
Note to self: buy umbrellas and remember to bring them along next time. And so began our trooper family’s tortuous way back to that footpath. With rain dribbling down our heads.
By the time our tricycle had brought us back to where we’d parked, it was already nightfall. We decided to take Lukban as our way back to Manila as well as our dinner stop-over. Some questioning of the locals revealed that Buddy’s restaurant probably ranks very high on the list of eating places they’re proud of, and while I actually had a hankering for something more local, i.e. not found in Manila which I knew Buddy’s actually is, the place at least offered famously tasty Lukban longganisa (a kind of pork sausage) and Lukban pansit (rice noodle dish).
Believe me when I tell you this is incredibly good longganisa, as I don’t even eat pork, but the freshly fried delicacy was smelling seriously and mouthwateringly savory that I had to have some.
And boy, was I happy doing so.
How about you? Are you curious about what wonders nature has in store for you and that are just within your grasp?
Did you devote one meal last weekend to savoring something you’ve never had, or thought you’d even like, before?
Thanks for dropping by! 😉
See you again,