June 14, 2024

Stella Maria L. de Guia

“Tayo na sa Antipolo at doon maligo tayo,”is indeed a song that awakens the travel spirit. After been cooped up for two years, it’s time to go visit our provinces.
It’s time to enjoy new sceneries, to savor native food, to shop for delicacies and intrinsic items different from malls and shopping centers. It’s time to be happy, to honor memories and to discover new destinations. Observing the usual safety protocols, our family embarked on a journey last February as alert levels went down. It was truly a fun road and food trip.
Our first stop was the town of Liliw in Laguna. This is the best shopping place for sandals and slippers, well-crafted shoes, bags, and native delicacies like uraro, ube and espasol. They have several good and affordable small restaurants in the vicinity where you can sample the best of Laguna dishes like: Arabela, Ron’s Turo Mo Luto ko and Chef Mau Resto.
We ventured to eat at Chef Mau. The food was delicious and affordable. A visit to Liliw is not complete without a stopover at the baroque Liliw Church or St. John the Baptist Parish established in 1578 and noted for its red brick façade. After our visit we went to the town of Pakil, known for its Turumba Festival. This is also our favorite place for halo-halo, a favorite thirst quencher. The day ended with a dinner at the newly opened Korean restaurant called Kalye Kandelaria.
The next day brought us to Km . 90 (90 kilometers south of Manila) Eco Park and Resto located at Sta Maria in Laguna in search of Little Baguio.The place prides itself with cool and foggy weather and natural springs which flows into a pool. It is a favorite watering hole of motorbike enthusiasts.
We had a good lunch at Yoly’s Cafeteria. We also passed by the Rica Regina Virgin Mary pilgrimage site, but the line was too long, so we proceeded to Barangay Halayhayin in Pililia, Rizal to see about 27 wind turbines in this windmill farm. It is similar to the windmills of Bangui in Ilocos Norte except perhaps smaller?
According to reports, “Pililla is an ideal setting for a wind farm because it is part of a natural wind corridor created by the unique geographical features surrounding Laguna lake.The Wind Energy Service Contract was granted to Alternergy Philippine Holdings Corporation and covers an area of 4,515 hectares.
This loop adventure that day brought us back to our hometown in Barangay Balian, Pangil, Laguna. The following day was memorial day for Vijoe or Scout Victor Oteyza de Guia, the third child of Vic and Gene who perished in a plane crash enroute to Greece in 1963.
The Balian Elementary School was named after Vijoe. The lot for the school and two classrooms were initially donated by Manuel de Guia. Additional lots and two more classrooms were donated by Engr. Victor and Gene de Guia in honor of Vijoe.In 1967, the school was renamed Victor Oteyza de Guia Memorial Elementary School or VOGMES, authored by Rep. Magdaleno Palacol. And so, every year, the school celebrates Vijoe Day and invites the de Guia family.
The last day was reserved for a stopover at Lyza Siapno Ducut’s place to celebrate her birthday. We again feasted on sumptuous lunch and a visit to S & R in Quezon City.
By and large, the tour circuit was fun. We not only feasted with our eyes but also gobbled good food. Indeed, there were a lot of new destination discovered.
Baguio vacationers must also be enjoying a Northern Luzon loop and that includes our beautiful City of Baguio. Tourists are enjoying a comeback to Baguio and it is good news for tourist oriented and tourist related establishments.