Another day, another road trip! This time we went around Mt. Banahaw hitting several towns in the Laguna and Quezon provinces.
Miguel, my husband (and contributor for Get Lost), started appreciating road trips just recently. To him, driving is all about getting to his destination. He never liked having stop overs and he avoided long drives because it stresses him out. But recently, after getting to drive and shoot for Opus Macchina, he started appreciating the actual ride and seeing all of the hidden gems along the way. He realized that getting lost and discovering a new spot is part of the adventure and I thank the high heavens that he finally understands what he (and consequently the rest of the family) has been missing!
We left Manila at around 9:30 am and targeted to have lunch in the San Pablo area. Yves, our colleague at NMFtv, said that we should try Samuel's Plate. We were in for a surprise when we rolled up the parking lot. We were expecting a hole in the wall type of joint but this one looked like a fancy restaurant right smack in the middle of the province. I personally got worried that the meals would be out of our budget but the place was actually cheap if you compare it to Manila prices. Not carinderia cheap but at Php 1,252.00 (about USD 27.00) for four adults and two kids, price isn't so bad, right? Food was good as well!
"Mom, I love that place! Can we go back soon?"
Next destination was Malagonlong Bridge. But since this was a road trip after all, we had several stops along the way to take photos and just enjoy the scenery.
The Malagonlong Bridge (or Puente de Malagonlong) in Tayabas, Quezon is the longest Spanish bridge in the Philippines spanning 446 feet across the Dumaca-a river with approximately 100,000 adobe blocks. Built between the years 1840 and 1850, it is also one of the oldest bridges found in the province of Quezon.
The bridge was declared a historical site by the National Historical Institute and is currently made even more beautiful by its carpet of thick weeds and lush vegetation. Aside from Malagonlong Bridge, there are ten other bridges that are declared as Tayabas Historical Bridges. Putting the other ten bridges on my list of must visit places!
next destination was Lucban AND OUR primary purpose WAS TO EAT AND BRING HOME THE famous Lucban longganisa.
Mustiola's, the best carinderia in town (self proclaimed or not, I must agree the dishes are really delicious) was my favorite part of the road trip. I wasn't really expecting much when we ordered but everyone absolutely loved the food! Erin, my 4 y/o daughter, saw me writing this post and when she saw the Mustiola photos, she said, "Mom, I love that place! Can we go back soon?" I love that both my kids get to experience and appreciate hole in the wall joints. And we ended up paying only Php 495.00 (about USD 10.00) for adobo with rice, giniling with rice, two cans of coke and five orders of Lucban longganisa with egg and rice. Now that's what you call value for your money!
Last stop was Eker & Ely because I needed (yes, it's a need) to bring home more of those Lucban longganisa. I actually saw a lot being sold on the streets but I opted to buy from a place with the prices posted already. I didn't want to get into negotiating for lower prices (and with the vendors charging me a higher rate in case they feel like I'm a tourist) so I went to an establishment known for pasalubong (souvenir) shopping AND also considered the pioneers of the longganisa business in Lucban. The small longganisa goes for Php 75.00 (about USD 1.62) for a dozen pieces and if I buy it in Manila, price is times two!
We left Lucban at around 5:30 pm to head back to Manila. Unfortunately, we had to skip other areas that I wanted to visit like Liliw and the beautiful Majayjay Church because it was getting dark already. Must remember to visit these places the next time we're in the area.
If you're not comfortable driving at night, please make sure to leave while there's still enough sunlight because of the long stretch of curved roads with no street lights. I personally had a hard time seeing people and pets crossing the road. Sharing with you our route in case you plan to visit the same destinations!
- Bring lots of snacks and water. I travel with kids and a diabetic so I have to make sure I have something on hand during long drives. One of our favorites is the granola from Sal by Misto Prato (+639369542176).
- Toys always come in handy when the kids have been sitting for too long. Pikachu to the rescue!
- Even if the weather looks perfect for a road trip, we always bring rain jackets and umbrellas just in case we'll need it.
- Always bring a cooler for your take away food. For this trip in particular, I'm glad I brought our cooler with us because I bought a lot of Lucban longganisa. The husband would have complained about the smell inside the car if it weren't inside the cooler (haha)!