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[Viaje del Sol] Welcome to Tahanan ni Aling Meding

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This is the scene that would greet you as you arrive in this mansion in San Pablo Laguna directly in front of the Sampalok Lake. I was curious to check out this mansion cum hotel and restaurant which was described by the viaje del sol brochure as: " Tahanan ni Aling Meding is a tribute to the Borja sibling's parents, especially their mother, Meding, who kept hearth and warm, soothing and comfortable." One of my readers was also raving about the good filipino dishes they serve and that was enough for me to check this place out.

Just a side note: San Pablo, Laguna is a great alternative to tagaytay because it is merely 2 hours away. Imagine I already left manila at 10am and I was leisurely driving to this place and we still arrive at 12nn considering the traffic already in south super highway and in Batangas. Also, I tried to highlight the beauty of this mansion versus the scarry photos found in their brochure.

The verdict: Tahanan ni Aling Meding is San Pablo's version of Tagaytay's Josephine's or Leslie's. If you have a guest where you want them to taste authentic Filipino food at a homey Filipino Mansion ambiance, then this is the place to be. I love eating in their main dining area where you are served with good food with a hospitable service Filipinos are known for, while the Sampaloc Lake winds kissed your face through out your dining experience. Thanks to the Borja family for letting us enjoy their vacation mansion!!

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This 4-storey mansion has a breath taking view of the Sampaloc lake at the third floor. This place actually beats Tagaytay since this is directly in front of the lake and it is also sweater-cool here during Dec-Feb. I do hope though that they are able to rehabilitate the once magnificent Sampaloc lake which the residents have taken for granted, sadly.

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This is the view from the second floor, which shows you the swimming pool in directly in front of the mansion. If this was a private residence, then the location of the swimming pool is perfect so that you can monitor the people swimming from the first floor dining area. However, ever since it went public, it would be awkward to go on swimming here while guests are driving up along the drive way and people eating in the restaurant.

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This is the view from the third floor where you can see the Sampaloc lake with a mountain in the backdrop which is misconstrued to be Mt. Banahaw but it is not. The big patio in the second floor is perfect for family gatherings as you would imagine.

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A close-up view of the facade of the Mansion which have a total of 11 rooms!

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This is a picture of Aling Meding Borja and family during their 60th Wedding anniversary.

The Rooms @ Tahanan ni Aling Meding
This is just to give you an overall feel on what the rooms would look like and how much would they cost.

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Rosas Honeymoon Suite (P3,500/night inclusive of breakfast for 2). This is one of the rooms I like because it has a veranda that faces Sampalok lake.

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Ilang-Ilang Executive Room (P2,500/night with breakfast for 2)

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Dama de Noche Family Room (P3,500/night with breakfast for 4). This is located in the attic - 4th floor and you cannot open the windows.

The Dining Experience
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The dining area is simple and have a formal appeal.

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One of their best sellers was their Crispy Pata, but we settled for a healthier option their grilled stuffed squid (P200). You could feel that home-cooked delicioius taste versus the Gerry's stuffed squid commercialized taste.

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The chopsuey (P150) was also very good and we were totally satisfied driving all the way to this place.

Proceed with caution when ordering their Halo-Halo which was very disappointing for us (but I guess its the Halo Halo Laguna version that you need to get used to).

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Ah, this is life at its fullest! This area is just directly in front of Aling Meding's where you can have a picnic under the shade of trees while reflecting on how life has been very good to you. Sarap ng Buhay! This reminded me of truly enjoying life in the Philippines. I love this scene.

Tahanan ni Aling Meding, San Pablo, Laguna.
Dagatan Blvd., Sampaloc Lake 4000, San Pablo City, Laguna
Phone: (+63 49) 562-5855
Email: admin@tahanan.info
Website: www.tahanan.info
(Note: the contact information in the viaje del sol brochure is wrong)
Restaurant opens from 7am until 9pm daily.

Driving Directions
Below is the driving directions from the viaje del sol brochure although I feel that I need to supplement it.
"Coming from Manila, after the San Pablo border, stay on the Maharlika Highway. You will see a Caltex station to the left, immediately before a fork in the highway. The right side of the fork heads straight to Lucena, the left leads to San Pablo City. Take the left road. At the junction to Calauan, take the main avenue to your right. This is Rizal avenue. Turn left at the corner of San Pablo Central School. Follow the road beyond the city hall. As soon as you see the lake, turn left on the perimeter road. Tahanan will be to your left."

The only problem with this direction is that it did not explain what the phrase "Follow the road beyond the city hall" means. After the San Pablo Central School, you will see a fork road, take the road to your right going up to the City Hall. Turn left at the fork road towards the park (which you would see on your right after turning left) going down to the lake. After going down to the lake, immediately make a sharp left turn along the Sampaloc lake drive and you'll now see Tahanan ni Aling Meding to your left.

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Oooh it's nice. They've invited me to go to the mansion Anton but I've put off going for the longest time. Maybe this Holy Week or after.Thanks for your enlightening Viaje del Sol posts:)

Hi...ive thoroughly enjoyed reading your entries...anyway, im booking a family trip for 9 pax this may....my parents, siblings and respective spouses and kids...which would you recommend, casa san pablo or tahanan ni aling meding?

San Pablo City is a great place to visit. Don't forget to visit all seven lakes. :)

i wish na andoon na ito 2years ago ng umuwi ako sa San Pablo from California
it looks classy a lot better than other famous tourist spots.

We would just like to share with you our unfortunate experience with Tahanan ni Aling Meding where we stayed overnight at room 203(the room they called Narra)

Taken by your good review of the place, we decided to try it out in the hope of finding a nice place to recommend to our family and friends who may wish to visit us from Manila.
However, much to our disappointment, we felt shortchanged for an accommodation that delivered less of what was promised in their brochures and their website.

For starters, guests are supposedly given welcome drinks upon checking in. Yes, we were asked whether we want it in the lobby or sent up to our room...we chose that it be sent to our room. Need I say they weren't sent? So when we went down for dinner, I jokingly pointed it out to the receptionist and she apologized saying they were busy with another function that night (UAP San Pablo chapter induction of officers) but promised to serve the drink to us the next day before we check out. Fine...like having been explained to that we are second class clients since they have a function to attend to that night was suppoased to appease us!

Anyway, we were asked if we wanted to eat our dinner in our room veranda so we said ok...the dining place looked abandoned and gloomy anyway...BUT...you guessed it...about 10minutes into waiting for our food, an attendant knocks to say we can't eat inside the room...well, ok, then...beats eating outside a veranda in full view of barong clad Architects to be inducted that night, anyway. So, we went down (3 floors down) and was served cold chopsuey (I specifically ordered this as per recommendation...it was not exceptional as expected and definetely not worth the wait) and so-so inihaw na liempo (my mom's version tasted better). We were asked for our drinks...I asked for green tea and my husband ordered red tea. Again, came back the waiter, to say they only have green tea. Haaah!!!! The "function" used up all the red iced tea and there was none left for us second class customers! Ok, then I asked about our welcome drinks...it was tropicana...so we just retained we'd get that in the morning before we checking out. The hubby settled for Coke.
After dinner, with not much to do...we wanted to watch some TV...BUT...cable's dead...network problems which they said should clear up in a few minutes...never did!
I was to take a pee and noticed, there was no toilet seat! Ahhh!!! But I was sidetracked because i saw a large cockroach creeping inside the shower room! OMG!!!!! Where did that come from?? As I looked up the ceiling, part was broken and was haphazardly fixed by patching the hole up with some pieces of wood and cardboard...but you could still see the space between the ceiling and the roof...if you were the "praning" type, you would think someone could easily do a peeping tom on you while you're doing your thing in the bathroom! Or worse, a rat could just jump on you!

So, we are stuck with no TV...and there's this large fly (bangaw) that buzzed so loud I thought it was some big insect! We had to kill it using the sheets...so we had to use the sheets of the smaller bed instead. (I must say though that the sheets are particularly nice...though there are stains on one pillow...and another smelled of raoch!) Considering, we had a good night sleep.

We were looking forward to breakfast...the brochure boasted that thay serve brewed Batangas coffee and to me, that could well save the day. Well, we were served Cafe Puro instant coffee(i'm guessing since it's not even Nescafe!) and when I asked if they have brewed coffee the waiter apologized and said the coffeemaker's broken.
I was sooo frustrated and was ready to take it up with the manager! Check out time was 12nn so we made use of the remaining time to take pictures of the view (the place does command a nice view of the Sampaloc lake and Mt. Banahaw...such a pity)
When we were checking out, I jokingly reminded the receptionist of our welcome drinks...na goodbye drinks na...she asked..."Ay, di po ba na-serve? Sabi ko po i-serve sa inyo." And you would think she'd go ask someone to get them for us? NO!!!! It was just left at that! Nakalimutan na...Fine.

There was this lady at the counter (I think she might be the manager) who asked where we're from and I said we live nearby and just wanted to check out their place bec of the good reviews i read in their website. But I quickly added I never found them to be true. I explained to her how I expected the coffee to be brewed as it was stated in their brochure. Guess what she did? She took out a brochure and started scanning for the words that said we were entitled to free brewed coffee! Having seen none, she tells me so. OMG! I could not even begin to explain myself to her! It was the first time in my entire life to be treated as a seemingly clueless, stupid paying customer! Of course it need not be said! It was implied! It was stated as a come-on! Was she telling me that as hotel guests, we are not entitled to brewed coffee? And it is only available upon request? To walk-in diners? So I asked, (for lack of words to say to her unexpected response) and what about the complimentary drinks? Is it not written in your brochure??? She dismisses this question.

Anyway, I was fuming mad but I decided to hold my piece until I am composed with what I have to say. I decided expecting customers deserve to know more than anything. I still can't get over the fact that I did not speak my mind right there and then. I was just so taken aback by how i was treated as a customer that I was speechless! All I could say to her was that it was disappointing and it was not worth the price we had to pay!

The place is really nice...and the attendants are polite and would greet you with "goodmorning ma'ams". But should you decide to stay for a night, make sure your stay won't coincide with a function they are having...and make sure you bring books to read should the cable break down again...and don't expect to be served everything the brochure promised.

Having said these, I hope the place's admin and marketing people do something to improve their service and their ammenities. We did not expect much from our stay...but we definetely did not expect less than what was promised!

We would just like to share with you our unfortunate experience with Tahanan ni Aling Meding where we stayed overnight at room 203(the room they called Narra)

Taken by good reviews of the place, we decided to try it out in the hope of finding a nice place to recommend to our family and friends who may wish to visit us from Manila.
However, much to our disappointment, we felt shortchanged for an accommodation that delivered less of what was promised in their brochures and their website.

For starters, guests are supposedly given welcome drinks upon checking in. Yes, we were asked whether we want it in the lobby or sent up to our room...we chose that it be sent to our room. Need I say they weren't sent? So when we went down for dinner, I jokingly pointed it out to the receptionist and she apologized saying they were busy with another function that night (UAP San Pablo chapter induction of officers) but promised to serve the drink to us the next day before we check out. Fine...like having been explained to that we are non-priority clients since they have a function to attend to that night was supposed to appease us!

Anyway, we were asked if we wanted to eat our dinner in our room veranda so we said ok...the dining place looked abandoned and gloomy anyway...BUT...you guessed it...about 10minutes into waiting for our food, an attendant knocks to say we can't eat inside the room...well, ok...beats eating outside a veranda in full view of barong clad Architects to be inducted that night, anyway. So, we went down (3 floors down) and were served cold chopsuey (I specifically ordered this as per recommendation...it was not exceptional as expected and definetely not worth the wait…no trace of pork or clams were seen as opposed to what was shown in the brochure) and so-so inihaw na liempo (my mom's version tasted better). We were asked for our drinks...I went for green tea and my husband ordered red tea. Again, the waiter came back to say they only have green tea. Haaah!!!! The "function" used up all the red iced tea and there was none left for us second class customers! Ok, then I asked about our welcome drinks...it was Tropicana...so we just retained we'd get that in the morning before checking out.

After dinner, with not much to do...we wanted to watch some TV...BUT...cable's dead...network problems which they said should clear up in a few minutes...never did!

I was to take a pee and noticed, there was no toilet seat! Ahhh!!! Then I saw a large cockroach creeping inside the shower room! OMG!!!!! Where did that come from??
As I looked up the ceiling, part was broken and was haphazardly fixed by patching the hole up with some pieces of wood and cardboard...but you could still see the space between the ceiling and the roof...if you were the "praning" type, you would think someone could easily do a peeping tom on you while you're doing your thing in the bathroom! Or worse, a rat could just jump on you!

So, we are stuck with no TV...and there's this large fly (bangaw) that buzzed so loud I thought it was some big insect! We had to squish it so the sheets got soiled... we had to make do with the sheets of the smaller bed instead. (I must say though that the sheets are particularly nice...though there are stains on one pillow...and another smelled of roach!) Considering, we had a good night sleep.

We were looking forward to breakfast...the brochure boasted that thay serve brewed Batangas coffee and to me, that could well save the day. Well, we were served Cafe Puro instant coffee (i'm guessing since it's not even Nescafe!) and when I asked if they have brewed coffee, the waiter apologized and said the coffeemakers broken.
I was sooo frustrated and was ready to take it up with the manager!
Check out time was 12nn so we made use of the remaining time to take pictures of the view (the place does command a nice view of the Sampaloc lake and Mt. Banahaw...such a pity)
When we were checking out, I jokingly reminded the receptionist of our welcome drinks...na goodbye drinks na...she asked..."Ay, di po ba na-serve? Sabi ko po i-serve sa inyo." And you would think she'd go ask someone to get them for us? NO!!!! It was just left at that! Nakalimutan na...Fine.

There was this lady at the counter (I think she might be the manager) who asked where we're from and I said we live nearby and just wanted to check out their place because of the good reviews I read in one blog. But I quickly added I never found them to be true. I explained to her how I expected the coffee to be brewed as it was stated in their brochure. Guess what she did? She took out a brochure and started scanning for the words that said we were entitled to free brewed coffee! Having seen none, she tells me so. OMG! I could not even begin to explain myself to her! It was the first time in my entire life to be treated as a seemingly clueless, stupid paying customer! Of course it need not be said! It was implied! It was stated as a come-on that they serve Batangas coffee! Was she telling me that as hotel guests, we are not entitled to brewed coffee? And it is only available upon request? To walk-in diners? Ganon ba kamahal ang brewed coffee at hindi pwede isama sa complimentary breakfast??? The waiter’s broken coffeemaker alibi was better! At least he never made me feel I don’t deserve the coffee! So I asked, (for lack of words to say to her unexpected response) and what about the complimentary drinks? Is it not written in your brochure??? She dismissed this question.

Anyway, I was fuming mad but I decided to hold my piece until I am composed with what I have to say. I decided expecting customers deserve to know about this more than anyone. I still can't get over the fact that I did not speak my mind right there and then. I was just so taken aback by how i was treated as a customer that I was speechless! All I could say to her was that it was disappointing and it was not worth the price we had to pay! Does she really expect me to return? Or even recommend the place to friends???

The place is really nice...and the attendants are polite and would greet you with "goodmorning ma'ams". But should you decide to stay for a night, make sure your stay won't coincide with a function they are having...and make sure you bring books to read should the cable break down again...and don't expect to be served everything the brochure promised.

Having said these, I hope the place's admin and marketing people do something to improve their service and their marketing skills. We did not expect much from our stay...but we never expected less than what was promised! And having to be told you were wrong in assuming you deserve what was beautifully painted in that deceiving brochure…and your complaints be set aside on a technicality of words… those are sure ways to lose your business.

hi! i'm from san pablo city and did not know how beautiful san pablo is, ist been 9yrs that i'm out in our country and there a lot changes happening in san pablo city. way back in 90's sampaloc lake was waste and poluted and now its back on his feet again hope that would last forever.
you give reason to comeback again in san pablo where my family lives and i dont want stay here in france forever

actually,ive been worked here before as trainee... i enjoyed being food attendant!! i loved it....

hi poh!

On behalf of "tahanan ni aling meding", I warmly welcoming those who want to experience the life inside the mansion of your own by the lake...If your are interested to visit "tahanan ni aling meding", just text me @ 0917-6124288..and I give u discount for your stay and incentive for your recommendation...

note: "tahanan is running under new management..

Thank u very much and hope to see u there!..

i was in TAHANAN last march kasbayan ko si derek joel lamangan, super and ganda tlaga dun lalo na ung view - the lake and the mountains, ideal ang ambiance, the beatiful garden and surroundings, the nostalgic heritage, the peace and tranquility. dun ulit ako magstay paguwi ko ng pinas this september sama ko mga friends ko.=)

Hi!

I would just like to inquire for the directions to San Pablo from SLEX? Like, which exit should we take?

Thank you! :)

wilson,
kapatid mo ba si cesar borja husband ni julie balverde?

I think this is one of the BEST place to stay in the Phiippines. The myserious Sampoloc Lake, near great restaurants, Hidden Valley and Pagsanjan Falls. You can't beat it. One hour away from Manila withou traffic. It's a great place to unwind and relax.

Emil P. Cristobal

I think this is one of the BEST place to stay in the Phiippines. The myserious Sampoloc Lake, near great restaurants, Hidden Valley and Pagsanjan Falls. You can't beat it. One hour away from Manila withou traffic. It's a great place to unwind and relax.

Emil P. Cristobal

My family got to stay at Tahanan ni Aling Meding last Easter Sunday.

Traffic was so terrible that we decided to take a u-turn and head back to San Pablo. Imagine, reaching 11 kilometers down from SM San Pablo in 1 and 1/2 hours. I think that's the entire travel time from Alabang to San Pablo.

Anyways, we gave TNAM a call and asked for directions but had challenges in locating the place since it was already dark. Surprisingly, TNAM took the initiative to pick us up at our current location (Puregold). Good thinking on TNAM's part since the road leading to the resort was pitch black.

The owner, Wilson, instructed the bellboy to accompany my wife, son and helper to our rooms so that they can settle in. Great point since we were already exhausted from the trip. After some clarifications/negotiations, I went up and told my wife that our room was upgraded. =)

If I remember correctly, our room was called Sampaguita. It had single and double sized beds, Sharp TV with cable, Carrier a/c, wifi, refrigerator and other basic stuff. To our delight, there were several extra pillows stored in the cabinets. The bathroom was great, above average in size and had a working temperature controlled water system.

Next day, finally went out to the balcony to get a glimpse of the hotel and Sampaloc lake. Nice scenic view indeed from both sides although wasn't able to stay out long due to the bright sunlight. The pool looked nice but we weren't able to take a dip though.

Went to the dining area for our complementary breakfast. Beef tapa was kinda tough. Corned beef and fried bangus were better. Overall, food was ok.

Had a little chat with Wilson...background of the resort, family, life in US vs Philippines and a little bit of politics. Since the reception/dining/lounge area was quite spacious, my son roamed around a bit. They had unique furnishings especially the glass horse head, wooden swing and the Chinese jar that my son almost dropped.

Overall experience was great. Very friendly staff and owner. If we would visit San Pablo, TNAM would be one of our top choices. Food and coordination between the the day and night receptionists are areas for improvement. (checkout time issue)

By the way, I think we were the only guests that day...if that makes a difference.

hi this is Wilson borja owner of tahanan ni aling meding. for those who had bad and good experience in staying at tahanan---thanks for staying. try staying with us again---if you have any complained or not satisfied in staying at tahanan---your money will be reimbursed. thanks, wilson

We will be staying there on March 2. Hoping to have a wonderful experience :)

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