I do not mean to use alot of superlatives but this is how we felt about the food. It’s alot better than Exotik Restaurant in Laguna. But you need to make sure you have a reservation specially during lunch time. You eat in kubo huts in the middle of a fish pond where there are lots of Tilapia.
Our lunch started with a serving of fresh buko juice and we were glad that all the food was pre-ordered by Tina 🙂 She ordered fresh tilapia, spare ribs and ginataang kuhol — all of them was very delicious. I can’t restrain myself from eating the spare ribs or the ginataan sauce or the fresh tilapia. Truly superb in all aspects and this is the perfect lunch I imagined in a culinary tour of Quezon province. Lastly, the dessert was equally good — it’s like inipit made out of flour and pumpkin with sweet sauce.
At this point, we are all satisfied and we are starting to feel that the tour was worth it. But the best is yet to come 🙂
There were a few sidetrips along the entire tour which are worth noting: Pahiyas Samut Sari, Lucban
Buying pahiyas inspired products is perfect during offseason. We bought a weaved pandan throw pillow worth P120.
Graceland Estates & Country Club, Tayabas, Quezon
It’s has a nice clubhouse, sports facilities and amenities plus the main attraction of man made lagoon. All in the heart of Tayabas, Quezon.
Earth Keeper’s Garden, Tiaong, Quezon
Nice and cozy country feel ambiance. Worth noting is the dining area amidst the forest — really nice.
This one is really really awesome healing church and rosary hill!
This is one of the places that I would surely go back. This shot is taken while it is raining outside so we did not have a chance to savor the beauty of the place. When we are approaching Kamay ni Jesus, we just saw Jesus Christ statue on top of the mountain. Later we realized that it was a rosary garden where you have to climb 200+ steps as you pray the different rosary mysteries. As you can see in the bottom, there is the last supper and on top, the crucifixion. The Field of Faith never came close to the beauty of this rosary hill.
Kamay ni Hesus features a healing church with Fr. Joey Faller giving a healing mass every Monday and Saturday 9.30am. Approximately the place is just around for a year but there have been some pilgrimage already to this place. When we arrive there are still alot of construction going on in the parking lot. This is still in Lucban and would definitely be in our next itinerary when visiting Lucban.
After breakfast, we went on the culinary demo by Milada Dealo Valde (Ka Mila), owner of the koffee klatch and head of the Quezon provincial tourism council. Did you know that Kiping is made from Rice Galapong and can be eaten like kropek? Yes, it can be fried or grilled and perfect with a vinegar dip (see yellow kiping below). We liked the grilled one alot better 🙂 As you can see my focus is still food and not really how to make it. I guess I have admitted to myself that I don’t like cooking so I leave it up to my wife and her friends to figure out how to make it. BTW, kiping is the popular decoration they used during the pahiyas festival and almost all the houses in lucban knows how to do it.
The next demo was about the longganisa lucban or according to Mila, shortanissa because I began to be shorter than they used to make it. She stressed on using no preservative, using oregano, and making sure that it is air dried. Also, according to her, a longganisa without fats would be dry and that it why they still used pork with fats normally the neck part of a pig. My wife had a chance to pack a longganisa and it’s not an easy task — you need to have patience 🙂
Special for my blog readers, I have the recipes for making both so just email me at [email protected].
After 3 hours of driving, we finally arrive in our first stop in Quezon. Now, this would be the start of our degustation. By this time, we are hungry from the trip because we only had snacks along the way in the interest of time. I’ve been to Quezon during Pahiyas and I should say it is worth visiting lucban not during the fiesta season on May 15. Also, you would have the time in the world, to savor what lucban has to offer.
Our breakfast was in Dealo’s Koffee Klatch and our breakfast consists of Pansit Lucban or popularly known as pancit habhab, Longganisa Lucban and broas. My son Aidan was very jolly and at this point of time we were taking photo shoot of Aidan.
The longganisa lucban is very addicting because it is made of natural ingredients (no preservatives) and lots of oregano. Although for some who are expecting a sweet longganisa, it is not. I think people will be offended if you look for a sweet taste and they would say go to Pampanga. For me, I think it is perfect with the vinegar sauce — really yummy! Also the pancit habhab, was delicious. According to Tina, you would know the pansit is special if it has lechon kawali as an ingredient. BTW, it is called habhab because you would normally eat it in banana leaves and just use your mouth to eat it.The broas was not as good as the one in Sariaya so stay tuned for that.
The culinary tour would start in Lucban, Quezon and there are two ways to go there either via Los Banos — Pagsanjan route or via the Nagcarlan — Liliw route in Laguna. I asked Tina if our schedule permits to pass by latter route, and I’m glad I did. Our call time was at 6am at Caltex Starmart in Buendia near Pasong Tamo. But knowing my friends they would be late specially on a Sunday. We left Manila at 7am and arrived in Lucban at around 10am. One of the things I love about long drives, is driving along virgin paths where it is thrilling to see new places and roads.
Underground Cementary in Nagcarlan, Laguna. Along this mountainous route, there are two points of interest: The Underground Cementary in Nagcarlan, Laguna and Tsinelas street in Liliw, Laguna. In the morning, the facade and the clouds at the cementary is photogenic that any pictures that you take would be stunning. This spot is really a photographic interest and nothing really much to check out in the basement of the cementary. Besides, no photography is allowed inside. Below is the story of this cementary (in Filipino):
Liliw, Laguna. It’s been a while since I wanted to visit this famous tsinelas street in Liliw. I’m glad I had the opportunity first hand to see what’s the fuss about in this place. I would say that you need to lower your expectations. Some of the slippers are already made in China but there are still some produced in Liliw. I think it is overated because my wife and her friends was not raving about it soo much after seeing the goods.
There were a few churches that we stopped by particularly the one in Majayjay, Laguna but nothing beats the Paete Church in terms of its antiqueness and the old paintings inside the church. So, when you go on this route, no need to stop by the churches except that it has been my rule to pass by one to pray for safe travel and a chance to pray for 3 wishes 🙂
This is the beginning of a 10 part blog series of our culinary adventure in Quezon. Carlos Celdran started to rave about Lady Laguna Ms. Tina Decal last July which I guess when he joined the inaugural culinary tour of Quezon supported by the Department of Tourism. The looks could be deceiving when you first meet ms. Tina Decal, and we have to take a leap of faith by gathering friends who share the same interest. At the start, it was very difficult to come up with a group of 8 for a tour price of P1,200/person (bring your own transpo). Specially, if nobody have been on the tour yet, not alot of people raved about it, and you need to find a group that has photography and eating as an interest.
I love travelling in the Philippines! We had the time of our life last Sunday from exploring secret pottery gardens in Tiaong to the Kamay ni Jesus healing church in Lucban. There’s alot to rave about and there are some things that you need to be cautious also. Just to tease my blog readers, can you guess where are these places:
Keep tuned into the Quezon Culinary series to get detailed information about this culinary tour.
Finally, together with some of our friends, we were able to complete a day trip to the Laguna area via going around the Laguna Lake! This is the first time I tried it last Black Saturday. We left Manila at around 8.30am, had a stop over @ petron in south super h-way to grab big chill and jamaican patties. Then we proceded to Calauan Laguna for to visit Field of Faith at around 11.30am. After an hour in FOF, we left Calauan at around 12.45pm enroute to Exotik restaurant for lunch @ around 2pm. After 2 and a half hours, we left the restaurant and dropped by the famous Paete Church. Most of the shops are closed because of Black Saturday in Paete but you can still see some wood carving shops in the middle of the town. After praying for 3 wishes, we head back to Manila via Rizal @ around 5pm. We arrived in Ortigas at around 7pm — woohoo! Still have plenty of time to have dinner @ Metro Walk.
Try it out! Exotik restaurant is located in Longos, Kalayaan Highway in Laguna. It is about 4 hours drive from Manila and you need to pass by Pagsanjan and Caliraya (yes, it is that far). From the field of faith, Exotik is about 1 hour away and some of our friends are hungry already when we left Exotik at around 12.45pm and we arrive about 2pm in Exotik. The food is Filipino and I like their Sinigang, Tuna sisig, grilled Tilapia, grilled squid. The food is great! (specially if you are hungry 🙂 One funny thing though, we did not order any of the exotic food this place is known for. Our billed turned out to be P3,500 for the a group of 9, so we had to pay P400 each — and I think that is expensive priced for tourists! Even the pasalubong place who sells espasol for P45 which could be bought easily at 3 for 100 with the same quality. The ambiance is really nice, it offers a few of the Laguna lake, and one of the attraction is Samantha (a pet anaconda shown below). Check it out if you happen to be in the Caliraya area. This is definitely a place for tourist to eat exotic food!
When our friends were looking a place to visit last black saturday, my friend Maong stumble upon this Inquirer Article (3/21/05): Field of Faith offers solitude, rosary garden. We were inspired by the story and we decided to visit the place. Upon arriving, you are greeted with a wonderful view of a fountain and the main chapel over a backdrop of coconut trees. The place feels fresh, peaceful, and it is like you are transported to a magical garden.
The best part of the garden is the rosary path where you could see inspiring quotes on the concrete road, find a comforting meditation spot, reflect on the joyful mysteries in resin and metal, meditate on the sorrowful mysteries depicted in wood carvings, or pray in the cement and glass cross on top of the hill. Also, you can pray the stations of the cross on the right side of the entrance with the stations wood carvings nailed to trees.
We were awed-inspired when we visited and I’m sure to come back to this place this time to meditate and pray (instead of taking pictures and acting like tourists). The place was designed to find God and find your inner strenght. To the Singson family, thank you for sharing this place with us.
For more information about the Field of Faith:
Field of Faith is 2-3hours(with traffic) drive from Manila. You should watch out for the pansol area and los banos junction traffic. There is no entrance fee but food and drinks are not allowed so that you can buy from them (one way to augment costs). The CR is clean according to the women and this is worth mentioning. There are alot of good restaurants within the area including Samaral and Kamayan sa Palaisdaan.