Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015



R E S O R T S 

Quezon is the 8th largest province of the Philippines, making it diverse and a vast space to scale in terms of immersion. I determined this to be true as I'm yet to fully experience all of its towns and cities even if my roots can be traced in this part of Luzon. For the past three years of being on a full travel schedule, I've only been to General Nakar, Lucban, Mauban, Padre Burgos, Real and Tayabas aside from my mom's hometown of Infanta. I distinctly recall bathing with relatives at a beach in Sariaya as a kid but it was nothing more than a summer excursion. I might have traversed Atimonan and General Luna, but they were just aboard a passenger bus from Manila en route to Bicol. As for Lucena, it has always been just a stopover. I do hope to explore the provincial capital soon for a change.

In the few Quezon Province destinations that I've been, I found it remarkable to have a decent accommodation to properly explore a place. Should you find yourself in this Luzon isthmus, the following seven resorts and hotels can be the perfect overnight stopovers before you reach your target destination, wherever it may be:

1. Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort (Lucban)

Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort is a countryside swath of pahiyas inspiration set against verdant hills and lush rice fields that weave through the fringes of Laguna’s Majayjay and Lucban. Conceptualized to cater to the discriminating traveler who has a penchant for communing with nature, the newly-opened attraction is neither for the homespun or the sybaritic. It’s simply designed to be an oasis of a getaway in an unhurried environment where one can wake up to the bedside view of the town’s farmland, sample sumptuous cuisines at its restaurant for memorable meals, and have a fresh spring water soak at the rice field-view infinity pool any time of the day... even in the wee hours!

Read the full story here.

2. Graceland Estate and Country Club (Tayabas City)

Nestled at a charming spot of Tayabas City's eco-tourism district is a vacation and recreational getaway called Graceland Estates and Country Club. This shows the city’s caliber for perfectly blending countryside living with modern facilities. The resulting project is a sprawling 11-hectare development of a more expansive 22-hectare property, something that I’ve come to realize can appeal well to individuals seeking solace from the urban decay of city living or families needing a pleasant space for quality time. A whole day is not enough to really imbibe the entirety of the place. An experience of the estate is not only getting cozy inside the room.

Read the full story here.

3. Dona Choleng Camping Resort (Cagbalete Island)

Dona Choleng Camping Resort is the only accommodation at Cagbalete Island of Mauban that offers its guests a tourist shuttle service from the island's port straight to its location. My booked casa at the resort actually has a featured bathtub which I found to be useful during daytime when there was no electricity. I simply filled it up with water on the night of my check-in and comfortably settled into it the morning after before check-out. The whole island is the real destination and it's just nice to have a resort as Dona Choleng Camping Resort to be operating there.

Read the full story here.

4. Mi Casa En Tayabas (Mauban)

I ended up stuck in Mauban after my Cagbalete Island getaway so I found myself checked-in for a few hours at a cozy boutique hotel called Mi Casa En Tayabas. The six-storey establishment offered me a fantastic view of the city proper from its uppermost floor. I was told by the caretaker of Casa Comunidad de Tayabas that it is owned by the city mayor and that the dentist-politician Faustino Silang decided to do the whole interior design himself. The result is an eclectic surprise from floor to floor of fancy knick knacks and religious ornaments set against bold colors of wall paint and flamboyant ceiling fixtures. The most stunning part of the hotel is probably the dimly lit lobby where a wall and corner are highlighted by natural light from a nearby window. The space features an old wooden plow that gives guest a glimpse of the farming town of Tayabas.

Read the full story here.

5. The ParK (Real)

During my visit of the municipality of Real in Quezon Province, I knew that my bus was already in the middle of the Sierra Madre because the moment the door opened for a stopover, a mountain breeze started yelping through the aisle. It's been two hours or so and just one more and I'll be in Barangay Tignoan were my target resort is -- The Pacific Recreation Kamp (also known as The ParK). It's the first resort to be seen after the Siniloan-Famy-Real-Infanta Road veers away from its mountainside zigzag route via a bridge that connects to Barangay Tignoan. It happened that the lone resort caretaker was busy at the time of my arrival so I wandered around the property trying to find a spot where I could pitch a tent rental.

Read the full story here.

6. Tamarind Tree Resort (Padre Burgos)

Tamarind Tree Resort is located at a fishing village of Padre Burgos that's why the beachfront is nothing like the selected shorelines of some decent resorts in Batangas or Cavite. As a matter of fact, the Tayabas bay at Padre Burgos was as calm as a lake during my visit years ago. My hilltop hut was for P1,500. The bathroom access was outside of it but the surrounding garden was worth the inconvenience of having to step outside of the hut. Besides there weren't a lot of guest huts at the resort which meant that there were not much guests to compete for bathroom use. Plus, taking a few steps through a pathway of a well manicured garden of various plants and flowers was a treat for me who have been accustomed to staring at concrete walls and buildings.

Read the full story here.

7. Astrera Beach Resort (General Nakar)

General Nakar is known to be one of the bastions of the New People's Army (NPA), a communist-leaning group in the Philippines. This has led the country's military to station a few of their kind there to keep the peace. Unfortunately, the presence of both elements have resulted into occasional crossfires that have overtaken the tourism potential of the area. During my visit of the town in 2014, there was no such incident as I was able to freely stroll the expanse of fine, brown sand that city dwellers are missing out on because of the brutal infighting. The area looked ideally spectacular for camping spots. I saw a few more beach resorts being run by locals but were clearly needing improvements in the aesthetic side. Some resorts even have barbed wires for fences. Astrera Beach Resort is one resort that tourists can consider in this location.

Read the full story here.

I hope to add more to this list soon as I schedule a few more trips to Quezon in the near future.


  1. Wow! As I was looking for places for a unique family-friendly getaway, I found your articles and your reviews are so helpful! My roots are from Quezon, and you've encouraged me to explore more of my province! :)

    1. I'm just as excited as you are to get back on the road and explore more of Quezon. It's really big. Also, keep in mind that there are dams scheduled to be constructed in the Sierra Madre so there's a big chance that the landscape there will change for residents, the natives, and tourism in general once the dams are completed. This means that a revisit is a must very soon.


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