Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tuesday, January 03, 2017
SRRA's Mayoyao Ifugao Family Hut for 3 to 6 guests

Lucban's Pahiyas Festival is celebrated every May 15, but most resorts and hotels in this part of Quezon Province are always ascertained to be fully booked a couple of months prior to the annual celebration. It's easy to understand the pattern if you'll consider how festive the event is, kiping and all. The colorful revelry is a thanksgiving of locals to God for a bountiful harvest and it's always attracting tourists from all over the world every year. It's also of little wonder why hospitality expert Agnes Luna fell in love with the town and its vibrant outlook in life. She was so in love with it that she had to have her relaxing vacation house built there. Ultimately, the nondescript provincial getaway for the well traveled native of Gumaca got transformed into her dream project that she now calls Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort (SRRA).

A Surprise In The Middle of Nowhere

More than a year in operations, SRRA is slowly but surely getting positive reviews from local and foreign tourists who have dined there out of curiosity. Some who have stayed the night also managed to wake up satisfied after looking for an alternative to the substandard lodging that they've been accustomed to. Most of them were surprised to even see a rural gem such as SRRA in the middle of nowhere -- exactly at the border of Lucban and Majayjay -- which makes it a beloved attraction among Quezon Province and Laguna residents. The town proper is just five to ten minutes away anyway.

Room rate includes access to the swimming pool, access to the Karaoke Room, and complimentary breakfast
The interiors of the Mayoyao Ifugao Family Hut
The scenery at the resort is perfect for relaxing.
The resort's restaurant serves pizza!

Perfect For Pahiyas and Payas

As much as it is a commendable getaway for couples on a romantic retreat, it's also perfect for small group of tourists who want to have their upcoming Pahiyas Festival experience complemented with a countryside stay.

"...the ambiance is pre-war Lucban anywhere you look."

Unlike typical lodgings at the town proper, SRRA sits next to an expansive rice field which makes its batis-inspired pool as natural as it can get. With age-old coconut trees sheltering most of the property in a refreshing shade, the ambiance is pre-war Lucban anywhere you look. It just gets modern with updated amenities like the bedroom's TV, the bathroom's water heater and bidet, and guestroom air conditioning. In the wee hours or when it's drizzling at daytime, guests don't even want to use the AC anymore because the air is fresh and it's naturally breezy.

A hearty breakfast of Fried Biya with egg and fruits
A fancy wall inside the resort's coffee nook
Guests can read a book at the relaxing coffee nook 
The resort's new coffee nook

Since Lucban residents have successfully concluded their first Paskong Payas Festival last December, 2016, the resort has also become a potentially attractive lodging for guests who wish to stay overnight in the town this coming Christmas season in 2017.

Ifugao Hut For Adventurous Travelers

My chosen lodging for those who plan to visit Lucban this May is SRRA's Mayoyao Ifugao Family Hut, a guestroom that can fit three to six guests at a time. The rate (Weekend: Php6,500; Weekday: Php5,500) is inclusive of complimentary breakfast for four guests, so it's just a matter of chipping in for two more guests' morning meal if ever for those coming as a group of six people. The rate also includes access to the resort's Karaoke Room for nighttime bonding. It's fenced from the rest of the property and the lodging is divided between the AC-equipped upstairs bedroom that's inspired by an Ifugao hut and an open living room downstairs that's complete with a TV set, table, and chairs.

Guests can buy pasalubong treats at the resort
The open living room concept of the Ifugao Family Hut
Guests can lounge on recliners at the resort's poolside.
The charming restaurant of the resort
Ugma For Large Group of Guests

Group travelers can also decide to choose the resort's spacious guestroom called Ugma which is a more conventional lodging than the Mayoyao. It has its own private veranda with a view of the next-door rice field. For a reasonable rate (Weekend: Php 8,000; Weekday: Php7,000) that's inclusive of breakfast for four guests and access to the resort's pool and Karaoke Room, it's already affordable. A request for an extra bed or mattress will be charged Php600 that's inclusive of a complimentary breakfast for one guest.

Day Tour Details

Should you opt to visit the festival in the morning and then visit the resort later in the day without booking a lodging, SRRA accepts day tour guests for Php400 per guest (Php200 for kids 5 to 10 years old) that's inclusive of lunch, an afternoon snack, and access to the swimming pool. For a more affordable Php200 per guest, one can access the swimming pool but the rate is without meals. Bringing in of food items at the resort is not allowed because the property has its own restaurant.

The Ugma accommodation has a private veranda
My orders of Longganisang Lucban (left), fried chicken (top right), and mango shake (bottom right)
Paskong Payas
To avoid the hassle of staying in a cramped or rickety lodging in Lucban for Pahiyas or Paskong Payas, book a guestroom in advance at Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort. The countryside ambiance is palpable from check-in to check-out and will leave you great memories of the town to add to your experience of its famous annual festivals.

Book now.

Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort

Book a room at Samkara.

Address: Sitio Malinao, Brgy. Igang, Lucban, Quezon Province, Philippines
Mobile: 0917-674-2693 or 0947-922-0081
Email: reservations@samkara.ph
Manila Sales Office: 5309 East Asia Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines
Mobile: 0916-469-6276

Have you seen Lucban's first Paskong Payas Festival?
Check out my blog post about the Paskong Payas Festival.

More Photos Below:

See you in Lucban for Pahiyas and Paskong Payas!


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