Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Manila Escape, Laguna Escapade!

After all the stress and excitement brought about by the planning, our first ever out-of-town vacation finally pushed through. As the title of this entry reads, we planned this trip to unwind, relax, and temporarily escape the hustle and bustle in the city.

May 4, 2013 - Saturday

It was a little past lunch time when A and L met at Trinoma to ride a bus Cubao bound where HM Transport's terminal is located. HM is among the few transits along with Greenstar, JAM, JAC, and DLTB Co. which travels from Manila to Laguna and vice versa.

Instead of going straight to the resort, we decided to get off at SM Calamba to eat lunch and buy our groceries for our two-day stay. It was an hour and a half ride which cost us an amount of P87.50 each which was worth it considering that the bus was well air conditioned and clean.

Looking at choices for lunch, we were laughing as we picked Kenny Rogers. A even quipped, 'Nakakatawa na nagpunta tayo ng Laguna para mag SM at kumain sa Kenny Rogers' which was hilarious. We both loved their sour cream and chives potatoes better than in any of their branches. Their version is not bland, perfectly cooked, and has that real sour cream flavor than the ones we had in Manila. Come to think of it, we could really do those things in Manila, but since we were really already hungry, we settled for the usual. A huge thanks to fast-food chains for quick and much affordable tummy solutions.

We left for City of Springs at around 4PM and rode a jeep San Pablo bound until we reached the new municipal hall of Los Baños. From there, we rode a tricycle to the resort which we found after to be only a few streets across it.

We paid for a two-night stay at one of their deluxe suites (P1,860 per night) and simply crossed our fingers for a good room. Room 23 did not disappoint us. It was cozy, clean, and is one of the two rooms with the biggest indoor pools there. At first, L was a bit eerie at the hot temperature of the pool but then realized that the water comes from a hot spring, while A instantly loved it.

May 5, 2013 - Sunday

Sunday was really the day when we scheduled all our adventures. From our Splash Mountain giant slide trip to our UPLB tour. We woke up early to this breathtaking view of Laguna de Bay which was really one good kick off for a long busy day. Leaving for Splash Mountain complex, we rode a jeep going to Calamba. We’re actually surprised at the sight of a crowded resort that day so we decided that we won’t swim there anymore and just tour the entire resort complex. With faltering hopes of ever swimming in a bigger pool, we decided to go to SM Calamba once more for breakfast this time.

After breakfast, we saw this exhibit featuring Jollibee through the years - from how small it was before to the grandiosity that it is today. We even took the opportunity to get our photos with their customized speech bubbles. It displayed a cute message saying Dito (sa Jollibee) ang sarap maging bata ulit! which indeed is true.

Before going home, we ate lunch at Adobo Connection, something that was a big hit for us back in Manila. We ordered new entrees such as their Mama’s Sweet Chicken Adobo, Fish and Tofu, and since their Kare-Kare was A’s fave, we ordered their Vegetable Kare-Kare. For tummies like ours, rice-all-you-can restos have a run for their money.

Later in the afternoon we decided to go to UPLB by just walk along Lopez Avenue. We saw Robinson’s Town Mall Los Baños and out of curiosity entered. We’re thankful that we entered as we saw Mogao, a shop selling Chinese merchandise from Hong Kong. We bought 3 scarves on sale worth P99.50 each. Imagine fashionable and expensive looking scarves worth less than a hundred bucks!

Strolling further inside the campus, we saw Elbi’s most famous food such as their crispy chicken skin, isaw, siomai, and other finger food that surely satisfy their students' taste buds. 

Touring the campus grounds, we saw their own oblation statue and the famous pegaraw (a hybrid of a pegasus and a tamaraw) We also wanted to see the infamous fertility tree but on our way there, we came across this zen garden which was under construction. It reminded us of the grotto in Baguio which has more than a hundred steps. Though we weren't able to count how many, we're sure it has a lot as we're catching our breath upon going down.

Along the way home, we dropped by Mer-Nel’s Cake Housestore. Mer-Nel’s is famous for their mouth-watering chocolate cakes. We bought a small heart shaped one worth P125 and asked them to write A+L on top of it. Weeeee! A continuation of A’s birthday celebration! Their super incredibly chocolate-y cake is really a must try and must buy as you can’t simply resist taking one bite after another. We even finished it in one sitting!

May 6, 2013 – Monday

Before leaving back for Manila, we decided to pass by this church to give thanks for all the blessings that we have and of course for one another. We're actually saddened that we had to leave the resort. After two days, it really felt like home to us; the friendly staff and personnel, the view by the lake, the indoor pool just beside the bed, and just the mere feeling of being away from reality. We didn’t want the whole trip to end. But then again, it gave us something to look forward to and that is coming back to this place.

See you soon, Laguna! MBA

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