Sometimes, A Laguna Getaway Is All You Need
Sometimes, the city life can get too busy and exhaustive you just want to go somewhere to rejuvenate your senses. Aside from Batangas, Rizal, Cavite, Bulacan and Pampaga, Laguna, too, is one of the most commonly frequented nearby provinces. Like other provinces, a Laguna getaway can suck up all the tiredness and boredom in you with its sceneries, attractions, festivals, delicacies and accommodations.
You might not know it, but going to Laguna may lead to new self-discoveries. There are 11 major tourist attractions in Laguna including National Arts Center, Pila Heritage Site and Pagsanjan Falls, all of which are just there waiting to be explored. Apart from their cultural significance, these places can inspire and provide you with a fresh perspective about how to live a simpler yet more meaningful life. Even if you travel in groups, you still have to fend for yourself and leave your comfort zone, for instance.
Traveling to Laguna is an adventure in itself. It opens doors to different cultures that you might have criticized before. Apologies. Certainly, you would learn to appreciate what makes them ‘different’, and no, this is not all about tribes. It can be about how the locals commune with their livelihood. Laguna is a home for 31 festivals; no month passes by without a festival or two. For instance, you’d know the reason why they celebrate Kawayan Festival, Sampaguita Festival, Kesong Puti Festival, etc.
Experiencing life like never before is also possible. Regardless of the experience, it becomes more memorable when you are in a new place, right? Perhaps, you have tasted bibingka (rice cake) in Manila, but wait until you have tasted bibingka in Pagsanjan or bibingka de macapuno. Puto (steamed rice cake) here in Manila, for instance, is different from puto Biñan. The same goes with kesong puti (white cheese), espasol (cylinder-shaped rice cake) and uraro (arrowroot). For some reason, delicacies native to a place, Laguna in our case, are more delicious than having them bought and tasted in other places.
Indeed,food makes or breaks any getaway. Locally renowned dishes should be tasted to make the experience more enjoyable. Apart from the all-time-favorite buko pie (coconut cream pie), bibingka and espasol, eating pancit maciang, which is basically a pancit with lechon kawali (deep-fried pork belly), sunny side-up egg and ketchup, is a must-try. You may also try eating at unique restaurants like ISKARGU (Isda, Karne, Gulay), Exotik Garden Restaurant and Kamayan sa Palaisdaan. Whatever your choice may be, don’t let the rich gastronomic experience pass you.
There are instances that going to Laguna also means satisfying one’s passion. No words can ever describe the rush that you’d feel when you finally get to complete a backyard garden with Philippines-only flowering plants. Ornamental plants are sold at Los Baños during their garden shows sometime in April and October every year.
On the side, you can participate in the local activities such as the Nuvali Recyclables Fair, an almost year-long fair dedicated to collecting paper and cartons, e-wastes, plastics, metals, used lead acid batteries and printer cartridges. It’s not only a pleasurable trip, but also an environment-friendly one. It’s along the way and you will get to pass by it especially if you went to San Pedro, Santa Rosa, Calamba, San Pablo, Nagcarlan and Los Baños.
When the city life gets complicated, you should seriously consider heading north or south. Sometimes, a weekend getaway is all you ever need to shake off the stresses and burdens. Exploring every nook and cranny of Laguna should make you incredibly proud not because you get to visit those places, but because the experience enriches your life in every sense of the word. The knowledge and experience you can gain from traveling to Laguna and elsewhere in the country are invaluable. So, for every time possible, leave everything on pause and go and explore a place that you have never been to!