Guest Post: Soul Detox in Villa Escudero
Blogging has given me many gifts but my most favorite gifts are the people. RJ Dancel has been a friend since the beginning of A Momma Abroad. I have long appreciated her honesty about motherhood and life in general. She is the real deal. Beyond being a super cool individual, RJ also has a sprinkle of wanderlust and is an awesome traveler. So today, I am excited to share a guest post by RJ Dancel of Ang Buhay Lokal.
If there’s one thing you should know about being a parent - it’s that on some days you can keep going about how parenthood changes you to the best version of yourself and sharing it non-stop on social media. Meanwhile, on other days, you’ll find yourself locked in the bathroom - probably crying or rethinking about everything you’ve done.
While it’s hard for us to admit, sometimes we all need a break. A break where you can just find yourself enjoying the present, without thinking about what meal to prepare the next day, or deadlines you have to accomplish. A break where you can really immerse yourself with your family ~ enjoying unplugged time with one another.
We needed a getaway: a place where we can rejuvenate and detox our mind, body and spirits. We couldn’t afford flying out of Luzon due to our commitments, so we wanted a place where we can relax, unwind and feel like we’re detached from the bustling city called Manila.
We’ve heard a lot about Villa Escudero in Tiaong, Quezon. A lot of Pinoys fancy it for its unique kainan concept where you can have a meal right beside a waterfall. But there’s more to this beautiful haven. This self-contained coconut plantation was founded in the 1880’s and offers a beguiling glimpse of culture, history, knowledge, and natural beauty. For others, it may be like the ultimate tourist destination - but for us it had everything in it to cleanse our souls, reset our minds and feed us with the inspiration we needed to get back on our two feet.
1. STAY IN A TROPICAL PARADISE
We’re not going to lie - it’s a luxe place but it incorporates so much Filipino architecture: bahay-kubo inspired cabanas on stilts standing tall by the riverside, giving you a serene view of the quiet river. Everything about it screams Filipino ~ even the ride from the main entrance going to our cabana was through a carabao ride with a band singing Philippine folk songs. Our family has an undying appreciation of all things Pinoy… so we obviously fell in love with everything. Our eyes, our minds were full.
2. ENJOY HEARTY PINOY MEALS FOR THE SOUL
When you stay in Villa Escudero, your room accommodations is already inclusive of three hearty buffet meals, one of which offers you to experience the waterfall kainan. Each dish was so flavorful - like Bobby and I would spend most of the time either going back and forth to the buffet, or trying to dissect what they did to make their dishes so hearty and hits you right in your roots. What I mean by this is they have a way of making you feel that everything they put out is 100% authentic Filipino. This was also the first time Ynigo tried champorado so it’s a win for all of us.
3. BE IN A CULTURAL IMMERSION
We’ve honestly never encountered a museum so rich and full of history. You can’t take photos inside so all we have is a bunch of memories and knowledge we gained going around. From church relics, to various animal and insect species, to ancestral artifacts and an overall history of the Philippines; the Villa Escudero museum is by-far the best museum we’ve seen. It might not be kept in the best environment for optimal preservation but the content of this museum makes it worth your while. We saw things inside that we’ve never seen anywhere else and you can feel that they really care about preserving the history of their family and the Philippines. You really have to see it to believe it.
4. WANDER THE RIVER
We’ve always had that feeling that when we’re out of town, we seem to feel less stressed and more carefree. We’ve had countless discussions about this and it boils down to the fact that Metro Manila is just so congested and fast-paced for our lives. There’s just so many things happening that your senses get overstimulated. So it’s a good thing that Villa Escudero keeps you focused on trying to unwind and relax. Calming scenery, quiet background and a soothing sense of nature just keeps you level-headed and out of your everyday routine. Bobby and I even did bamboo rafting along its serene river (kids below 7 aren’t allowed) - and it was a great time to just talk about life, dreams, and what we’re grateful for.
5. ENJOY THE SIMPLE THINGS
Whether it be the fresh air, the warm kiss of the sun or the deafening silence of the night; these are just some of the things you can expect from Villa Escudero. Granted that not everyone feels the same way about the provinces, everyone can appreciate such simplicity. Besides, if you don’t fancy the nature, they also offer some of the comforts of the city such as Wi-Fi, swimming pool (they have a kiddie pool & a heated jacuzzi) and various activity areas (like golf, playground, and random patches of land you can probably have a picnic in)!
Though it was only a few days, every single minute of it took away negative energies slowly. We felt the difference. There is no guarantee that one trip will totally wipe-out your parent woes. However, I can assure you that a few hours or days spent away from the busy-ness will help you with a reset. For us, it was Villa Escudero (and some other hidden gems)... For you, well you gotta go out there and figure it out!
Info on Villa Escudero:
Villa Escudero, Km 91, Tiaong, Quezon
+63 (02) 523-0392, +63 (02) 521-0830, +63 (02) 523-2944, +63 917-583-7727, +63 919-993-4744, +63 923-741-0605