Sunday, February 26, 2012

Travelouge: Day Trip at Los Baños, Laguna

On the 16th of February, I apparently had nothing else to do, wanted to explore nearby provinces, and experience UP Fair, LB style.  Good thing I know someone who lives in Los Baños, Laguna.

Too bad I wasn't able to document (take photos) of where to ride etc.  I'll try my best to share it here in written form.

Anyway, we met up at Jollibee Buendia-Taft past 9 AM and crossed to the other side of the street where DLTBCO bus line is situated.  We hopped on the Sta. Cruz bus and paid Php 93 (?) each to Calamba (to have lunch at Pho Hanoi).  While my friend was busy watching "Real Steel" on our trip, I dozed off and woke up at Calamba.  It was a quick ride.  It took us an hour to get there.

lunch at Pho Hanoi in Calamba

As soon as we had our lunch at Pho Hanoi, we rode a jeep to Los Baños (take UPLB, San Pablo jeep).  I can't remember how much our fare was.  But roughly, it's between 14-20 pesos.

As we passed along these curves and hills, I noticed that there were a number of spring resorts, which reminds me of Crystal Springs (and had no idea, until this LB trip, that I already set foot in Calamba way back! haha).  I remember going there when I was around 10 with all the relatives.  It was a great place as I remember.  But much to my surprise, it closed down years ago.  Sayang.. tsk.  I really want to go back there and reminisce with my cousins, but there's no chance at all.  Sigh.

It was my first time in LB.  We went to my friend's home but apparently no one's there so we decided to go straight to UPLB by foot.  It was a loooooong walk, but worth it.  My friend can be a local day tour guide, seriously.  We passed by these cafes, bakeries and restaurants but weren't able to dine on those shops since we were still full.  There's always a next time anyway.

Then, alas, we reached UPLB.  *insert angels singing*

Okay, angels singing was too exaggerated.  My expectation was set so high prior to my trip here in UPLB, and this was it?  Well, maybe I was exhausted from the long walk due to the extreme heat that's why I was grumpy (haha).  But we continued walking.  The place is very Diliman-like, so nothing new, except that LB is waaaaaaay wider than Diliman (I think).

I looooooove trees.  I love nature.  So that's why I chose to explore this side of Laguna since I know someone from this place and see the beauty of its surroundings.  It's indeed beautiful... this huge tree!  You'll never fail to see this one along the road.  It looks way taller behind the lens.  

I take snapshots of everything I think is beautiful, and this is one of it.

And alas, I was able to see the fertility tree!  You know why it's named after it?  Funny story.  Well, they say that there were/are young lovers who conceive under this tree when it's dark.  LOL.  I don't know if it's true, but the heck.. it's funny. That's what they call kababalaghan.

Best way to quench our thirsts, mango shake with evaporated milk at the bottom for only Php 10.  ^_^

We looked sweaty and exhausted.  But, yeah, our mango shakes were gratifying!  So no grumpy mood after. :p

Since I didn't want to explore much of the fair, because there's nothing to do anyway and I'm not there to go shopping, I can't stop talking about wanting to see those students hugging trees!  My dear tour guide then brought me to this side of UPLB--the College of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Oh, by the way, we rode a jeep inside the campus and just literally "point up" just to signal the driver if he's going to UP Forestry.  Php 8 for non-students.  The usual fare.

We dropped off Makiling Botanic Gardens.  Since we weren't able to see tree-hugging students, we went inside MBG.  Php 20 entrance fee.

We walked, walked and walked.  Went down towards the stream then up again since it's quite eerie with us alone at that point..haha.  Birds chirping, different chirps that is.  Most probably they are birds of different species.  Too bad I wasn't able to see them due to the bushy, tall trees around.  Very calming place.  Beautiful!!!

We then called it a day before reaching the topmost part of the botanical garden.  Will definitely go back here soon with a lot of friends and with extra shirts and bottled water.

If I can't stop talking about the student-hugging-trees all day, my tour guide can't stop raving about Cafe Antonio.  So we went there, tried one of their drinks and had a quick bite before I went back to Manila.  For my Cafe Antonio review, click here.

I was supposed to buy some kesong puti but wasn't able to see the authentic one.  Geesh.. I was looking forward to it and compare it to the kesong puti we have in Cavite.  Oh well... next time.  Now I'm craving it with pandesal then dipping it in a hot coffee.  *Homer Simpson mode*

The entire trip was indeed great.  Next time, I'll try visiting one of the spring resorts along Calamba-Los Baños since it's way too easy going to the other side of Laguna.  Pagsanjan?  Nagcarlan?  San Pablo?  Yep, I'll be there soon.

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