For those who want to take a break from the usual hot, sandy beaches, here is a cool alternative, the 2nd in our Summer Escapes Series.
Liliw is a small town at the foot of Mount Banahaw in Laguna, Philippines. It is, at most, a 3-hour drive from Manila via the South Luzon Expressway.
This is far from the beach, so what you come here for is the “batis”, or “brook”, if you must. It is a natural spring of cold, running water, so it’s truly a delight to come and spend a hot summer day here. There are various resorts you can choose from, but we prefer the rustic setting of Liliw Resort, where there are less cement structures, and you feel closer to nature.
How to get there: land travel – private or public transport
Things to do: swimming, nature-tripping
Budget: from PhP50 entrance fee for day-trippers, plus PhP500-3000 for cottages/lodgings for the whole family. You can pack all the food you want, no corkage fees.
Suggested side trip/s: Liliw Town, Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery, or Mt Banahaw, if you want to drive further on
Interesting find/s: Various footwear from Liliw Town
When we last went, we had my cousin’s family with us, so in total, there were 15 people and 2 dogs in our party. We rented a bamboo cottage right beside the brook, which had 3 bedrooms, all furnished with a bed each, and a bathroom. Even without air-conditiong, it was cool enough because of the bamboo and shade from the trees all around. We paid PhP50 (US$1.07) per head plus PhP3,000 for the cottage (US$64) (that was for overnight use, but we didn’t sleep over). We brought our own food and drink, and had even been able to barbecue when we got there. Just bring your own charcoal and matches, just to be sure.
This trip is for those who don’t mind roughing it in the wild. No first class amenities here, so if you like your air-conditioned hotels with the fluffy pillows and indoor plumbing, I guess this is not the place for you.
For the big families on a budget, who are game for anything, you should give this place a try.