Epic Ride to Lucban – Tayabas
By The Pinoy Rider
It was a cold uneventful day and I wanted to eat something fresh seafood for a change. I’ve been to Real previously where I immensely enjoyed their fresh catch but I didn’t want to go to the beach again so I researched and ended up choosing this popular yet quiet restaurant in Tayabas – Lucban road in Quezon.
Preparing for the long ride ahead.
As always, I made sure to have my bike’s engine oil changed. I used the Top 1 Evolution Fully Synthetic in order to prepare my engine for the long grind of going to Quezon. I trust this brand because it has never failed me and has always taken care of my engine ever since. My bike’s engine seem to run a lot cooler and it also lubricates my gears effectively.
There are actually quite a few ways to get to Lucban from Metro Manila. Going there one could pass through Laguna via the national highway going to Calamba – Sto. Tomas – Alaminos – San Pablo – Tiaong then towards Candelaria and Sariaya in Quezon. Another route would be to sort of loop Laguna by turning left in Calamba going to Los Banos Bay – Sta. Cruz – Pagsanjan – Cavinti all the way to the Tayabas boundary. Now, the first route is the more popular bus route while the second route is the old route wherein there are less cars but more turns in the mountains.
Also, if you would want a scenic, stress free ride, you may also opt to try the backroad (old) route via Cavinti. For some, the bus route is a bit dangerous although it still depends on the riders skill level on how you will avoid or go with them. I would advise just to always check your side mirrors since there are buses that actually seem to sound silent when they overtake you. Some would even pass by your side without any sound at all and you will only notice them once they pass you. This is one of the obvious reasons that riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than our four-wheeled counterparts but I have come to love the open air and freedom when riding, regardless of the route taken. While you can’t eliminate all of the danger when riding a motorcycle, I make it a primary goal to reduce as much risk as possible. Being as visible as possible on the road is one thing, and keeping your bike in tip top shape is another.
One of the most popular restaurants in Lucban – Tayabas is the Kamayan sa Palaisdaan restaurant. Upon entry to the restaurant, a representative will take your orders and will write a queue number on your order slip, just wait for your name to be called to get your cottage assignment or nipa hut. Yes, your dining table is inside a floating cottage or nipa hut where you and your friends will have a relaxing time eating in a balsa or a floating cottage / kubo.
The food was good and among those I ordered were the inihaw na tilapia and ensaladang talong. Part of the authentic dining experience here is when you start eating with your bare hands. I don’t know about you guys but I have a much better appetite whenever I eat with my bare hands. This place is a real must visit in this part of Quezon. Depending on the season and day of the week, you might have a bit of a difficult time getting a Kubo but it will all be worth it. It is located in the northern part of Tayabas and is very popular among the tourists for their restaurant. It is not the usual seafood restaurant as the tables are in the Balsa (Bamboo Raft) so it is a different dining experience. Besides, the staff are accommodating too.
You may call for reservation prior going to Kamayan sa Palaisdaan since the place is always full and it may take some time for you to have a reserve Kubo but still it is worth the wait. Kamayan sa Palaisdaan is located at Brgy Dapdap, Tayabas Quezon. Opens Monday – Friday 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. It is along the national highway in the Lucban – Tayabas Road.
Kamay ni Hesus Shrine
I just had to visit a very religious place in this part of the country – Kamay ni Hesus. As some of you may know, I always try my best to at least visit one church in every new place I visit and what better way to continue that tradition than to visit this very popular religious destination, for devotees and curious minds alike. Literally meaning Hand of Jesus in English, this Shrine they say is a healing shrine and the hand of Jesus would help those who are sick and are in need of healing, whether physically or otherwise.
Kamay ni Hesus is a 5 hectare shrine featuring a church where healing masses are celebrated by renowned healing priest Fr. Joseph Faller. Located in Brgy. Tinamnan, Lucban, Quezon, healing masses are held every Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9 in the morning. It also looks like one huge outdoor museum with religious life-sized replicas of characters and scenes from the holy bible such as Adam and Eve, The Last Supper, Garden of Eden, among others. Perhaps the biggest attraction in Kamay Ni Hesus is the 300 steps you will need to take in order to reach the top of the hill where a 52 foot statue of the Ascending Christ overlooks the entire compound. Once you are here, the statue you will see is reminiscent of Brazil’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and the Statue of the Risen Christ in Monasterio de Tarlac. Going up, you will see bigger than life-sized statues of the Stations of the Cross. If you are Roman Catholic, this is indeed a good venue to do your Lenten devotions. There is no doubt that once you reach the top of the hill (it sure felt like a mountain to me), you will be dead tired and exhausted but do not fret, the view from the top is exhilirating and you will be amazed on how beautiful it is from up there. The experience will also be truly rewarding for some as you can reflect while at the same time appreciating nature and enjoying the beautiful sight from above.
Kamay ni Hesus Shrine and Healing Center was constructed in 2002 with the help of Quezonians and other Filipino Donors from various communities in the United States. WIth the help of some local donors, Father Joey Faller (The Healing Priest) even shared the money he inherited from the family heirloom to financially sustain the construction of the Healing Center.
Within the 5 hectare property, visitors can also visit Luklukan ni Maria, Noah’s Ark, Resurrected Christ, Gallery of Saints, Garden of Eden, The Angels Hill, The Marian Park among others. This Shrine may be known for the healing masses but it has also become a popular tourist and field trip destination nowadays. I came there on a weekend and the visitors didn’t just visit the church but there were a lot of people taking pictures here and there. There was even a big group from a popular call center so I supposed this was a venue for team building activities too.
Opposite the hill of the Ascending Christ is a smaller hill where the statue of Mama Mary looking up to his son was also erected. If on the hill going to the Ascending Christ are the images/statues depicting the Way of the Cross, the hill where Mama Mary is are different images from the scenes in the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
Batis Aramin Resort Hotel
This trip was also a good opportunity for me to attend the Fury Road Tour organized by Kawasaki and I had the great privilege of spending the night (and the next day too) in Batis Aramin.
Situated at the foot of Mount Banahaw, Batis Aramin is among the reasons you would want to go to Lucban, Quezon—home of the world famous Pahiyas Festival and Longganisang Lucban. Batis Aramin is right across the Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church and Vio Dolorosa Grotto. Batis Aramin is very spacious and could probably host any team building or event you might think of. This is already my second time here as I attended a travel event team up by BMW and Touratech. Batis Aramin is just 10 minutes away from the town proper where the Pahiyas contest takes place and where you could buy the ever famous Longganisang Lucban. There’s a manmade lake where you can go boating. There are also several pools wherein you can spend and enjoy some quality time with your family.
Inside the resort, there is a man made river where you can go boating and fishing, 4 pools and a slide, a basketball and volleyball court and reception halls and conference halls for huge events. There’s also a Batis Aramin Adventure Camp that allows you to do wall climbing, zipline and rapelling. The Adventure Camp is facilitated by TRAVERSE outdoors.
There’s a tall tower about 40ft that has a wall climbing facility on one side, rapelling on the other and a cable line that is set up from the other side of the tower. Just behind the tower, there’s a rope course and an adventure course that I’d love to have tried out. I didn’t try it out since it doesn’t pose much of a challenge. Of course I am just kidding. I salute the brave Fury riders for not chickening out. The tower is tall and might scare some people.
On the way home, since Lucban is very popular when it comes to delicious longganisa, I knew I just had to take home some and bought a couple of kilos and stuffed it inside my tail bag. Once you enter the town proper, you will be surprised by the sheer number of stores lined up selling this famous Quezon delicacy. I was lucky enough to have edible longganisas when I checked itsince it took some time before I got home as I passed through the backdoor route in Marilaque going to Sierra Madre Resort Hotel for the Motorally awarding ceremonies. But all is good and the entire trip went well.
Although the Pahiyas Festival is still the top draw in this part of Quezon’s tourism, it is noteworthy to remember these beautiful places I have visited as the attractions that Quezon offers does not only rely on once a year festivals but offers amazing destinations all year round.
– Erik Gatmaitan is the author of http://www.pinoyrider.com – Journeying the Philippines SOLO on a motorbike.
Follow his adventures on his website or through his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PinoyRider