Monday, 27 October 2008

Touring Around Liliw, Laguna

Beau has been thinking of going day tour on this quiant little town in Laguna. One could reach the province/suburb of Laguna in just about an hour away from Makati/Manila, provided that there is no traffic at all. But upon entering the province of Laguna, one could reach the little town of Liliw in about 2 hours (if traveling by public bus) and of course, could be lesser if one is traveling by a private vehicle.

Laguna is a very big province, there is also what was called Viaje Del Sol (travel under the sun) which a lot of townsfolks are raving about but we were only able to go around the town of Liliw, but t'was a great day tour I've had there.

Liliw is called Laguna's Shoe Capital. Well, I would agree. When I got off the jeepney at Liliw, there was a whole stretch that spots about 30-40 shoe shops left and right. There were also vinegars for sale along the road, some people offering you longganisa (marinated ground pork with fat, something that looks like a bolognia), and the usual street food.

However, of course, the highlight of this trip was the retail therapy I had when we went there.
  • bags
  • shoes
  • bags
  • shoes
  • and moooore shoes!!

You wouldn't see any clothes shop nearby (not that I know of).


It was a bright Sunday morning when Beau and I were able to get up from the bed and decided to leave for Liliw. Well, out of anticipation to reach the town the earliest possible time, we decided not to eat breakfast, as I was also trying to make a lot of room for Ara Bela, so we left with empty stomachs and hopeful hearts.

Being travelers who do not have a vehicle of our own, from our place in Muntinlupa, we rode a jeep going to Alabang. By 8AM, the sun was unusually striking-hot already, I wished I was able to wear sunscreen for protection. Too bad I didn't have one at that time (Hey! It's -ber months! Who would think that sun's heat would be as piercing as summer?). When we got to Alabang, as we were walking towards Hen Lin, there was a bus going to Sta. Cruz, and so we quickly jump aboard and looked for a spot where we could avoid the sun (well, for the meantime).

I could have sung "killing me softly" while riding on the bus from Alabang to Sta. Cruz. If you're not the type who could sit and stay for a long, bumpy, dusty, and muggy ride, I would suggest you take an aircon bus instead as starting the day riding an ordinary bus going to Sta. Cruz. Not sure though if there's an aircon bus going there (but I think there is). On the other hand, if you are the kind of person who's like me - harangan man ng sibat, aalis pa din - (anything goes kind of person), then the bumpy, muggy ride is just a part of the trip and like me who would think that there's nothing to compare with the sense of accomplishment that would go with reaching a certain destination alongside the exceptional experience - then the ordinary bus could be for you.

So, yes, we took an ordinary bus and got swept away with the Sunday morning wind that kissed our faces when the bus was traveling about 120kph on the highway. The ride just got pretty slow when we reached the narrow streets of Los Baños, Laguna (well, compared to SLEX - South Luzon Expressway, Los Baños's streets are quite narrow). Ah yeah, alright, if you're also thinking of going to Los Baños, riding a bus going to Sta. Cruz could be an option too. We passed by some public pools in Los Baños with some people waving those little boards offering for private pools (I do not recommend them - highly NOT), the Korean 88 Spa (this is HIGHLY recommended in terms of privacy and quality), and of course, another hour traversing unpopular towns in Laguna.

Okay, so one little (but huge!) mistake which we did was to alight the bus right after this Metro-something Mall. I'm telling you now! Sta. Cruz is still farther than that! I guess we were just soooo giddy reaching the town of Liliw that we got so excited going out of the bus when there were a few people started to alight the bus. Haha. We had to take the jeepney tour around the town of Nagcarlan, then to Liliw. Oh, it was grueling. Be a little more patient in reaching Sta. Cruz, and when everyone is alighting the bus, that is the only time you should leave the bus too, ok? ;)

So, after the long version which we took going to Liliw, we reached the area. The jeepney we rode dropped us off the lowest point of the road, I guess it's for the shops to be able to display their products to the travelers/wanderers/visitors of the area who could be possible shoppers too. We found out that Ara Bela was located on the other side of the road, And of course, me being famished, I was sort of having a nausea when we were walking up the steep road. Oh yes, the roads in the town of Liliw were sort of steep (well, where the one the jeep dropped us off was steep), like where the shoes and sandals shops are located? They're steep. And, I may had wanted to strangle anyone who would stop me from going to Ara Bela. Yes, my heart was focused on going to Ara Bela. Nowhere else.

Finally, we had reached Ara Bela.

Ara Bela (Arabela) is in the basement of a 2 storey house. Everybody in this town knows where this is.

Beau was already hungry, if not famished, this time.

Beau is wishing that his order would taste awesome.

An antique electric fan and a lampshade to add ambiance in a small and sort-of-crowded place.

The P50.00 almost good-for-two pudding that's not so sweet and is drizzled with caramel on top. This is just to pacify my nausea.

top-view. The pudding was soft, it doesn't taste like the usual bread, the texture is neutral. Not dry nor moist. It's yummy :D
It's ARA BELA, there's a space in between. Not Arabela.
The ceiling is unusually low as this place is just a part of the house's basement.
Make sure you'll be here before 12PM. We got there at 11:30AM and, gawd! The place was already crowded! We thought we wouldn't be able to get our fill but we got lucky there was a small table for two. We rushed onto it so fast!

This is seafood spaghettini. (I think it's 140)

Take two.

Take three. (Yummy spaghettini!)

Beau's generous serving of chicken marinara. (I think this is for 160.00)

Busog na. Hehe :D *burp!*

Next... The other places you could find at Liliw, Laguna (^_^)v


Brix said...

wow mahal that was a very detailed description of our trip! :)

for other people who's planning to go to liliw make sure that you have cash with you because the nearest atm is a couple of towns away. :)

lailaniegracedizon said...

take me there!!!!!please!!!!!

Paper Tilapia said...

ahahaha... yes, beau, you're super right. must i say that you're speaking based on experience? haha. :P they have to stack some cash with them unless they're not planning on taking any retail therapy. :) hehehe.

@ grace - sure i will take you there! basta you take me to iloilo too, ha! ÜÜÜ

kcatwoman said...

nako mukhang masarap ang spaghettini.