Getting to know my heritage at Villa Escudero

For the readers who may believe that I am Japanese blogger who has lived in America and Japan and loves to blog about food, beauty and fashion, I have to say . . . that's partially correct.

Believe it or not, I am actually of Filipino descent.  Well, half.  My mother immigrated from Gifu, Japan and my father from Manila, Philippines.  Funny and yet so contemporary how they came to meet here in Hawaii in the 70s.  My father charmed her at a disco, they got married and had a kid and the rest is a long history that I would not want to blab about on my blog.  

Currently, my parents are retired in the Philippines and I am trying to make annual visits to them.  This past February was my second visit and the more I visit the Philippines, the more I fall in love with the country.  Not because there are more things to do--including casinos & large shopping malls--but because I love the culture.  I love the people.  I feel as if the people there are so in love with life regardless if they work a 10-hour long job for little pay.  They really know how to have fun, enjoy and appreciate what they have.  Materialism is something you'd rarely see there and it's such a breath of fresh air for me.

Going forward with this post, I really wanted to share my experience at Vila Escudero which is one of the most famous tourist spots in the Philippines.  I stumbled across this place while scrolling on my Newfeed on Facebook and found an article about "unusual" restaurants around the world.  Villa Escudero was one of them.  It's a beautiful restaurant that is built along a river by the waterfall.  Yes, way. 

The drive here was amazing.  Great to stray away from the concrete life sometimes :)

Adorable little souvenir shop near the ticket booth.

So, the tickets which cost about $35 bought us a ride on a Carabaw (water buffalo), lunch by/in the waterfalls and a show at the villa.

Here's our carabaw for the ride, Madonna.

The crew and singers in the back row.

Walking down towards the waterfall

A precaution for anyone who plans to visit is to bring a pair of flip flops because you will get your feet wet.  Also, the ground can be quite slippery so keep your electronics in a safe place!

It was basically a buffet lunch with the most authentic Filipino food you could ever find.  What's more authentic?  You eat with your hands.  I goes that would be another warning for those who plan to visit. Either bring your own utensils or suck it up and be one with the people. haha!

Now, isn't this a beautiful family portrait.  This was definitely a kodak moment that I couldn't pass up on!

It was a fairly slow day since it was on a weekday which was not a problem for us since that meant more food.  Although, the fresh coconut juice was out when we got there.  Boo.

Philippine Experience Show

I love halo halo. I love you.

Postcard worthy!  This is the river that flows down into the waterfall restaurant shown earlier.  Isn't this just beautiful?  You could also opt in bamboo rafting as you can see in the photo.  I didn't have the proper clothes so I had to pass :(  Next time for sure!

Monkeying around

 I had such a wonderful time and I would really recommend everyone to visit this place.  Please add it to your bucket list!  If it weren't for my camera, I would say that this whole day was like a travel back into time and I felt as if I got more in touch with my roots that I should've probably done a looooong time ago.

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