We visited Villa Escudero on a weekday and so the complex was relatively quiet. We drove from Muntinlupa, south of downtown Manila/Makati cutting down the travel time significantly. This was a day trip so I cannot comment on the accommodations. Villa Escudero is undergoing a lot of construction at this time which detracted a little from the experience. The staff were very friendly and helpful. They served us drinks upon our arrival. We visited the museum which is an eclectic collection of religious artifacts, military paraphernalia, traditional Filipino attire (including the outfits worn by Filipino presidents and their spouses on their respective inaugurations), and archaeological artifacts.
We were shuttled around the grounds in water buffalo- or carabao-drawn carriages. The museum was a short walk from the parking and reception. The carriages then brought us to the waterfall and performance pavilion. We were accompanied by a guitarist and singer who serenaded us with Filipino folk songs. Lunch was served at the base of a man-made dam and waterfall; where there used to be a hydroelectric power station. The tables were set in shallow water which flowed from the waterfall over our feet. There was an area for visitors to store their shoes. Most of us had brought slippers or sandals which we didn't mind getting wet. The food wash freshly-cooked and tasty.
Each weekend, starting on Fridays, Villa Escudero presents a variety of traditional Filipino dances from the different regions of the country as well as from different eras. It was an excellent performance. The performance pavilion has a cafe serving hot and cold drinks as well as snacks. There were great views of the river, waterside lodging and the nearby Mount Banahaw from the pavilion. The swimming pools were nearby but we did not use these facilities. There was a lot of construction going on by the pavilion and the pool area. Sometimes the sounds of the work intruded into the dance performance.
This was an enjoyable visit even though we did not make the most of all that Villa Escudero had to offer; for example, we did not venture out onto the river in the bamboo rafts. The lunch at the base of the waterfall was fun. The museum was interesting. We enjoyed the dance performance thoroughly. The ground could use some cleaning up but this should happen once the renovations are completed. I also suggest bringing slippers/tsinelas or beach shoes that you can get wet when having lunch at the waterfall. Walking barefoot at the waterfall is always an option. I would also consider checking with the resort to see when the construction/renovation will be completed before visiting, assuming that time is not of the essence. Visiting on Friday will help avoid weekend crowds but still allow you to enjoy the dance performances.
- Also Known As:
- Villa Escudero Hotel San Pablo City