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Discovering Tayabas Quezon | A "Luxurious" Adventure

Quezon Province is one of the Philippines' front runner for tourist destinations and this sleeping giant just couldn’t stop revealing  surprises. The grand eastern countryside of Luzon is mostly known for its coconut production but you’ll  be shocked to know that Quezon is more than meets the eye.

Set to break the monotonous life, we traveled to one of the oldest towns in Quezon, now a city, Tayabas. This city is far from the usual urban setting you are familiar with . The City of Tayabas has been established since 2007 but revoked immediately until restored in 2011. Tayabas is your unlikely city as you won’t find those conventional tall buildings and advanced infrastructures in the area. 

Even the trading system in the market continued to be old-fashioned. The town's roads are narrow and the conditions of the highways are still retarded. In short, the growth of development in Tayabas is “conserved”.

But let’s not discuss about its economy, instead let’s hear our good finds in Tayabas that would give you  reasons to visit this place very soon as we had ours.

1. Exploring Graceland Estate and Country Club

We would like to introduce to you to GracelandEstate and Country Club. Sounds  “sosyal” right?  But who says you can’t be "sosyal" and experience the life of the rich and famous once in a while in the most affordable way.

The Graceland Estate and Country Club may sound exclusive but it can accommodate anyone who wish to experience a sound vacation or a simple getaway with your loved ones or with your family. Generally, Graceland Estate and Country Club is a leisure estate.

I was so fortunate to be tagged along to experience the facility and amenities of Graceland Estate and Country Club and savour on their delicacies.

The entrance going to the country club looks so deceiving that it will give you an idea of a small mediocre place but once you have entered, you will be surprised to be greeted by a vast and well-trimmed  green estate.

Wandering around, you could mistaken the place for a themed park with more than a dozen of deers roaming in a vast cage and  fruit trees filling the empty lot before reaching the reception office.

Luxurious Accommodation and Amenities

Right after the confirmation of our booked accommodation at the reception office, we were brought to our cozy hotel room via a golf cart. 

The spacious room that we had suits two persons with a queen sized-bed and a balcony where you can breath the refreshing air from the outside and have a better appreciation of the well-groomed estate. There is also a small kitchen where you can store foods and beverages in the fridge. Graceland is truly a home away from home.

Just outside our room was the 9-holed golf course. All guests can try to swing their clubs and test their  patience in potting the ball into the hole. I am familiar with the sport but I am no Tiger Wood to execute a good par but it was a good try.

If you are into fishing, there are small boats where you can use and hang around with your friends while waiting for the fish to bite the bait. And if you are into hardcore outdoor sports, a basketball court, a tennis court, archery and two big swimming pools are just around waiting for you.You can also try their zip line, tree top adventure, camping and bicycle riding and many more.

For more information click here.

2. Tasting the Delights at Memphis Garden Cafe and Grill

I set foot in Tayabas and I made a promise not to leave the place without experiencing their local cuisine and we were not dissapointed with the food served by the nearby Memphis Garden Café and Grill that was romantically located on the side of a man-made lake, the center piece of Graceland Estate and Country Club.

I was not sure how to describe the food served but all I can say was, everything was gastronomically satisfying. It will not give you the oozing and wow factor experience but the menu was enough to keep you contented. 
Chef Jio knows how to please and keep the dishes universal and appealing. Or it must be the tropical ambient and the enticing view of the man-made lake in front that would make you crave for more and eat anything served on your table. Here’s the food we enjoyed for the past two days of our stay in Graceland.

Food prepared for us (clockwise) : Binagoongang Bagnet, Lucban longanisa,Fish fillet with mango sauce and Kinulog na Baka,

Food prepared for us (clockwise) : Grilled Chicken, Turon de Graceland, Sinigang na Hipon sa Buko and Bakulo or Puso ng Saging.

   Chef   Jio  Macalipay, Resident Chef of Memphis Garden Cafe and Grille

3. A Walk to Remember at Malagonlong Bridge

Since we were already in Tayabas, we took a time off from Graceland and wandered around the small city in search for the spanish-made bricked-bridge known as Malagonlong Bridge. 

Malagonlong Bridge  or known also as Puente del Malagonlong is one of the eleven antique adobe-made bridges in Tayabas during the settlement of the Spaniards in Tayabas. This bridge was built in 1850 and was considered as the longest spanish adobe made bridge during the colonial era. 

The antique  infrastructure has a 5 span 445 ft (136m) long  stone arches, traversing the Dumaca River and connecting Brgy. Mateuna and Lakawan.  A tricycle ride from the city will get you to Malagonlong Bridge. The fare was no more than Php50.00.

The eleven (11) historical bridges in Tayabas are: (1) Puente de Alitao (2) Puente de Isabel II (3) Puente de urbiztondo (4) Puente de Francisco de Asis (5) Puente de Bai (6) Puente delas Despididas (7) Puente dela Ese (8) Puente dela Princesa (9) Puente del Malagonlong (10) Puente del Lakawan and  (11) Puente del Mate.

4. Delicacy Shopping at the Street Named as Calle Budin

In the city, we did not let the chance not to have a bite of their famous and unique delicacy known as Budin or a cake made out of cassava flour. Because of its uniqueness and demand, even a street in Tayabas was named after the famous delicacy, Calle Budin.  

You will not get lost finding this famous street as everyone knows the place. You should not miss also some of the sought after snacks like Chami and the ever-famous Quezon's Hardinera.

Chami and Hardinera

5. Visiting the Second Largest Bahay na Bato in the Philippines, Casa Communidad de Tayabas

The city is home also to some heritage sites like the Casa Communidad de Tayabas that was once considered as the most stunning Tribunal House in 1776. The casa became also a reception house for important figures during the spanish colonization.

Our visit to the casa was a little unfortunate as the place is under renovation and being converted for another function for city government use. The first level of the museum was dedicated for the city library and one chamber was reserved for the collection of some of the oldest garments worn by its residents.

6. Getting Blessed in One of the Most Beautiful Churches in the Philippines, Basilica de San Miguel

As we turn our way back to Graceland, we bumped to another spot rarely spoken outside Tayabas, the Minor Basilica de San Miguel. The church of Tayabas was one of the oldest (built in 1580) that was torn down by a great earthquake in 1743 and rebuilt in 1856. 

Looking at the top view, the church resembles to the shape of a key that made it known among the locals as "Susi ng Tayabas" (The Key of Tayabas). The Basilica de San Miguel was considered as one of the most beautiful churches in the Philippines.

Getting to Tayabas

The City of Tayabas is just 3-4 hour drive from Manila. If you are traveling on commute, buses like JAM, JAC and Lucena Lines can take you up to the diversion road leading to Tayabas, the fare was less than Php300.00. At the diversion road, ride on the parked jeepneys bound for Lucban as it will pass by the City of Tayabas. The fare is less than Php10.00.

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