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What to Do and What to Eat in Lucban | A Samkara Staycation

I’d been to some parts of Quezon before like Lucena and Tayabas but I have never been to Lucban until I was invited by a friend to check the newest resort in town they called Samkara.

Lucban is a seasoned star municipality famous for their vibrant Pahiyas Festival. And with the boost of tourism industry, investors are now coming in to support the micro economy of this former Spanish established community in the province of Quezon.

Located adjacent to some of the legendary areas like Lucena, Majayjay and Tayabas, Lucban shouldn’t be undermined as this place can offer some experiences to its guests ranging from heritage sites to some of the finest delectable delights.

Excited like a newbie, we hurried to Lucban via van waiting at the terminal of Festival Mall in Alabang. It only took us 2 hours to reach Samkara to where we did not have any difficulty spotting the resort as it stands just by the highway.

The main restaurant of Samkara

We were welcomed at the Filipino Bahay Kubo-Styled Restaurant that serves as one of the activity centers of the resort. As we were ushered to our accommodation, we were amused to know that we were actually staying in a Kubo- inspired room.

Our accommodation was simple but elegant. No need for air-conditioner as the cold breeze from the rice field is enough to put you under your blanket. The climate in this part of Lucban is a little bit cooler than in the town center.

The Bahay-Kubo inspired room in Samkara

Every bahay-kubo inspired room has its small veranda overlooking the small rice field across the resort and the feeling was just nostalgic. I could not hear anything that would remind me of the city, other than the chirping birds and the aroma of the bran on your backdrop.

I was truly impressed with the landscaping of the resort and according to the owner, Agnes, they did not mess with the natural contour of the land and just simply adapt to it by placing carefully the facilities in strategic ways.

Dipping into the bitingly cold pool in Samkara

At the end of the resort sits the small pool filled with cold free-flowing spring. Your stress will go away by just dipping into the cold water of the pool.

Food Fest in Samkara

Food is not a problem here. This resort was actually built on the foundation of being a restaurant.

We were moved with the food served to us. First we had the infamous Hardinera, Langonisang Lucban and Chop Suey.

The Hardinera is a favorite of mine, tasting it first from Buddy’s Restaurant, a Lucban origin. The Langonisang Lucban has a different kick compared to your usual longanisa found in the market of Metro Manila. You can taste the rich ground garlic mixed with the meat. There is a raspy taste when you dip the local longanisa into a local made vinegar.

Food served in Samkara 

At dinner, I was shocked to know that we will be eating a carabao meat. It wasn’t my first time to eat a carabao meat but I have never known that Lucban has a surplus of carabao. Anyway, unlike the Tapang Kalabaw, the meat in coconut milk was soft and tender and easy to chew. But I am not sure if this dish is suited for dinner as it was very hard to digest.

"Langonisa" is one of the pride product of Lucban  and Pancit Habhab as well

The other dishes we enjoyed in Samkara are the Fern Salad, Crispy Dinuguan, Crispy Suman and Chicken in Oyster Sauce.

Breakfast by the garden in Samkara

The dishes were all above average and I could really recommend these for you to try. Did I mention the prices are easy on the pocket ranging from P150-250.

Wandering in Lucban

Since we were already in Lucban, we grabbed the opportunity to wander around and explore the town.

The almmost 400 year old church in Lucban

We first stumbled with the century-old Cathedral of Lucban, also known as The Church of St. Louis Bishop of Toulouse and home to San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers.

Care for a pancit habhab, anyone?

Just outside of the church, a streamline of food carts sells the original Lucban Pancit Habhab. You can buy a “handful” of this local noodle recipe for only Php 10.00, which is enough to satisfy your hunger.

Not far from the cathedral was the Café San Luis where we decided to sit and relax for a moment. As we were enjoying our stay we decided to order a cup of their hot tablea drink.

As we wait for our drink to be ready, the food handler offered us to try their original lambanog, free of charge, yup just wow! I got enticed for a sip but the simple sip turned into a giant shot of the local tequila. Did I mention it was just 9 in the morning and should they be offering coffee instead of wine? Hahaha.

Museum in Lucban
Not far from Café San Luis is the newly installed museum of Lucban. The entrance is free. Inside the museum are some of the artifacts of World War 2. There are also some display of the old places and landmarks in Quezon which is hard to recognize in this modern time.

What struck me most was the modern arts and paintings displayed on the hall of the museum. I just feel sad that the collections are confined in a place exposed to harsh radicals like moisture. I hope, the LGU could improve the museum, which can showcase their stories and history at a glance.

Reaching the Kamay Ni Hesus, a pilgrimage site in Lucban

A jeepney ride from the town, we went to the infamous landmark in Lucban, the pilgrimage site of Kamay ni Hesus. This shrine is a favorite among the Catholic devotees who prays for the healing of their sick relatives and friends.

The site was humungous and the location of the statue of Christ (3rd largest in the world) was at the peak of the hill that would require you to climb the more than 300-step staircase. A healing mass is scheduled here every Wednesday and Saturdays at 9:30am.

We did not bother to go up since we were already a bit exhausted with our wandering.

The famous Majayjay Waterfalls

Before we left our accommodation in Samkara the next day, we went for a side trip in Majayjay Falls (already part of Laguna). It took us less than 30 minutes to reach the jump-off going to the famous falls. As we walk on the paved slippery road, a number of ferns and other beautiful flora greeted us. We felt that the temperature suddenly dropped and it feels like we were in Baguio.

Getting in the middle of the rice field in Samkara
As we reached the waterfall, we were so excited to taste its waters but our body immediately withdraw the moment our feet touched the very cold water. But how can I leave this place without dipping into its pool. With all the might left in me, I jumped into the water like a careless child. It was fun but I was biting my lip due to shivering cold.

Thank you Ms. Agnes, Karl, Andrea and Mr. Dennis Jardin

We had wished we have more time to explore Lucban but time was too short that we have to pack up and go back to the metro and face the deafening reality again. But at least we were rejuvenated with our stay in Samkara and ready for the week’s challenges.

If you wish to visit the place check their website here.

Or Contact:

Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort
Sitio Malinao, Brgy. Igang,
Lucban, Quezon

Mobile Phone: 0947.922.0081



  1. Awesome! I want to check this place out one of these days. Do you think it's safe to go alone? And how long is the hike from the jump off point to the falls itself?

  2. Wow its my first time getting to know Lucban. Lovely quite town with lots of local food and delicacy to try. May I know what is carabao meat?