Searching through the internet for a definition for “Lakwatsero", a common definition goes something like “one who travels aimlessly without a destination.” Last weekend’s road trip really follows that definition.
Last weekend was supposed to southbound towards the Bicol Region. Then we decided… let’s go northbound itself… and then we settled on… let’s go east instead towards Quezon. We took out one of my maps and I pointed… how about there?
Many many years ago, I had heard about a road from Antipolo which crosses to Quezon. Looking at the map it is the shortest route from Quezon Ctiy. I had planned to do this for years but have never been able to get the trip organized. I guess it is best not to plan.
This trip was just me and Kent. RD had backed out due to a new commitment and Patrick got sick the night before.
Retracing the route Jasper and I took on a trip to Quezon in March earlier this year, we went from Makati to Ortigas extension up to Antipolo, Rizal, then following down heading through Rizal Province to the provinces of Laguna then Quezon.
View Infanta, Quezon in a larger map
We started kinda late… 9am… we were passing through Tanay, Rizal around 10:30 when we decided to stop and get a bite to eat. As with small towns, deciding where to park in the narrow streets is always a dilemma. A church always makes a good parking area. We thus stopped at the Tanay Church
Tanay Church (as is stated in the plack to right of the door) is also know as San Idelfonso Parish Church and built between 1773-1783 during the Spanish era.
It was a nice rustic design, typical of provincial churches of the era
Perhaps due to budget constraints or maybe it was intentional, it was nice to see that the church was not too modernized, thus retaining its “genuine” feel.
More info on the church here.
They had a hodge-podge of saints and religious artifacts.
People who know me, know I love nitpick… I found it amusing to find that they had a category for “Special Waste” which oddly includes Diapers and Sanitary Napkins.
Following the National Road, we turned left a major intersection at Famy and towards Infanta. We headed up the Sierra Madre mountain range. It was around 12nn at the time so we decided to look out for a place to eat. We then saw an interesting restautant at around a curve up the mountain called KM3
Not sure why it was named that way… it certainly wasn’t a kilometer marker. I was initially bothered by the fact that there were no customers. It had one waitress and the cook was outside at the time. It had all these motorbikes outside… maybe it was someone’s parking.
As we went in… it was quite sparse. Though the menu looked interesting. My next thought was interesting. I was expecting the waitress to tell us that items on the menu were not available. Tempted by what we saw, we ordered Bulalo and Lechon Kawali.
When I went to the washroom which was downstairs, I discovered that it was 3 levels and even had a sort of events/conference on the middle level. Needless to say, it was big! I then assumed that we were probably quite early… and that it could be THE evening venue of the area.
Our food then arrived…
When the Bulalo arrived. It was big… especially for just the two of us. But of all the bulalo I have ever had… this is the tastiest! The soup had a sotanghon-type flavor and the whole dish was full of pepper… I loved it. If you look closely, the soup isn’t your typical clear bulalo soup.
Not realizing how big the bulalo was, I had ordered the ever reliable lechon kawali. Yes it was yummy and classic.
All in all, lunch was very very satisfying. If I ever pass this way again, I will insist on eating here again. I give this place two thumbs up!
The Sierra Madre
While I have seen the Sierra Madre mountain range many times, I have never crossed it. Beautiful views and full of coconut trees.
The Pacific Ocean… reaching Infanta
After crossing the Sierra Madre, a small patch of the Pacific Ocean started to peek through through the trees… my heart jumped! Wohoo!!! After all these years, I made!
That was the end of the excitement for this venue.
Needless to say, after seeing the beaches of Palawan, Bohol, etc. I must say that nature did not reach out to me here. I was damn disappointing. It had no “beach” to speak of as you could see. It didn’t seem to have sand… what we had was… rock and soil.
I realized that coasts are not created equal. Just because there is water and palm trees does not a paradise make.
But we went all this way. We needed to give it a chance… so we continued northbound towards Infanta hoping for some reprieve and the promise of paradise. We didn’t find any.
There were resorts mind you. If you can refer to them as resorts. Mostly they were places to stop and picnic with a view of the water.
We some signs to the coastal town of Real so we made a right… heading to “Puerto Real” or Port of Real. No… it is not the resort… it was… a port.
It was a small port. But here is where we realized something strange. No one seemed to mind us. No one asked us what we were doing there. No one even tried to sell us anything. I thought to myself… this is such an unfriendly place.
The highlight was we found these workers loading logs into a truck. They looked like telephone-pole-like petrified logs. Which were cut somewhere then dragged down the water to the port for loading into trucks. Interesting.
We left the port and made our way northbound to Infanta. We found ourselves more inland as we entered Infanta. We hadn’t reached the town-proper when we decided to just turn back. We were thinking that there probably wasn’t anything else scenic we we would encounter. And it was only like 2:30pm… U-Turn!
No big deal really. After all, being Lakwatseros, we had no real destination in mind, so we decided to look for something else… we crossed the Sierra Madre… passed the KM3 restaurant… and proceeded back to the intersection at Famy, Laguna.
Sometimes… It is all about the trip. Not the destination.
Researching on the internet after… there really isn’t anything exciting in Infanta, Quezon.