7 Things to do in Villa Elma | Hidden Paradise of Lucban
Home to the famous peak of Mt. Banahaw, Quezon Province offers more of untouched beauty from pristine coastline facing ravishing mountains that show a clear definition of an enchanting archipelago. The province is a popular pilgrimage site for different religious sects as it plays a big role to our culture. Boasting the majestic view of Mount Banahaw—considered as holy ground by locals—it has became a tourist attraction that mostly being observed during lenten season.
Lucban is also a destination for happy souls. Locals have an endless passion to express gratitude towards good harvest thru a gala they called "Pahiyas". People of Quezon is known for their heart-warming approach to all the blessings they receive. Walking along the street, your eyes will never fail to see historical beauty that will take you back to Japanese Occupation. Henceforth, if you are a person finding adrenaline rush or just simply seeking an escape from the bustling kaleidoscope of the metro, you might want to check Villa Elma. Unbeknownst to many, there is a rest house in Lucban, designed to bring realistic relaxation for any thirsty soul seeking for rejuvenation.
Named after Justice Magdangal Elma—Chairman of the Presidential council of Good Goverment—the Villa has been carving its own identity over the tourist destination map primarily because of its perfect position that lies passionately on foothills of Mt. Banahaw. It attracts zen-loving people as it offers tranquil atmosphere, helping you find inner peace. The villa houses a number of accomodations such as tent, glamping, tree houses and even nicely furnished air-conditioned rooms. It boast a vast array of sculptures and a collection of life-sized statues that were handcrafted by prominent Filipino artists.
As a testament for those unacquainted, Justice Elma is fond of collecting Filipino arts as he highly value the artisan experties of his fellow country men. The villa has been established since 1992 and after decades of privacy, its door finally opened last 2016. Built to brace one man's zeal, Villa Elma is a rejuvenating ground filled with the owner's perpetual faith to God and an eye to appreciate country's Eden-like nature.
So if you will happen to visit Villa Elma, here is the SEVEN things you should not forget to do.
7 THINGS TO DO AT AT VILLA ELMA
- Walk through Paradise
- Climb the Cristo Rey tower
- See Sculptures
- Ring the wishing bell
- Traverse the hanging bridge
- Eat Pancit and Longganisa Lucban
- Relax at your suite
1. WALK THROUGH PARADISE
Being situated along the hill facing the majestic landscape of Mount Banahaw, anyone may find serenity as the cool breeze from the nearby rain forest blows your stress away. Certainly, you don't want to miss it especially during the morning—when the sun gently awakens the birds to sing—which is pretty convenient as well. We woke up around 6am to traverse the whole and along the way, we were greeted by humongous array of flowers growing wildly and freely.
Carved by time, the pristine river coming from the mountain flows with elegance and pride. It was developed to promote calmness as you simply sit and rejuvenate by listening to its soothing sound. Set amidst tropical landscape filled with life-sized statues is a bridge stretching around 15 feet towards the other side. It creates that feeling of wilderness and boost anyone's interest to delve deep into its fresh alkaline water. People are welcome to soak as the only thing they essentially need is towel.
2. CLIMB THE CRISTO REY TOWER
Unbeknownst to many, Villa Elma also offers a thrilling activity designed for adrenalin junkies. Walking along the park, you will find Cristo Rey Tower. Composed of three-leveled floors, the tower also offer its highest peak when you climb the steel ladder going up the head of the tremendous statue of the Christ. Beholding the breath-taking beauty of the forest mountain at 360 view is a definite haven for all courageous photographers and adventure seekers. At top, your skin will feel the refreshing mountain breeze as you indulge your eyes in the exhilarating kaleidoscope of greens and blues. Taking your photo here perhaps one of the things you will highly appreciate for the rest of your life!
3. SEE SCULPTURES
The Villa is populated by prodigious collection of sculptures that were resulted from the wild imagination of Filipino artisans. Boredom never exist as all corners are exuberated by arts showing faith and devotion to Christ. It blends well with Filipino mythical statues and some kid-inspired characters.
If you happen to fancy seeing arts, well you should never forget to check those out. As a testament, you can find this all at every corner without spending efforts. But sauntering the whole place will make a big difference as the area is passionately scattered with inspiring aesthetics.
The statue of "Bernardo Carpio"—a Filipino mythical character—represents the story of a strong man who said to be trapped in the mountains of Montalban. With strong will to escape, Bernardo has tried his best but never succeeded. As per the legend, his suffering anguish is the one responsible for the earthquakes we feel now adays.
4. RING THE WISHING BELL
Your Villa Elma experience will never be completed without making a wish and ringing the bell situated beside the astonishing statue of The Risen Christ. The bell facing the sky is truly enchanting, making you build composure to come and make a wish. The bell is designed for people who like to send wishes to God. They said that after wishing, you should ring the bell three times by pulling the string connected into it.The sounds of the bell will fill the area with alluring melody and your heart with gratefulness. The statue of the Risen Christ is also enchanting as it seems like ascending to heaven with arms wide open. Truly, the experience is magical!
5. TRAVERSE THE HANGING BRIDGE
Some of us might also dreamed to do slightly extreme activities alongside either our friends or parents. Well, you may put a period on that as Villa Elma feature a hanging bridge where you can truly enjoy beholding fascinating view while traversing the buoyant bridge connecting two different sides of the Villa. The bridge has that "instagramable" beauty that will trigger your hands to take a lot of photos. Make sure your gadgets are ready or else get stucked on preparing while building your balance at the middle.
6. EAT PANCIT AND LONGGANISA LUCBAN
Traveling is said to be "food" for the soul, but when you try to look in a different aspect, you may find food as the soul of your travel. Most of the people say that when you really want to know a culture, you must try their food. Well, you dont need to get far from Villa Elma as they cook it right next to your door. Say hello to Cafe Elsa!
Cafe Elsa brings you authentic Lucban dishes such as "Pancit Lucban" and "Longganisa Lucban". The whole dining place is invigorated by carved woods showing high definition of elegance and tranquility. Finding composure is pretty challenging when all you get to see is alluring. Eating here is better rather than eating to your room as the environment is one of the Cafe Elsa's best charms.
* Do not forget to order Pancit
7. RELAX AT YOUR SUITE
Ofcourse, as a traveler, the most thing you look forward to is a comfortable room. Well, you may leave that worry as Villa Elma offers more than that!
Long overshadowed by suites, their "Log Cabin" is now sailing up its distinctive advantage as it offers a whole house accomodation. After either a long walk or travel, you may indulge your senses back to serenity and peacefulness by beholding the glam of the house. Inside lives a delightful marriage between rustic designs and luxuries of modernity. The walls are garlanded by pieces of wood creating depth and texture of placidness. Being coupled by elegant lighting, tranquility is never disturbed while preserving the natural beauty of simplicity. Right next to our room is a terrace where you can hear the sweet music of the forest. I actually enjoyed going there in the evening when nocturnal birds started to chirp, making harmony with the crickets. You wont be needing too much here as all you get to see and hear will inspire you.
Visiting Villa Elma is truly a worth-sharing experience. Tranquility is one of their best spell alluring many nature enthusiast. The majestic view of Mount Banahaw is a sure call for anyone seeking for calmness and reinvigoration. It has many sites with picturesque view that will trigger your hands to take pictures. The accomodations are also incredible and awe-inspiring. Henceforward, Villa Elma is a kaleidiscope of positive energy ; an oasis of silence and relaxation!
So when will you delve deep into relaxation?
Address: A. Mabini, 4328 Lucban, Quezon Province
Contact number: +639770496186
Operation: 8am to 5pm daily
Facebook Page: Villa Elma
HOW TO GET THERE?
Via Manila—Calamba—Lucban Route
1. From Manila, take a bus bound to Sta. Cruz and alight at SM Calamba.
2. Enter SM Calamba and look for passenger van where you can find vans bound for Lucban.
3. From the drop off, just ride a tricycle going up Villa Elma.
Via Manila—Lucena—Lucban Route
1. From Manila, take a bus bound for Lucena City (Quezon). Several buses have daily trips to Lucena City. Their passenger terminals can be found along EDSA-Kamuning in Quezon city, Buendia-Taft, Pasay-EDSA and Araneta Center in Cubao.
2. From Lucena Grand Terminal, take a Lucban bound jeepney or mini bus.
3. Ride a tricycle going up Villa Elma.
Via Manila—Sta.Cruz—Lucban Route
1. Take a bus going to Sta. Cruz
2. From the drop off, ride a jeepney bound for Lucban.
3. Ride a tricycle going up Villa Elma.
Note: Most of the bus companies have daily trips bound for the specific locations being mentioned above. For smooth and hassle-free ride, make sure to find these buses at Edsa-Pasay, Buendia-Taft and Cubao.
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