Heritage advocate and cultural entrepreneur Rina Marquez shows us how to maximize a day and a half in exciting Quezon.
6:00 a.m. – Take South Super Highway going towards Lucena, which is 136 kilometers from Rizal’s monument. Stop at Sariaya, the town right before Lucena.
9:00 a.m. – Take a walking tour of Sariaya’s heritage cluster and visit three beautiful ancestral homes.
12:30 p.m. – Have lunch at Treat Haus. Try the famous hotya (which is Chinese for “delicious”), a local noodle dish which is only found at this restaurant. Sample their potato salad and beef kaldereta, too.
1:30 p.m. – On the way out, swing by one of the last two municipios created by well-known architect Juan Arellano. In front, you’ll find a park with a monument dedicated to Jose Rizal; make sure to take note of the elements of this unique landmark.
2:00 p.m. – Make your way to Tayabas.
2:30 p.m. – Have coffee at Mi Casa En Tayabas, purchase some souvenirs to take home, then visit “budin row” for a taste of the eponymous local snack, which is our version of cassava cake.
3:30 p.m. – Go to Liwag’s Pancitan, one of the best places to get pancit habhab. The Liwag family became known for making this simple dish, which they serve from a makeshift table in front of their home. People don’t mind waiting outside on the narrow street as long as they can get their hands on a plate of these noodles!
4:00 p.m. – Make a quick visit to Mallari distillery and witness how lambanog is made.
5:00 p.m. – Visit Malagonlong Bridge; they say it’s the oldest bridge in the Philippines.
6:00 p.m. – Have dinner at Kamayan sa Palaisdaan and enjoy dining on a raft. Don’t worry, you won’t float away! Sample their pork sisig, ginataang kuhol sa pako, inihaw na spare ribs, ginataang sugpo na may kalabasa at sitaw, ensaladang pako, and inihaw na tilapia na may gata at dahon ng mustasa. Before and after eating, wash your hands in the cool water flowing straight from Mt. Banahaw.
8:30 p.m. – Check-in at Graceland Hotel.
8:30 a.m. – Have breakfast at the hotel: Make sure to try our Lucban longganisa and Beef Kinulob.
9:30 a.m. – Head to Lucban.
10:00 a.m. – Take a quick spin around the city and visit Dealo Koffee Klatch (for pasalubong shopping; they offer pretty much all the Quezon delicacies you should try—from Lucban longganisa to leche puto), the local handicraft and plant stores, and the Lucban church. While you’re in town, why not visit a local longganisa maker?
12:00 noon – Depart for Manila. But before that, don’t forget to do some more shopping: Take home apas, broas, camachile cookies, and espasol from Pavino’s Bakery; the award-winning pancit habhab from Buddy’s Pizza; and puto seko from Ven’s.
*If you can spend more time in Quezon, head to potter Ugu Bigyan’s compound in Tiaong (about an hour and a half from Lucban) for a wonderful home-cooked meal and beautiful handmade pottery you can purchase to remind you of your trip to our province.
Article was published in the September 2016 issue of Yummy magazine. Minor edits were made by Yummy.ph editors.