This will be my last Flashback Friday for the Philippines adventure. I’m back in Seoul now and want to keep you all updated on my adventures here. But I had one last area to talk about and that is Laguna.
No, not that clown show Laguna Beach on MTV. It has nothing to do with that.
Laguna hugs the southern shores of Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the country.
Laguna is notable as the birthplace of Dr. Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero.
Two big reasons to go to the Laguna province is 1.) the hot springs of Los Banos and the surrounding area and 2.) Pagsanjan Falls.
Los Banos has many hot spring resorts to choose from. I recommend getting a private one for small or large groups. We went as two couples and the four of us had a blast in the hot water. All the pools are filled with water from local hot springs. Some say the hot springs have healing powers and I believe it! My boyfriend was really sick on the first half of our trip in Batangas but as soon as he went swimming in the hot springs he was back to normal the next day!
Los Banos is also famous for it’s Buko Pies. Buko means young coconut in Tagalog. The pie is not like coconut cream pie, because it doesn’t have cream or custard filling. Instead it’s made with slices of buko meat and condensed milk. We went to Orient- The Original Buko Pie. It’s the best buko pie in Los Banos.
I met the owner of the shop, a sweet lady named Tita Helen (I think that’s what she told me, it’s been so long I forgot) who’s sister created the recipe for Buko Pies! She immigrated to the US and Tita Helen continued her sisters recipe and shop!
We also went on a river rapid adventure to Pagsanjan Falls. It was the location of the final scene of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 film Apocalypse Now.
There are many places in Pagsanjan to rent a boat and boatmen to take you to the falls. Be sure to bring extra cash, it’s customary to tip each boatman at least 50 pesos if not more.