Thursday, April 5, 2012

Summer Mini Adventures: TWIN FALLS and the EXOTIK RESTAURANT

To conclude the mini adventures of The BACKPACKERS this summer...

A guide for those who are

---nature lovers and/or travel junkies
---wants an accessible and affordable destination
---strolling around to check out the famous spots in our country



Enjoying the last falls for the day!
The last town that we visited: Kalayaan, Laguna! Kalayaan in the local language means freedom. And perhaps the best word to describe our free flowing adventure! We were eyeing for a trip to the Twin Falls in Nagcarlan, Laguna. But we learned that it would be another two hour trip from Cavinti and it was already 4 in the afternoon when we finished our boating expedition at Lumot Lake. So instead of going to Nagcarlan, we had a spontaneous trip back to Kalayaan, Laguna, in search for the town's version of Twin Falls.

View of the lake from Lumban, Laguna

The marker of the way to the Twin Falls is painted on a small board that we missed. We actually had to turn back twice. To those who want to visit it, after passing by the town of Paete you will see a cemetery. After a couple of minutes, observe the small roads at the left side (opposite Laguna Lake). You should spot this route marker which is the way to the falls:

The small signboard pointing the way to the falls

When we got to the entrance of the falls at 5PM, the caretaker said that they had just started unclogging the water of the pool. We said it was fine since we just wanted to check the place and take a shower before heading home. She gave us a discount so instead of paying the 40Php entrance fee, we only paid 30Php (per pax).

Even the signboard needs a makeover

As soon as we entered the park, the construction going on became apparent. It seemed like it was the first time that they were enhancing the place. The creek (or the river) where the water was flowing down was not pleasing to the eyes. It was not a sight where we wanted to take a dip. But still, we looked forward in seeing Kalayaan, Laguna's version of Twin Falls. A couple of more steps and we saw a complex dedicated for the shower rooms. We passed by the comfort rooms which were under construction. The vision was like building an interesting complex in the canopy where visitors will pass by (yes, you need to literally pass by the girls' comfort room) to get to the center of the park. But the architectural vision was flawed as it did not seem pleasing to the eyes. Neither was the fact that the comfort rooms literally face the hillside which gave me an eerie feeling when it was already dark. We need a complete makeover here!

The pool area

We reached the center of the park and saw the pool that the caretaker was pertaining to. It was full of muddy water that came down from the mountains. It was dirty because it had been raining for a couple of days during our visit. There were a lot of locals cleaning and sweeping the water out of the pool. That explained the murky color of the river water that we saw earlier.

Hand in hand. The locals worked together to clean the pool.

We saw three waterfalls in the pool area where you can station yourself and let your body directly feel the rushing cold mountain water. But we learned that there is another falls in the area. It is located further from the first two falls and we had to pass by the staircase in the Grotto to check it. So Twin Falls is an understatement. It should have been named Quadruple Falls as there were actually four waterfalls in the park (so as not to confuse it from Nagcarlan's Twin Falls). 

Ready to check out the farthest falls

The sight of the farthest waterfall was a disappointment. It's coherent that the water was brownish due to the fact that it was raining, but what was unacceptable was the amount of trash littered in the area. It was the dirtiest falls that we visited that day. (And even in all of my travels) So I hope that this is a wake up call to whoever is managing the Kalayaan Twin Falls. Another concern would be the wires that were all around the comfort room! It was a threatening sight especially that it's the place where visitors will wash up. A short circuit or an accident involving the wires can lead to an electrifying tragedy, and we do not want that to happen.

Garbage... disappointing sight...

Taking a photograph of the farthest falls

The park needs a lot of improvement. However, what I loved about our stay here was the generosity and kindness of the locals who were there. The place fell short of the park itself but the locals and caretakers who were amiable were a delight. It was not the best place we visited but it was still nice having been able to check Kalayaan's version of Twin Falls.

BP Angel at the comfort room canopy

BP Clue at one of the falls

BP Chons enjoying the falls
BP Ivan at the smallest falls in the park


the very cozy Exotik Restaurant

If the waterfalls in Kalayaan, Laguna did not deliver well, our last destination delivered satisfaction! Both our eyes and stomachs feasted at the grandeur of the design, theme and architecture of the place, and of course the food! I am talking about the famous Exotik Restaurant located along the highway in Kalayaan, Laguna.

BP Angel at the Exotik Restaurant

BP Chons - not yet tired of posing after a hectic day

I was personally excited for this part of the trip because I had been wanting to go to Exotik Resto since I saw it being featured at one of the travel programs in a local network. The restaurant is famous for serving exotic dishes, thus the name Exotik Restaurant. It can be considered as a small park. More of a mini zoo because wildlife was all over the place - living and non living! We saw two cages of a python. One of which contains the largest python I had seen so far

Ladies and gentlemen, Samantha the python:
This is just the tail of Samantha the python

My shot of Samantha

A very large python!
Photo credit:

It has a lot of bird cages. It has a peacock, not caged, roaming freely at the green grass on one spot in the park. It was the first time I sat near a peacock and the first time I saw a large toucan. 

The peacock is tied but it can roam freely in this garden

We enjoyed the architecture and the theme of the place despite our tired bodies that had a very hectic schedule that day: conquering four towns. We sat down and my favorite part was ordering my very first exotic dish! We ordered Fried Python and Frog dipped in soy sauce. I ate two frogs and I even put the skeleton in a tissue, for photo ops! But what I found surprisingly delicious was the python! It tasted great! I never thought a python have a lot of arched bones in its body! Aside from pythons and frogs, you can  order meat from other exotic animals: eel, monitor lizard, shark, deer etc! The restaurant also serves regular dishes. As a matter of fact, we had vegetables, sotanghon and sweet and sour pork aside from our two Food For The Gods order.

Python meat

BP Clue ready to take on her first python meat!

Frog skeleton

This concludes our one day search for some of the affordable and accessible places near the metropolis which you can visit especially this summer season. To those who are planning to visit these places or other beautiful destination in our country, ENJOY!!!

The BACKPACKERS Angel, Chons, Clue and Ivan would like to thank our companions in this road trip: Sunshine Caballes, John Louie Baccay and Wilson Galapon
Thank you very much for this fun filled day!  =D



PART 6: TWIN FALLS and the EXOTIK RESTAURANT  <--Article Feature 

written by: Ivan Laurence Ignacio



Anonymous said...

Samantha is a sexy name for a lady but not for a python! My gf and I once saw samantha but she was not that big a year ago.

Anonymous said...

ang laking sawaaaaaaAaA!!!

Isabel said...

Hi, would you happen to know the contact for Exotik Restaurant?


Hello to our two anonymous commenters! Thank you for visiting our site. Yes we have the same adoration towards this sexy Samantha, the biggest python I have ever seen so far. :-D

@Isabel - Thanks for dropping by! Contact numbers of the Exotik restaurant are:

+63917 505 5884
+6349 820 0086

Look for Mr or Mrs Afurong. Hope this helps! :-D
Enjoy your plate of Food for the Gods!

Isabel said...

Thanks so much!

Isabel said...

Thanks so much!

Isabel said...

Thanks so much!

pipayforshort said...

Hi! Can i ask how much your expenses per pax for that super mini adventure trip? thanks! :)


You are very much welcome Isabel!

@Pipay, we contributed 600Php all in for these trips. (except the dinner at Exotik Restaurant) Thank you for visiting our site!

Anonymous said...

Hi, yung lahat ng binlog ninyo ay napuntahan ninyo sa loob ng isang araw? salamat! :)

Anonymous said...

hi, lahat po ng binlog ninyo ay napuntahan ninyo sa loob ng isang araw? salamat po! :)

Anonymous said...

ay! sorry po, paulit-ulit! di po yun spam! di po kami nagkaintindihan ng anti-robot thingy. hahahaha. sorry po ^^


Hello Anonymous!

Yes you are correct, we visited all those places in just one day. =)

allen said...

hi. very interesting journey.
a just want some advise. we are planning to have this kind of "gala".
were just only group of 4, i guess, at mag commute lang kami.
which of those places yung mas madali namin mapuntahan since hindi din kami sanay gumala. hahaha.
thank you