We’ve always wanted to go to Lucban, Quezon ever since our friends told us of how peaceful, how cool, how relaxing the place was. So leading up to the long weekend, when Londonboy wanted to take a road trip on his newly-bought vehicle, D and I (along with Tony and Calvin) immediately said yes to a two-night stay in the land of longganiza and Zombadings.
Nestled at the foot of Mt. Banahaw, the most mystical mountain in Luzon, Lucban is a quiet town of unhurried minutes. The streets are narrow, given that they were built before those huge airconditioned buses were invented. Like our town Bilar in Bohol, Lucban has a cool climate given the higher altitude; the water that flows through town is cold and fresh from the mountain. Londonboy swears bathing in those waters gives you clearer, glowing skin. The pace and atmosphere is bucolic; however, unlike in Bilar, Lucban seems to stay alive way past dinner time. This is the town that seemingly never sleeps. Fittingly, there’s a 7-11 very near the plaza.
(The lamps in Abcede's.)
A food trip is what I had in mind, and so our first stop was at Abcede’s, where I had breakfast of the famous Lucban longganiza, fried egg and fried rice. We also ordered grilled porkchops for sharing. Dipped in spicy vinegar, Lucban longganiza is the best local sausage for me--crispy, garlicky and not sweet at all. Then we ate at Palaisdaan, the kind of resto wherein the tables are on rafts floating on several ponds full of fish. I especially enjoyed their grilled tilapia in gata, okra and grilled pork.
I had a blast walking around town, taking in the vibe of the place. We looked inside the church. The Catholic Church, despite all the money they get from the faithful, seem to be more inclined with getting the latest Pajeros and SUVs instead of spending for the restoration and upkeep of their historical churches. And they have no idea of maintenance and restoration; instead, when their church is damaged (say, by a storm or by old age), they repair it in a modern, uninspired way. Perhaps it’s just provincial small-mindedness, I guess. As a result, the inside of the church is a disappointment compared to the impressive exterior.
Before we left we ate at Ground Zero, Lucban’s pizza place that serves thick, generously-topped pizzas, calzones and delicious bacon-twists, which is a flat narrow bread twisted with bacon inside.
(Supreme pizza at Ground Zero)
(Their calzone, or as they stated in the menu, "wrapped pizza")
I asked Calvin to give us a bit of a Zombadings tour: he pointed out to us the locations where certain scenes were shot. I particularly wanted to see the street where the final scene (with the end credits) was shot.
Lucban is far enough to be considered a get-away, but near enough to be convenient when one wants an impromptu escape. I want to visit that place again.
P.S. -- I was also able to buy a pair of “Crocs” for only 95 pesos. When Tony found out the price, he exclaimed, “Ang mahal naman!” (He thinks had I bought it in Liliw, Laguna, it would fetch for less.)