Splash Island: A Splashy Week-end Fun

Our first fun-filled water enjoyment in Splash Island was dated Feb. 25, 2000 in celebration of Paolo’s third birthday. Entrance fee that time was P250 for the adults and P190 for kids below 3 feet. Fortunately, we have no photo souvenir because of camera malfunction. But everyone especially Paolo had enjoyed so much. Eleven years after, we’re back in the ultimate Water Adventure Fun Park in the Philippines.

S.I. O.R.

this is our official receipt 11 years ago

For a Trivia. Splash Island is situated in Southwoods Ecocentrum, Binan, Laguna. It is an exciting water world in a 7.5 hectare area with a maximum capacity of 6,000 guests. It has 17 thrilling attractions, the reason why we opted to go back for a despedida treat to my sister’s husband, Noel before he goes back to Israel. It took us one hour travel time coming from Pasay City to Splash Island. The parking area was already packed by vehicles when we arrived at 10 am. Parking fee-P50.

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Bringing of food is not allowed inside. Before we enter, we energized ourselves with my yummy home-made egg sandwich (which coincided to same food we ate in our first visit) delighted by a refreshing cold orange juice.

Getting Inside: Free cottages are on first come first serve basis. Since we were late, we had no choice but to stay under party tents with mono block tables and chairs mingled with other families. There are small cabanas (P500) but all those nearest our desired attractions were all occupied. We were near The Harbor where volleyball area, the entertainment stage and Agos Grandes were located.

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shower area near Agos Grandes

Mama chose to stay for she will take care of our little Rion. The excited creatures initially took shower and started to have fun. There were banners with park schedule of the water attractions like our top 3 favorites, Magellan’s Drop, King Pilipit and Rio Montanosa. There were maps too so you’ll not get stressed locating your target destination.

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the helpful map

Tausug Trail. Our first ride. The 8-shaped life buoy can accommodate one to two persons. There was no machine generated tube to bring it up like that of Rio Montanosa. My sister was my partner. It was strenuous carrying up the life buoy to the base but our effort was paid off as we frolicked the back to back twirl in a 360-degree turns in multiple curves. What’s more exciting was the fast slide in plunging down the pool. It took us three slides before we say, “let’s stop and proceed to the next”.

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father and son on Tausug Trail

Balsa River. This is where we enjoyed a gentle river ride in a big life saver as we tour around the park.  Shen had a wonderful time and I love seeing her smile as she and her daddy kept splashing water with each other. It took us twenty minutes before we returned to the starting point.

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twenty-minute one river round

We ate our lunch in the restaurant near our table. The food was quite delicious but expensive as well as the refreshments. There was no drinking water for free, at least to lessen the expenses (whew!). After a heavy meal, we went back to our table and enjoyed listening to the songs from a boy band performing on stage.

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boy band performing by lunch time

Rio Montanosa is a mountain high river raft ride and one of our favorites. I was so thrilled in our first ride here. Pao was so little then, but he never got scared even a bit. Shen had that same excitement like his big brother as we twisted, turned, shouted and laughed. Our final drop plunged us fast into the pool. So exciting and fun! This is recommended for a family for this is not a scary ride. We took this thrilling attraction twice.

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Magellan’s Drop. This is the most anticipated ride we’ve been waiting for and all our first time. Our favorite to the max! This has four level slides where riders lie flat facing downward in a thin rubber board racing their way to the pool. Shen was left in the table with my momsie because she was afraid to try this attraction. Pao, Miko and Pol, the ever courageous buddies hit the first batch, followed by Gi and Noel. My hubby and I were the last. First it was really scary but then the adrenalin rush drove away my fear as I race down into the pool level. Wow! What a great slide we had! I found out that this was the most thrilling and fun ride. Three slides weren’t enough for a heart-stopping adventure. Bitin!

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we enjoyed most in Magellan’s Drop

King Pilipit wasn’t operational. Zipline (P150) and Wall Climbing (P50) are new attractions which we never tried because we were after water activities. Pao now a teen-ager was in his cousin’s company where they enjoyed going back to Tausug Trail and Magellan’s Drop.

My hubby and I accompanied our little girl in kiddie pool, the Water Wahoo, an interactive ankle-level pool where Shen enjoyed wading and sliding.

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little kids will surely enjoy in Water Wahoo!

Agos Grandes is the biggest swimming pool in this water park, packed with bathers because of the mechanically generated waves. The area had a beach ambiance because of the brown sand and coconut trees. This is where we spent most of our time in the afternoon. Playing with the waves was really full of fun. Kids took fun in splashing water to zipline rider as it passed atop the swimming area. With or without waves, this is where we enjoyed our swimming activity.

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Agos Grandes

Later in the afternoon, a group of young ethnic performers danced gracefully on the floor. This is another new activity that livened up the crowd’s mood.

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cultural dancers performing in the afternoon

When it’s about to take a shower, I saw the weak flow of water in the big shower room. Seeing girls queuing for their turn, we headed to the public shower and had our final rinse there. I hope the management could take an appropriate action on this matter.

It was getting dark when we packed-up. Of course, we will not leave without any souvenirs at hand. I bought 2 key-chains (P45 each) one for me and one for Pao.

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our souvenir of Splash Island

We never had the chance to try all the attractions. Some were not operational maybe because it was under a maintenance check. Foods were quite expensive.

all of us

it’s so delightful going back in Splash Island after so many years

Anyway, my husband and I enjoyed Magellan’s Ride. Shen, Rion and Mama enjoyed the Agos Grandes. Pao enjoyed all as well as Gi, Noel, Miko and Pol.

We all had fun, so to speak.

Entrance Fee:

P500 for the adult

P400 for kids, 3 ft below and senior citizens.

In Getting There:

Through public transportation -There were buses, JAM, Pacita Liner, Dela Rosa Bus Liner, in Buendia Terminal with signboard San Pedro/Pacita Complex. Alight at Jollibee Pacita and take a tricycle going to Splash Island.

Through private vehicles – take South Luzon Expressway, turn right to Southwood Exits (you will pass by St. Agustine Church) then follow the directional signage going to Splash Island. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Villa Escudero: Finally!

What thrilled us to celebrate our mother’s 60th birthday at Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort is their unique dining experience on native cuisines in Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant and the showcase of Philippine’s rich cultural heritage.  We skipped the usual beach getaway this time to enjoy day tripping in the hacienda and embrace our unique culture.  Ika nga, “Iba ang Pinoy!”

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Provincial life, with its vast coconut plantation and with the smell of fresh country air is what Villa Escudero worthy to visit.  It is located in the Tiaong (Quezon) and Laguna (San Pablo City) boundary, a two and a half ride from Manila.

We paid for the entrance fee (P1,200/head) at the main pavilion where we were entertained by gracious hosts wearing the traditional baro at saya.  Souvenir shop was inside the pavilion but as of the moment, it was still closed. To our delight, we were given refreshing ice cold teas. But our excitement was suspended to the air when we were informed that lunch at Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant is temporarily housed in the hacienda’s main hall due to the effect of typhoon Santi who had passed last October. The area was inconvenient to use because of high level of water.  Sayang!  Anyway, there are other amenities to enjoy so off we went for our day tripping.

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sculpture of typical Filipino barrio scene

A day trip includes buffet lunch, carabao-cart ride, Museum tour, swimming, bamboo rafting and watching Philippine Experience Show.

The Museum was closed that day so we just passed by and looked at it with admiration.  At the plaza, we saw sculpture of the Escudero ancestors and World War II memorabilia like war planes, cannons and tanks. There were also sculptures of typical Filipino barrio scenes.  Our little girl was amused looking at a little boy feeding piglets and later came closed and smiled.

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“Mutya” – Carabao-Driven Cart

Riding in a carabao-driven cart tickled the adrenalin rush.  I was excited because it was all our first time to experience the ride.  Our carabao was named Mutya.  As it moved slowly, we were serenaded by a girl and a boy wearing baro at saya singing original Filipino folk songs.

kame sa carabao-villaour carabao-cart ride with “Mutya”

Along the way we were greeted by stunning picturesque countryside view, lush and verdant landscape, fresh air and acres of coconut plantation.  There were again sculptures of Filipino scenes like man courting a woman and other barrio activities.  Indeed it was a feast for the eyes!  And our little buddies who were accustomed to urban living had enjoyed our cart ride.

Swimming Pool

We first indulged ourselves with a refreshing treat in the swimming pool.  It has two pools, one is for the adults and the other is for the kids. Swimsuit was strictly imposed. We were not allowed to wear t-shirt and short with zipper.  It’s good we brought our swim wears.

While they were busy on swimming activity, me and my hubby took time to explore the rest of the hacienda.  We went to see the rooms and houses.  We walked beside the blurry lake dotted by cottages and trees. Mount Cristobal was in the background.  It was a clear day and so wonderful to walk around.

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me and my son enjoying our swimming activity

 

Eat All You Can Buffet

Tired and hungry, we went to the restaurant for our “Eat All You Can” Buffet!   We lined up one by one to choose our desired foods to eat. There were kare-kare, beef caldereta, lechon manok, dried fish, steamed vegetables with deserts like banana cue and tapioca balls.  And later we were munching our yummy lunch!

Philippine Experience Show

By 2 pm we headed to the Coconut Pavilion to watch the Philippine Experience Show.  The resort’s staff and employees gracefully showcased various dances from Northern, Central and Southern Philippines.  I was so impressed by the choreography, colorful costumes and their graceful movement on stage.   Tinikling and Pandanggo sa Ilaw were so good to watch for. It reminded me of my elementary days where I used to perform cultural dance on stage.  The finale is the “Sinkil” which I admired the most and applauded much by the spectators.  It was indeed a lively show and a very good source of dance steps for school or company programs.

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manlalatik

Bamboo Rafting

No one from our buddies wanted to get out from the swimming pool so it was me and my hubby who tried bamboo rafting.  The raft was composed of long bamboos with two small chairs. When I stepped my first leg I thought I will fall, so I was very extra careful when I stepped my other leg.  I balanced myself before I sit.  Or else I will sink instantly.  My hubby rowed well.  My hands got tired paddling here, there and everywhere. My hubby used his full energy going back to the base.  Our shorts got wet.  But we maneuvered so well, we didn’t drop into the hazy lake like the other guests.

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should be careful upon sitting or you might sink on the water instantly

Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant

After all the activities, we set off to see Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant, the famed dining area in the hacienda. The 20-feet man-made waterfalls cascaded freely to the area where picnic tables and chairs are set.  But as of today, it was so clear. Never mind if we didn’t experience the hacienda’s unique lunch. There is another thing to enjoy in the area, that is to play with the waterfalls. The wall wasn’t flat at all. It had a curve where my buddies enjoyed the flowing water while laying their backs on that wall.

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this is what we saw in the waterfalls… no tables and chairs…

Our day trip ended up almost 6 pm. We went back to the entrance through the carabao-cart again.  Delighted, we gave courtesy tip to the three staff behind the ride.  Souvenir store was closed so we have no collections to keep.  Sad.

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we were given cold teas while paying at the cashier

Villa Escudero is rich in Filipino culture.  It’s good that we brought our kids and they enjoyed our day tripping. I was thankful that this resort was open to the public.

It was a memorable day and everyone of us had fun.