Roadtrip: Liliw, Laguna
This photo essay won MovePH's #SharePH 2017 summer contest. This originally appeared on X, Rappler's self-publishing platform.
MANILA, Philippines – The squad had been itching to go on a roadtrip for some time now and we finally had time on a Monday when none of us had classes. Thus our roadtrip to Liliw began!
On the way to Liliw, we decided to stop over first at San Pablo to see Sampaloc Lake. It took us about an hour to get there.
Sampaloc Lake is a quiet and serene place, perfect for people who just want to take a breather from their stressful lives and enjoy the simple beauty of nature.
If you're looking to dine along the peaceful harbor, there's a lot of lakeside restaurants for you to try.
After taking in the beautiful views, we went back to the car and went on with our trip to Liliw.
After an hour of travel, we finally arrived at our main destination: Liliw!
Like most of the churches in Laguna, Liliw's very own St John the Baptist church is a sight to behold with its red bricks and 19th century Spanish colonial architecture. After appreciating the beauty of the church and taking some pictures here and there, we went on to explore more of what Liliw has to offer.
It turned out that Liliw was celebrating its fiesta on April 26, and we were lucky enough to have seen pretty fiesta decorations before it started.
At this point, we were getting hungry too, so I suggested that we go to what I think is one of the best restaurants in Laguna: Arabela!
Arabela is truly a hidden gem in the quiet and humble province. The restaurant has this uniquely quaint feel, thanks to its vintage-inspired interior, and the fact that the restaurant used to be a horse stable – which explains why its ceiling is so low.
They serve tasty Italian dishes that are worth the price.
If you plan on dining here, you'll have to eat on their off-peak days (weekdays), or else prepare to wait for a good table because their seats are quite few.
Satisfied with our fancy lunch, we went back to the streets to roam around some more.
Of course, Liliw is not itself without the shoes – they even hold an annual festival to celebrate their shoemaking industry which rivals that of Marikina's.
Pictured above is Badong's Footwear Factory, which is one of the oldest and most popular shoe stores in Liliw. We went inside to look at their products.
Almost all of the shoes sold in Liliw cost less that P500 each, so if you're looking for some affordable additions to your closet, Liliw is the place to go.
We also had a little snack outside, munching on Aling Vivian's delicious empanadas.
The sun was setting and it was time to go back home. Here's one last picture of the church before we left: