I am still a student, so traveling on cheap budget is my thing too.
Last May 8, sir James invited us to try his P500 budget day tour at Los Baños, Laguna. I've been into LB a lot of times (back in grade school field trips) but I still know very little about this town, just the UP campus and IRRI. His day tour includes a Laguna Lake boat tour, Paciano Rizal's house, Agua Santa Spanish bath ruins, UPLB campus, and Mt. Makiling Flat rocks.
James told us that the P500 Elbi day tour challenge will start at the moment we stepped inside the bus. As early as 4:30 am, I met up with Chinchan at Buendia Bus terminal. We took the Greenstar Bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna (P99.00 until Jollibee Los Baños).
We reached Jollibee LB at around 6:45 am where James, Brenna and Eileen were already waiting for us. Lloyd came soon after we arrived, completing the six Pinoy Travel Bloggers who will test James' P500 Elbi day tour challenge. Before we leave, I ordered first a breakfast meal (P85.00).
Laguna Lake Boat Tour
From Jollibee LB, we rode a trike to a fishing village near the lake for (P10.00). A boat was already waiting for us when we reached the shore.
|everyone on the way to the boat|
|even the dog wants to join James|
|this is James Betia|
|the kids by the shore|
The six of us hurriedly jumped int the boat despite the thick dark clouds forming above us. The weather wasn't really good that time, the majestic Mt. Makiling was hiding behind the thick clouds. The boatman then pointed where the towns' (Calamba, Bay, mountains of Rizal, Talim Island) location.
|the Malacoco mini-Peninsula|
|the Malacoco Hotspring|
|the locals relaxing at the spring|
Paciano Rizal's House
We again rode a tricycle (P9.00) to Paciano's house. General Paciano Rizal is the older brother of our national hero. For some, he's "the hero of our national hero". His house #149 is near near the old Municipal building. Rizal-Lopez memorabilia, antiques, personal belongings and even his death bed are on display. The entrance is free, but donation of any amount is welcome.
|James on the trike|
|the old Municipal Building|
|#149, the Paciano Rizal House|
|James doing the talk|
|Gen. Paciano was re-interred here in front of the house from the Manila North Cemetery|
|the house of Gen. Paciano|
|his personal belongings|
Agua Santa Spanish Bath Ruin
Our next stop was this old Spanish bath now in ruins. Not too far from the Paciano Rizal House, you can actually walk your way to it, but since it was raining we opted to take a ride. By tricycle (P8.00), we reached the ruins at around 9:00 am.
|a tub excavated from the ruins|
Only a portion of the original structure is still standing. Aside from the old municipal building, this structure is the oldest in Los Baños. Some say that this was not just a simple bath house of natural spring but also a Franciscan infirmary.
|the ruins of the old Spanish bath|
|Mr. Fernando's history 101|
Mt. Makiling Flat Rocks
This was supposedly the next in our itinerary, but venturing this place while there's a storm signal #1 all over Laguna was never our option. So we removed this from our list.
IRRI and UPLB
We first had an ice cream bonding in an ice cream house. For P20.00, I enjoyed the coconut milk ice cream. It was already 11:30 am, and we're quite hungry already. So we headed next to International Rice Research Intitute (IRRI) canteen.
|Coconut ice cream made from coconut milk|
|the International Rice Research Institute|
|the koi pond in front of the canteen|
|meal for P55|
|experimental rice field|
Outside, the rain was still pouring. We waited for I think 30 minutes before we finally went to Philippine Carabao Center. We tried their yummy Milk-o-Jel (P15.00).
|their dairy products|
|Milk-o-jel for P15|
We passed by the Baker Hall, the fertility tree, and Dao (a heritage tree in UPLB).
|the fertility tree, they say that as the leaves touches the ground, couples may do their thing behind the leafy branches|
|the Baker Hall was once used as a prison by the Japanese during the WW2|
|the Dao tree that inspired Leandro Locsin.|
Laguna, "the land of Buko Pie". Before the Elbi day tour ends, we bought a box of Lety's Buko Pie, the best buko pie according to the locals. That's P150.00 per box.
By 3:00 PM, Chinchan, Brenna and I were on our way back to Manila.
Bus to LB 99.00Total Cost = P634.50
Jollibee Meal 85.00 (optional)
Tricycle to Lake 10.00
Boat fee 50.00
Trike to Paciano house 9.00
Donation for the house 20.00
Tricycle to Agua 8.00 (optional)
Jeep to UPLB 8.00
Ice cream 20.00 (optional)
Jeep to IRRI 8.00
Jeep to Carabao Milk 8.00
Lety's Buko Pie 150.00 (optional)
Bus to Manila 89.50
= P371.50 (optional expenses not included)