The last time I went to Lucban was for the office team building back in 2015 so when I got an invite to visit the home of Pahiyas Festival and the Art Capital of Quezon Province, I did not hesitate and immediately said yes. That and the fact that I did not have anything to do on that particular weekend were part of the consideration.
Whereas it was Pahiyas Festival when I first set foot in Lucban, this time it was just for a relaxing weekend at the Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort in Sitio Malinao, Brgy. Igang. Located near Majayjay, Laguna, the restaurant, and the resort has the traditional countryside vibe with the view of a rice field and towering coconut trees welcoming us upon arrival.
What’s Samkara? In Hindu Sam means doer of good deeds while Kara refers to inner harmony, Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort is all about nature’s goodness in harmony with you. Entering the resort means letting go of urban maladies and just relaxing with nature and immersing yourself in the peace and tranquility of the countryside.
We arrived at the resort after a three-hour commute from Festival Mall in Alabang (Lucban bound vans are parked at the XSite Entrance, near National Bookstore, fare is PhP170.00 per passenger) and were extremely hungry. Good thing there was merienda at the restaurant. The welcome drink of passion fruit juice was refreshingly good (Sorry, I forgot to take a photo. What do you call passion fruit in Filipino?). The classic Pancit Habhab and Turon were enough to fill our hungry stomach. Forgive us for using fancy china and cutlery in eating the pancit as opposed to the traditional way of making “habhab.” The pancit was delicioso and the turon was fancy, I mean, turon with mango and cherries. It was literally Christmas on a plate.
Speaking of Christmas, Maaga ang Pasko sa Samkara! “It’s a beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere we go”. The decor and the colors of the Yuletide season were already up and it was just the end of October. The Grinch’s worst nightmare, good thing we were all in a holiday mood.
Kids and the kids at heart would enjoy the Santa House that they recently built.
After a sumptuous snack, we proceeded to our rooms. Samkara’s accommodations are a mix of native materials and modern amenities so guest can enjoy the duration of their stay.
Nope, that’s not our room. That is the Mayaw room which is best for couples. The pillow is a reminder of the resort’s Christmas theme.
We stayed in the Ugma room (top) since there were five of us. It’s perfect for families and friends.
After picking our beds and it was time to explore the resort and start “feeling blessed.”
Guest can choose to dine in the huts near the rice field. Lakas maka-probinsya mga lodi! Wait, nasa probinsya nga pala kami talaga. Sosyal lang ang kubo.
While eating your way to countryside bliss, Samkara’s ducks will keep you company. Now you can try the restaurant’s specialties while debating with your friends whether the birds are called bibe or pato. Another divisive topic (At least it’s not as toxic as you know what).
The resort has a natural pool where you can take a dip or just sit by and soak up the surroundings.
Proceed with caution if you plan on swimming at night. We took a dip at dusk and were jolted by the cold water. Nginig to the bones, chicken skin ang ending sa sobrang ginaw. Not the resort’s fault, our bad. Natural, no chlorine added pool is great but better to swim during the day. Unless you’re into freezing cold H2O then that would not be a problem.
Aside from the Pancit Habhab and Turon, Samkara has other dishes that are not only Instagramable but are also delicious. Home cooked goodness that are sure to be a hit whether you are with the Titas of Manila or the Lodi millenial barkada.
Bangus ala Pobre
Ginataang suso (Snail in coconut milk)
Inihaw na Liempo (Grilled pork liempo)
If you’re not keen on staying for a night, they also offer Day Tours (P400 for Adults, P200 for children aged 5-10 years old) which entitles you to free use of the natural pool, inclusive of lunch and PM snack).
Gustatory pleasure, idyllic surroundings, natural pool, and Christmas feels, what more can an urban geek ask for? Suffice to say that we enjoyed our stay at Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort. Until my next post (no rants this time). Peace and Stay fresh peeps.
Some Kind of Wonderful is a 1987 American romance film starring Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Lea Thompson. It is one of several successful teen dramas written by John Hughes in the 1980s. (Wikipedia)
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