speaking of driving – one of the best driving experience in the philippines is a trip to Lucban Quezon from Antipolo via the Rizal-Laguna-Quezon back roads. bring a friend. start from antipolo, have breakfast at padi’s point first, then go down via zigzap road to teresa, tanay and jala-jala.
go up the mountains of rizal via zigzag road to laguna straight to pangil and pakil (stop along the way at your leisure to view the laguna de bay from the other side). take a pee stop in paete and get to look at the wood carvings and paper mache sculptures, or maybe even have a python adobo lunch at “exotik” (they also serve baboy damo, deer, etc.). drive straight ahead to pagsanjan and shoot the rapids or visit erap’s mayor nephew.
after pagsanjan, go up the mountains bordering laguna and quezon, to cavinte and luisiana. stop along the way to enjoy the cool mountain air, buy abaniko, banig or bayong from the hawkers-hunter-gatherers, or, sample the santol, lanzones, durian, saging (whatever is in season). down the mountains, you will enter straight into the heart of lucban. from lucban, you can either schedule a trek up mt. banahaw or just enjoy the pahiyas festival. just the same, make sure that you buy lukban’s treasured longganisa ang pansit. from lucban – you can go straight to bicol and see the whale sharks at sorsogon or just watch the sunrise from the foot of mt. mayon.
few people from manila know of this more scenic route to southern luzon (i hope it stays that way). there’s practically little traffic, excellent roads and an infinite number of things to see, taste and smell.