Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Silangang Nayon Park and Restaurant, Food and Nature Combined

If you're a fan of food and nature, you'll surely enjoy visiting Silangang Nayon Park and Restaurant.



It had been a sleepless night before we left for Quezon. Maybe it was excitement that kept me awake for hours. Nikko and I have been planning to see Puting Buhangin of Pagbilao, Quezon. Coincidentally, my sister working overseas had a long holiday from work because of Chinese New year so I told her she can come home for the weekend and join us in going to Quezon, which she happily did. So few weeks before our trip, I started researching and working on our itinerary and projected expenses. That's when I've stumbled upon writings about Silangang Nayon. I know right there and then, it will be included in our itinerary.



We boarded a Jam Liner bus going to Lucena City in their Buendia-Taft Station. The bus left six thirty in the morning and arrived our destination at around ten AM. I asked the bus conductor to drop us at the Lucena Grand Terminal and asked if we can walk from the highway to the jeep terminal. I was told it will still be far. So upon alighting the bus, we rode a tricycle and paid Php10 each just to realize that the terminal is just 2 blocks away. It is in fact the same terminal that's visible from the highway and one can probably walk and reach it in just 3 to 5 minutes.


There are queues of jeeps and buses going to different towns in Quezon, even to Bicol provinces. We rode a jeep headed to Pagbilao. I know that Silangang Nayon is in Brgy. Bantigue, thesame area as the jump off point for Puting Buhangin, (which we visited after lunch) but I didn't find any clear information on where we should be getting off from the jeep. I asked the locals for directions. The jeep dispatcher and driver told me they will drop us at the tricycle terminal headed to Silangang Nayon. When unsure and almost lost, always ask the locals. They will be your most reliable GPS for the moment. :) It took us around 30 minutes reaching the road where the tricycles going to Bgry. Bantigue are parked and it is located halfway to Pagbilao town proper so we didn't get to see the town.



Back in Lucena Grand Terminal, we were given warnings by the locals to just pay the tricycle Php15 each. They said there have been instances when tourists were taken advantaged of paying up to Php200 per trip. I appreciate the information. True enough, when the tricycle reached Silangang Nayon and I verified with the driver that the rate is Php15/person, he told me that the present fare is Php80 for the three of us. I just didn't argue though and just handed him the amount. In fairness to the driver, that's about a 20 minute ride from the highway to the restaurant, about 6.5 kms. travel so I’m not really sure if the locals riding the jeep with us made a mistake or it’s really just the driver that’s trying to deceive :(

When I stepped the gardens of Silangang Nayon, I suddenly forget what transpired earlier. I was seeing greens and blooms everywhere and it kind of confused us where is the pathway going to the restaurant when a staff/waiter wearing a green shirt appeared from nowhere and assisted us. I told him we don't have a room reservation but we're just there for lunch. He then guided us to the floating restaurant. :)




I was really excited, I know my sister and Nikko felt the same way. Walking towards the cliff, the sea materialized then the floating restaurant. To get there, we walked downwards to a cemented stairs then crossed a narrow bridge made of bamboo strips nailed together and are supported by bamboo spiles. The bridge appeared weak but it just added to our enthusiasm. Once I set foot in the bridge, I felt the very strong chilly winds of Tayabas bay, it was really cold and that forced the three of us to slip on our jackets. It was really cold. The sun isn't even shining and it was drizzling so you could imagine how it was that day.





Reaching the restaurant, I noticed that the bamboo stilts are then replaced by cement poles to strengthen the foundation of the structures. It's safe to stay in the huts after all. :)



Our waiter showed us the menu. It was too cold that we ordered soup. I was hoping they have scallops but there were no sea shells available to bake or grill except for oysters which we usually have whenever we go home in the province so we decided to skip it and just ordered vegetable and fish dishes. Prices are reasonable but is higher than average. I wouldn't suggest having a full meal here if you're working on a budget. Well, I was actually working on a budget but this lunch is my sister's treat. Thanks to her! hahaha! As we're waiting for our order to be cooked, we started capturing pictures of the place. It was almost deserted except for 2 lovers having lunch in the bigger hut.






Minutes later, I noticed this plane-like box that is suspended in a cable and thus looking like it is flying from the top of the cliff to the kitchen area of the floating restaurant. This is the flying waiter that I've read in blogs. It delivers some of the ingredients needed for the dishes, which the waiter, who also works as a cook, use to prepare food in the kitchen area. If your order is grilled, it will be delivered cooked right away using this plane because the restaurant has a separate grilling area.




When our order was served to us, we hurriedly started feasting on the soup to feel warmer. The Silangang Nayon fried rice is delicious and it is almost a complete meal having had its share of chicken, pork, shrimp, egg and pineapple tidbits. If only I've known it earlier, we could have just settled with just rice alone. hahaha! The steamed fish and stir friend veggies didn't please my taste buds; it tasted ordinary and a bit salty. My sister paid a little less than Php1,300 and should the servings be not as big as it was, (each serving good for about 4 people) I'd say it's not worth the money. Overall, I think that it's the ambiance and experience that you're really paying in Silangang Nayon, food just comes second.




After lunch, we spent more time capturing photos of the place. They also have in land huts where groups can have their meals. It looked cute with shell decorations. Huts are located few meters away from each other giving privacy to diners. These huts are more accessible and save you energy if you don't want to walk further. They also have a not so manicured grass area in Silangang Nayon where a gazebo perfect for pictorials is located.






We dropped by the reception area to get our change then decided to leave because it was getting late and we're still going to Puting Buhangin despite the cold weather. We walked towards the gate and passed by the newly built conference/function hall.




We had to walk a dirt road leading to the main road where we can ride a tricycle to the coastal area of Brgy. Bantigue. It is in this dirt road that I've seen a cow, so friendly and demure, she won't even move when I was taking her photo and she looked at my eyes even after the photo shoot. haha!

Reminders

Silangang Nayon Park and Restaurant is closed on the following holidays, Good Friday, All Saint's Day (Nov 1) and Christmas Day (Dec 25). Operation resumes on the following days.

How to go to Silangang Nayon Park and Restaurant

Ride a Lucena City bound bus. One is Jam Liner located in Buendia-Taft Station. Fare is Php209 and takes 3-4 hours. Ask to be dropped in Lucena City Grand Terminal since some buses goes further to SM Lucena/Dalahican. You will be dropped in the highway and the terminal is visible, it's walking distance. Ride a Pagbilao Bound jeep and ask the driver to get you off at the road going to Silangang Nayon. Fare is Php18 when we went there and takes about 30 minutes. Lastly, ride a tricycle going to Silangang Nayon. Locals said fare should be Php15/person for 4 people but we were charged Php80 for all three of us. Travel time takes about 20 minutes.

The Blogger Would Like to Share: Tips on Creating Your Do-It-Yourself Travel

5 comments :

  1. Nice one Pang....Really enjoying huh...Ako din sana madaming budget kasi enjoy talaga and you'll able to see the wonders of the Philippines na hindi lang nakikilala unless tulad mo na gumagala at least na pa-publicized..hehe..more fun pang...enjoy your trips and keep on updating us sa mga new and fantastic places...Soon were going to CDO and Camiguin,..ipon muna kami

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  2. Thanks for dropping by Vincent. Pwede tayong magexplore ng di masyadong gumagastos, maybe we just need to stay away from packaged tours and start our own Do-it-Yourself trips. Maganda talaga ang Pilipinas, so let's continue appreciating it's beauty:)Enjoy your CDO trip!

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  3. Pang,can you give me a hint how much the menu prices are? Thanks! I'm planning to include this in our itinerary! =)and how much it will cost for the whole pagbilao trip including the overnight room? Thanks!

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  4. Hello Joyce. :) If I remember it right, menu ranged from Php250-Php550. I'm afraid I don't have an idea about accommodation rates in Pagbilao, I didn't stay there for the night but for Pagbilao-Lucban overnight trip, the three of us spent around Php1500 each including everything.

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  5. I am from Lucena City but I am currently staying in Manila and I haven't been to this place before although I heard of it a lot. I will take my family here in celebration of my father's birthday. Thank you for the information. ^_^

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