April 09, 2006
This is the scene that would greet you as you arrive in this mansion in San Pablo Laguna directly in front of the Sampalok Lake. I was curious to check out this mansion cum hotel and restaurant which was described by the viaje del sol brochure as: " Tahanan ni Aling Meding is a tribute to the Borja sibling's parents, especially their mother, Meding, who kept hearth and warm, soothing and comfortable." One of my readers was also raving about the good filipino dishes they serve and that was enough for me to check this place out.
Just a side note: San Pablo, Laguna is a great alternative to tagaytay because it is merely 2 hours away. Imagine I already left manila at 10am and I was leisurely driving to this place and we still arrive at 12nn considering the traffic already in south super highway and in Batangas. Also, I tried to highlight the beauty of this mansion versus the scarry photos found in their brochure.
The verdict: Tahanan ni Aling Meding is San Pablo's version of Tagaytay's Josephine's or Leslie's. If you have a guest where you want them to taste authentic Filipino food at a homey Filipino Mansion ambiance, then this is the place to be. I love eating in their main dining area where you are served with good food with a hospitable service Filipinos are known for, while the Sampaloc Lake winds kissed your face through out your dining experience. Thanks to the Borja family for letting us enjoy their vacation mansion!!
This 4-storey mansion has a breath taking view of the Sampaloc lake at the third floor. This place actually beats Tagaytay since this is directly in front of the lake and it is also sweater-cool here during Dec-Feb. I do hope though that they are able to rehabilitate the once magnificent Sampaloc lake which the residents have taken for granted, sadly.
This is the view from the second floor, which shows you the swimming pool in directly in front of the mansion. If this was a private residence, then the location of the swimming pool is perfect so that you can monitor the people swimming from the first floor dining area. However, ever since it went public, it would be awkward to go on swimming here while guests are driving up along the drive way and people eating in the restaurant.
This is the view from the third floor where you can see the Sampaloc lake with a mountain in the backdrop which is misconstrued to be Mt. Banahaw but it is not. The big patio in the second floor is perfect for family gatherings as you would imagine.
A close-up view of the facade of the Mansion which have a total of 11 rooms!
The Rooms @ Tahanan ni Aling Meding
This is just to give you an overall feel on what the rooms would look like and how much would they cost.
One of their best sellers was their Crispy Pata, but we settled for a healthier option their grilled stuffed squid (P200). You could feel that home-cooked delicioius taste versus the Gerry's stuffed squid commercialized taste.
Proceed with caution when ordering their Halo-Halo which was very disappointing for us (but I guess its the Halo Halo Laguna version that you need to get used to).
Ah, this is life at its fullest! This area is just directly in front of Aling Meding's where you can have a picnic under the shade of trees while reflecting on how life has been very good to you. Sarap ng Buhay! This reminded me of truly enjoying life in the Philippines. I love this scene.
Tahanan ni Aling Meding, San Pablo, Laguna.
Dagatan Blvd., Sampaloc Lake 4000, San Pablo City, Laguna
Phone: (+63 49) 562-5855
(Note: the contact information in the viaje del sol brochure is wrong)
Restaurant opens from 7am until 9pm daily.
Below is the driving directions from the viaje del sol brochure although I feel that I need to supplement it.
"Coming from Manila, after the San Pablo border, stay on the Maharlika Highway. You will see a Caltex station to the left, immediately before a fork in the highway. The right side of the fork heads straight to Lucena, the left leads to San Pablo City. Take the left road. At the junction to Calauan, take the main avenue to your right. This is Rizal avenue. Turn left at the corner of San Pablo Central School. Follow the road beyond the city hall. As soon as you see the lake, turn left on the perimeter road. Tahanan will be to your left."
The only problem with this direction is that it did not explain what the phrase "Follow the road beyond the city hall" means. After the San Pablo Central School, you will see a fork road, take the road to your right going up to the City Hall. Turn left at the fork road towards the park (which you would see on your right after turning left) going down to the lake. After going down to the lake, immediately make a sharp left turn along the Sampaloc lake drive and you'll now see Tahanan ni Aling Meding to your left.