On our way home from Bicol, we took the "backdoor" that brought us to Kamay ni Hesus Healing Shrine in Lucban, Quezon which is the last town of Quezon before entering Laguna. From there, we entered Luisiana, Laguna and through the towns of Cavinti, Pagsanjan, and Lumban. These towns are already familiar to me as we have already been to Paete, Laguna a couple of times in the past. The town before Paete is Kalayaan, and it is the town where travelers can find an interesting restaurant for a stop over. The place I am talking about is Exotik Restaurant.
Exotik Restaurant is set beside a hill and landscaped with lush greenery. They serve exotic delicacies that cater to guests with adventurous palates. If you dig frogs, bayawak (wild lizards), snails, and usa (deer), then, this is the food trip for you! Don't expect me to try to eat something unusual, though. They serve other "usual" native Filipino foods, anyway.
Another feature that makes Exotik a must-go for Laguna travelers is the presence of their pet birds, monkeys, fishes rabbits and pythons. The pets do not only add to the exotic ambiance of the place but also serve to entertain the kids and young at heart.
The first time we went to Exotic was back in 2001, we were with an American friend who wanted to buy some wooden crafts in Paete. The place was smaller compared to its present size. There are more bamboo cabana dining areas today. The pets were also fewer in 2001. Before, they only had the birds and a python named Samantha. By the way, back then, Samantha was smaller! Today, she looks like she can swallow a toddler!
Another addition to the place is the swimming pool. There's a small slide connecting a bamboo hut to the pool. I guess, the use of the pool is exclusive to the guests of that hut only.
Since we were still full from our lunch in Lucban, Quezon, we just ordered Halo-halo to freshen us up a bit. Our halo-halo orders were served in coconut containers. An order of halo-halo cost us Php 75 each.
Here are the other photos I have taken while we were there:
a deer's head
nice lighting fixtures
view of Kalayaan town from the highest bamboo dining hut
Exotik Restaurant is found along the national highway of Longos, Kalayaan, Laguna.
To get there:
From the South Luxon Expressway, take the route going to Santa Cruz, Laguna. Enter Pagsanjan and exit to Lumban. Kalayaan is the next town and Exotik Restaurant is just beside the highway before you reach the Kalayaan-Paete boundary.
From Calamba, you need to go to Santa Cruz passing the towns of Los Baños, Bay, and Victoria. From Santa Cruz, enter Pagsanjan town and follow the directions above.
From Antipolo, take the route that will take you to Siniloan, Laguna passing through the towns of Teresa, Morong, Baras, and Pililia. From Siniloan, just drive straight towards the towns of Pangil, Pakil, and Paete. Kalayaan will be the next town after Paete.
From Lucban, Quezon Province, just drive straight towards the towns of Luisiana and Cavinti, Laguna. The next town after Cavinti is Pagsanajan. From there, you have to take the road going to Lumban. The next town is Kalayaan.