The King’s Landing in Tayabas, Quezon

To dream of Quezon is to have a dream of coconut trees, their outlines swaying as they get bathed by the sunshine. There is something liquid and moist in that dream, like the clouds that ominously surround Mt. Banahaw—that majestic mountain whose penchant for myths and oft-ridiculous stories fill up conversations and speculations as one heads for this province named after a mestizo President of the Republic. As you establish your distance from Manila, the miles logging in, you realize that this will be long trip, smooth but with the occasional upfront hints of strength comparable to the proverbial Lambanog (coconut wine), which is another famous export of this province. And just like a shot being offered by friendly company, you take it all in stride and say, “tagay pa!

The Spanish clearly have sent their armada of influence all over the province. You can see old houses with their kapis windows and handsome wood features staring at you without much imposition. 300 years is a really long time for “Mother Spain” to seep into our native culture. The Americans came in next, and the Yankees gave Filipinos democracy, basketball, chocolate bars, ice cream, and a whole lot of things, but most importantly—rock n’ roll. Musicians like BB King, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and other progenitors of the craft were responsible for the music that shaped modern society as we know it. When it comes to rock n’ roll, there is only one king, and he happens to have a place in Tayabas, Quezon. You heard it right; Elvis Presley has found a home down in Quezon province.

For the uninitiated, the King of Rock n’ Roll has a mansion called Graceland down in bluesy Memphis, Tennessee. But when you’re in Tayabas, Quezon try visiting Graceland Estates and Country Club for an experience that will have you shook up with natural euphoria. Fill up your day with activities that will challenge your capabilities like boating, horseback riding, and so much more. Above all, this resort offers space, and you’ll be getting a lot of it. One cannot help but to feel at ease with the spatial generosity that Graceland gives to weary travelers. And in case you’re still looking for Elvis, don’t forget to drop by Graceland’s mini-museum filled with all sorts of Elvis memorabilia.

As you sink deeper and deeper to the different stages of relaxation, Mt. Banahaw casually looks at you as the voices and sounds emanate from the lush scenery of Tayabas. This calming music reminds you that getting away from the city is not a bad thing to do from time to time. You may not be a fan, but the music never fails to set the mood each time.

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