One look at a map will prove there’s no shortage of waterfall hikes in the Philippines. In fact, it seems the entire archipelago of 7,000+ islands is made up of nothing else. Unfortunately, due to the sheer power of rushing water (and the depths), most of these waterfalls aren’t suited for swimmers, let alone diners. There is one exception though. Labasin Waterfall Restaurant is perhaps one of the only restaurants in the world where visitors can enjoy local cuisine dining right in the middle of a waterfall. Surrounded by a blanket of mountains and coconut trees, the unique jungle is a must for foodies and adventure seekers who want to up their Instagram game.
After a certain amount of time, you come to expect the unexpected from Southeast Asia, and this restaurant is no exception. Part of Villa Escudero Resort, a former coconut plantain turned tropical jungle retreat, the property is located in San Pablo City. The artificial waterfall is actually runoff from a nearby dam that works in the restaurant’s favor. Officials can control the strength of the falls, giving guests the unique opportunity to swim or even lie down in the water for a photo before or after their meal. To add to the ambiance, traditional dance and musical shows are performed in the shallow pool where you dine.
No need to get all spiffed up for this date. It’s very likely you’ll leave soaked from the waterfall rushing beside you and the water running beneath you, especially during rainy season when the water level is naturally higher. Diners are encouraged to wear swimsuits (or clothes they don't mind wet) before they settle down to the bamboo tables to sample seafood, curries, and other Philippine delicacies.
The Labasin Waterfall Restaurant isn’t the only reason to visit Villa Escudero Resort. The resort itself is full of adventure activities and the lush, tropical setting is bustling with local wildlife. There are dozens of hiking trails surrounding the property and visitors are encouraged to explore the unusually still river on a traditional bamboo raft. Day passes to the resort, cultural museum, and waterfall restaurant are available for roughly $100 per person.