Sunday, November 30, 2008

Side trip: Liwaliw sa Liliw

After our side trip to the Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan, we went to yet another famous tourist destination in the Province of Laguna. No less than our gracious local friends volunteered to bring us to the famous tsinelas capital of Laguna, Liliw, it is.

Liliw is 17 kilometers away from Laguna’s Capital. It is believe to have been named after a bird. According to the story, Gat Tayaw erected a bamboo pole to name the town after the bird that would first alight the top of the pole within four days.

However, the first bird to alight the pole was a crow. A crow symbolizes something bad. Gat Tayaw and his men decided to transfer the bamboo pole to the south, and a beautiful bird alighted the pole and sang “Liw, Liw, Liw”. Thus, the town became Liliw. During the Spanish regime, the name Liliw was used. Americans called the town Lilio, since it was easier for them to pronounce it.

Liliw is best known for its sizeable tsinelas industry. Whatever the season, slippers never go out of fashion. In Gat Tayaw Street are the nicest collection of trendy slippers and shoes. The street is the most sought-after attraction being labeled as the “footwear Capital of Laguna. Tourist, especially from Manila enjoys checking out the latest designs on slippers, sandals and slip-ons.

From Nagcarlan, take a right turn after passing by the town hall. Upon entering Liliw, you would be directed to Gat Tayaw, a street lined with retail shoe stores that sells very cheap but nice slides and shoes. It will surely be a feast for any woman who loves shoes.

Before making a liwaliw at Liliw, things you should know:

1. You can park your car on the street. But, since it's a certified tourist destination, parking space maybe full. Don’t worry the people of Liliw will surely assist you.
2. Visit all retail stores as much as you can. You’d surely find something different in every shop.

3. Footwear is cheaper than bags or anything else sold at Gat Tayaw. Try to bargain, because you’ll surely get good items you like, at a cheaper cost.

4. Some of the most trendy, modern-looking stores are Socialite, Entrada, Badong (one of the olders) Pias footwear, La chika, Shalom and Aishe footwear.

5. When you get hungry there are places to eat like Arabelas. There’s also a Chowking branch next to the shoe shops.
6. You could buy some great pasalubongs as well, like: uraro, buko pie, lambanog, espasol and kesong puti, and some souvenirs.