This gallery contains 62 photos.
This gallery contains 61 photos.
Sulyap Gallery Cafe
For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.
Sulyap gallery cafe is the second stop of our itinerary for our south bound trip. We spent the night here, and lunch at Patis Tesoro the day after and were off to home bound. Sulyap in the vernacular is a glance or a peek into a place or a different time.
It is a Gallery cafe,
A B&B (bed and breakfast) for R&R,
and a mini resort all in one.
All those that I have mentioned we were able to maximize in our less than 24 hour stay at this ethereal place. What made it more exciting is that I was able to bond with my office mates, got to know them while enjoying my Tanduay ice.
I seldom drink beer due to some allergies while with hard liquors, I can’t tolerate how I suffer from hang over the next morning. So I end up having coffee or iced latte or coke whichever is available.
The dinner that we’ve had reminded me of our ancestral house in Binan.
We used to live in this more than 400 square meters lot and similar finishes of Spanish houses are evident all around. The veranda, the azotea, the vast frontyard, the windows in Capiz, the wooden balusters below the window sill, that vintage electrical switch, old paintings to remember as a few. The big loan that we used to maintain cultivated all the trees you could name: Caimito (star apple), coconut tree, guava tree, santol tree and list goes on. The trees at Sulyap I think are as old as those. Oh I was just estimating. As for me to get the exact and accurate age of a tree, we need to count the rings of its trunk right. And then, I detest cutting trees, let alone, how old these trees are.
Come breakfast time the morning after. I literally enjoyed it with so much bliss.
We have 2 choices then, an All American breakfast and an All Filipino. I opted to order an American breakfast with a twist. Along the crispy bacon, ham and eggs. I had this hot chocolate and a cup of muscuvado sugar which liberated me to get as many as I can.
They kept on reminding me on my sweets intake as it might lead me to diabetes however my count is still good during my last check up. Let’s just say this happens to be my “cheat day”, besides I don’t normally devoured on sweets like candies or chocolates like most people do. So I guess, I’m off the hook. =)
Like the usual Summer get-aways, we were also able to dip in cold waters, played and had fun in the waters with my colleagues. Add a lively “Good morning!” from my boss surely completed one of my best weekends.
Arabella Cafe in Liliw, Laguna is on my 4th spot under Viaje del Sol. I am very intrigued with this small cafe painted in violet. (–,) First and second of which is Villa Escudero and Casa San Pablo respectively. I’m still choosing who will be taking the 3rd spot. Though, I did not expect to visit the place in no time soon like few weeks ago though due to my mother’s request to visit the town so as to find a pair of slippers that will finally fit her (Is it you Cinderella?) because her feet are unusually big. (–,) That weekend, I eventually gave in to her request and early morning we headed to the province. A total of almost 3 hours road trip which is not too tiring because you can pull-over from time to time to buy fruits or pastries along the way.
I am not much of a professional food critic. Though the food that they served is not too extra-ordinary (something you can also eat in the city), it’s just that you can be certain that they’re fresh (Fish and vegees). Hons’ blue marlin was the best. My Aunt’s cream dory is also okay and tasty and creamy, mama’s salad is crisp and truly fresh, my son’s 2 orders of pizza (pepperoni and all meat), are like home-made pizza. Crust is not that thick and not that thin as well. My carbonara, I mean the pasta carbonara which I ordered for myself isn’t at par with my own carbonara (Blog about my carbonara to follow!). Nevertheless, I enjoyed it too. Of course, I would not miss my blueberry cheesecake. The usual. Only that they decorate the plate with chocolate syrup which prevents me from destroying the swirls (Obsessive/Compulsive at times), and we also got something like brownies topped with several kinds of nuts.
What’s surprising with this cafe, on a Saturday, at past 1pm, they are still on queue. We had to wait for more than 10 minutes to be sitted. When I discovered Arabella years ago, they do not have tables outside yet, now, they installed 3 sets of 8 seaters round tables (skirted with white fabric) and other guests are still waiting nearby. I think one factor is that Arabella is very visible in almost all of the food blogs in the Philippines.
The interior of the cafe is very country. They used vintage stools, something that I can remember scattered around our grandmothers’ house, there are unique pieces of vintage items around, reproductions of some paintings mounted in their walls, and to complete the list. Their staff are very friendly.
If Arabella’s owner can read this, I might suggest a little renovation to make the space bigger to accommodate their increasing guests and relocate their comfort room. You have to pass by their kitchen (secrets exposed to guests), in order for you to reach the comfort room. And if you are tall enough like 5’5″ and up. You will not likely to fit in the door while standing straight!
Good thing I wasnt’ that tall! Lol! =)
With the number of guests during our visit, Arabella is already famous! (–,) It’s time to branch-out! =p
I love colors. Life for me is all about colors. I specially love violet, all shades
of violet. Purple. Periwinkle. Lavander. Name it. I also have a leaning with pink,red and teal. Even yellow. the happy color. If you see pink with purple, its beautiful, red and violet, so royal. While teal and violet, is so Mediterranean. Colors have always been with me and is everywhere. In my wardrobe, my stuff, my shoes, my bags, my bedroom, my house, my car and my garden.
When I learned of Pahiyas (Decorations in the English language) in Lucban, Laguna.
I am itching with desire to witness its’ colors in the flesh. I carefully
planned it and opted to go one day ahead on its’ “bisperas” (eve of actual event), because I’ve read from a number of blogs that there are thousands of visitors on the day itself. We woke up early to catch the bus going to Lucban. It’s a 2 hour ride from my place. I am so excited. And another hour to get into the town of Lucban. We reached the place before lunch time. Tarpaulins are everywhere. Flaglets were hung in all of the streets and the arch is decored with embellishments beautifully.
I cant wait to see each house decorated with fruits, vegetables and the “Kipling” (edible embellishment made out of rice). Honey convinced me to have lunch first so we’re full before the adventure begins.
Most restos at that time are jam-packed. They normally call it “bisperas”, and there are photographers geared with their dslrs (with those biiig lens) and tripod. While I…make do with my cutie red digicam which I hang in my neck. I dont mind. A few pictures will do. All I wanted is the “experience”.
After a hefty lunch with hon, we began our adventure. We started strolling (and literally enjoying, we’re not talking to each other anymore, so engrossed with taking pictures) and witnessing how busy people can be while preparing for the festival. I was like a kid wandering and wondering, interviewing the residents as to how did they do it or how long will it take them to finish the decorations of their facade. Most of them claim it’s almost done as it is a must for them besides tomorrow is the big day. I have seen the kipling.
Which they painstakingly prepared, cooked, and dried, and carefully chose the colors and the shapes as part of the design. What’s surprising is how they created something beautiful out of anything that is available. Each house has its own unique concept. It was magical.
Since it’s in the Philippines. As expected. it was quintessential to be surrounded with friendly faces. Young and old alike. I was a stranger to them, but they talked to me as if they have known me for a long time. I cant help but ask why. one old lady claimed that they’re used to it. Even with real life newscasters. They’re being interviewed by people like me curious and so interested in this life long tradition. Even kids are so accommodating. This is my favorite. I also had the chance to buy the famous lucban longganiza, it tasted good and better with tomatoes and eggs with fried rice.
An all Filipino breakfast. T’was almost dark when we realized we’re exhausted and ended up cramming to get our shirts and ref magnets as souvenirs. We’re on “can’t get enough pictures” mode. We took a break and took a quick snack. Also, I already ran out of battery to think I bought 2 spares just in case my rechargeable ones will be drained. Reviewing my camera. I guess they’re enough.
And we prepared to head home. I could imagine myself had I visited on the day itself of the feast. It’s gonna be tiresome and I might not be able to capture the subjects that I like in my preferred angle. Maybe double than how tired I was with this adventure. Though, like I always say. It’s worth it.
Who traveled far without getting tired anyway? It’s part of it. The sweet thing is, how we enjoyed the activity. And how it’s going to be something that makes us smile upon looking back. I really admire a town being famous for a specific celebration. or tradition that that they have kept alive for generations. It was very Spanish they say.
But for me. It was also very Filipino. Such tradition kept is worth all the preparations. Pahiyas has always been featured in local and International networks. It had been a venue for photo enthusiasts, and often in the list of well-loved festivals in the country. I myself was proud that I have been there, I’ve seen them in my own eyes (and by heart) the colors of Pahiyas.
Casa San Pablo is actually the first on my list to visit with the help (and enticement) of Viaje del Sol. http://www.viajedelsol.ph/
It was always dancing and prancing in my mind. And finally, I got there. I’ve first fallen in love with it when I saw it in a local magazine. It featured their Casitas, with those murals, and paintings of some famous Filipino painter, individually themed (very distinct from one another), decorated with hard to find antique stuff, and those clippings from magazine mounted in their walls boasting good reviews about this quaint B&B place. It is found at the heart of San Pablo, Laguna.
San Pablo is a jewel though a little city. It offers a lot of interesting places. It brings you closer to nature, closer to God. Casa San Pablo is in synch with that. It’s all flora and fauna. Some local artists assemble here maybe because they are anticipating that the beauty of Casa San Pablo will instantly bring out the best in them.
It is homey, and the inn-keeper as expected is so friendly, he has a way of connecting the guests with each other. Or if a guest would want privacy, he will know it instantly.
Everyone from this place (including myself), the whole time I was there, are all smiling.
Mama and papa used to irked me (in a positive way) about visiting Villa Escudero Plantation and resort. And so one weekend, I decided to bring them to Villa Escudero. At the same time, to keep myself sane, due to tons of stress from work.
It’s just a day trip, since papa’s not so fond of overnights, he will not be able to sleep thinking of his dog, his janitors and kois and love birds as to whom will feed them during those hours nobody was at home. I am used to him being like that, he seems to be the same way even when I was a child.
We left early morning in time to enjoy lunch with our feet dipped in the cold flowing spring water. They call it Waterfall restaurant. They prepared a long table of several dishes (sitted on banana leaves) for the guests to choose from, there’s a table for main course, for drinks and for desserts. It was sumptuous. Though the feeling of being literally “cold feet” gets to me. I “Indian sit” instead the whole time I had my lunch.
We had welcome drinks when we arrive served by attendants wearing a Filipina costume with a fresh flower clipped in their hair. Some boys are also serenading the guests using a guitar looking instrument. They achieved creating the feel of being in the province specifically in the Philippines.
We were brought to the Waterfall restaurant by carabao-drawn carts. It’s actually a choice between that and a colorful jeepney.
We also visited the museum. It is actually an old church which they transformed into a museum.
It’s prohibited to take pictures inside. I got just one. Ehehe. Antique jewelry, clothing, jars, and all those artifacts, they were able to preserve. It is one of the most impressive museums I have ever seen. Though, no chance to pose for a souvenir picture, Security guards manned the whole area, I guess, there’s one in every corner.
There’s a souvenir shop too.
Villa Escudero is a vast place, the more you venture into it, the more interesting things unfolded. the long road to take with coconut trees surrounding the area are just hints of things to come.
The lake is surprising. According to the life-savers, it is more than 10 feet deep. My son, only 10 years old at that time was so brave to do bamboo rafting. He was backed by his “lolo” (grandfather). They were actually a team. So loyal to each other.
We spent some time dipping into the pool as well. Served snacks and we called it a day.
Let me put it this way, I used to think vacationing usually takes days, and rides via a plane or a big boat perhaps, being here, I learned that some road trip is worth it. Especially if with your fam. Having this weekend with them was truly a great day spent. I wish this will happen a lot. (–,)
A map to guide you just in case.