“Good food is all the sweeter, when shared with friends.”
The word Patis Tesoro is a name I will always remember because of this fancy dream to have my wedding gown done by them. I wished for it because I learned that the whole entourage of my mom was by Tesoro’s. Her wedding dress was handmade and was a pina. It is a kind of fabric meant for gowns and “Barong Tagalog” for men.
Said dream didn’t manifest but I could not exchange my wedding gown for anything.
It was sewn by my mama and the swarovkis from Italy was carefully taken cared of my cousins. I wanted to do it but according to the elders, the bride is not supposed to touch her wedding gown, only on the wedding day itself when she’s about to wear it for the ceremony.
To their hearts’ content, I obediently complied. It’s just that they can’t stop me from monitoring everything from the veil down to the train of my wedding gown. Aside from swarovkis there are also showers of small pearls and ecru beads that came with it.
And I was supposed to be blogging about Patis and Tito’s garden restaurant in San Pablo.
It is such a happy feeling to land your feet on the ground of a place where an artist (s) lives. There is a different aura. Every corner will speak for themselves that the dwellers are lovers of art.
And not just art but nature itself and their love for food.
Second floor is as artful as the ground floor:
The main dining area:
There’s a souvenir shop too:
And to the loo!
They boasts their patience in preparing their food, mostly organic, cook them without the rush. Most were slow cooked and ingredients of which were sourced locally.
Have a peek:
deep fried rolled heart of palm, ground pork with cheese, beef and pork balls and dips: tomato sauce, chili sauce or seasoned vinegar.
There’s chili fingers too which according to them arent’ too spicy,
pan fried bangus belly,
chicken kinulob (it is a native chicken boiled in seasoned water, I saw chorizo de bilbao, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and the rest I hope to know, as this is “To die for” believe me!),
Filipino pork chop,
Mechadong baka or was it adobo?
Oh my eyes and not just my tummy were full.
My soul too…
Trees, by the way, have always been one of my sources of positive energies…
The cafe is dog-friendly as long as they are leashed. I’ve got a new friend too. He didn’t left me all the while.
It is ideal for occasion, I saw this on one of the tables:
Patis Tito Garden Cafe is at:
285 Brgy. Sta. Cruz, San Pablo City
“Love is the spirit that motivates the artist’s journey.” ~ Eric Maisel
Having a boss whose passion is traveling is one blessing I should be grateful for, since she is generous enough to share wonderful experiences with her people.
Everyone is excited as to where she will bring us come Summer time. Each year is fabulous and good food is over-flowing.
This year, she personally asked me to prepare a leaflet for our itinerary. As I was browsing for photos to include on it, I learned that she is bringing us in three different locations in Quezon and Laguna. One thing in common that I noticed is that all three places depicts appreciation of art, the beauty of our country’s history and authentic cuisine.
First stop of which is Ugu Bigyan Pottery and Restaurant.
I would have to create a separate blog for the other two locations which are equally mesmerizing ( Patis Tito Garden Cafe and Sulyap Bed & Breakfast & Cafe where we spent the night of this special weekend).
True enough, location is key for friends and colleagues to enjoy that once a year bonding, R&R for both body and soul. I opted to create one blog for each as if I squeeze them all in one blog, it’d would be too long and I would not be able to reflect all the beautiful photos I’ve taken. One thing is for sure, all three, fed both our bodies and souls.
Choosing location is the key. My boss, since a traveler all her life, is excellent in her itineraries. All these years, her choices are all awe – inspiring.
It was lunch-time when we reached our first destination. It is the cozy Ugu Bigyan’s house where his restaurant and studio is situated, it caters to guests who wants to try his authentic Asian fusion cuisine, with all the twists you least expect. Not to forget mentioning that most ingredients are organic.
A corner of the place is dedicated to all his magnificent works.
A vast area where nature and art connived, resulting to a very relaxing vibe. An ambiance I haven’t felt in a long while.
There are bewitching B&B rooms for those who wish to stay for the night, specifically his students.
He is by the way considered a National Artist by being one of the most admirable master potter in all the land. I heard of him way back 2009 when I visited Casa San Pablo, seeing his place from Viaje Del Sol as one spot to stop if you are in the areas of Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon).
However, I listed another site of pottery in Antipolo, since it is nearer to me. I’m just grateful to my boss for introducing the place to us.
Ugu’s works are very fine to the smallest detail. Not the typical ordinary Terra cotta pots that we see everywhere. He creates all kinds, in different colors and in all sizes. And intricately.
My favorite among them are the blue ones, very near to the shade of Lapiz lazuli.
I am full of excitement to write about this place as it boasts three types of interests among travelers:
– His pottery – His food – His place in neutral palette
When you’re at Ugu, you would wish that the time will stop so you’ll be able to stay there for a longer time. Or, be able to visit this cozy place every now and then just so as a temporary escape from the entirely different life from the city.
The “Gastronomic adventure” term that I decided to use for our itinerary flyers suits all the food that we were served with.
The place is quite huge, however, there is no corner that isn’t interesting. They all speak to you: “Take my photo, take my photo!” And as if under a spell, you would willingly take their photos one by one, with a sweet thought at the back of your mind, that they are smiling back at you. =)
It’s as if everything were created out of fun, out of happiness, as if nothing were over-analyzed. Just fun in doing them. I guess it is what I normally see from most artists, it is what passion is all about.
The nice thing about it is that most of them were done by Ugu himself. He is a Designer and is very good in landscaping. I wonder how many years did it take him to complete a whole place and fill them with his artworks. It is so inspiring and reminded me of my quilts. I intend to fill my house with my quilts, be it our curtains, our throw pillow cases, our chairs, our bed sheets, name it. Even my skirts! ahaha! And really, time and dedication is an element. Ugu is very inspiring.
Take a peek at how beautiful the place is:
Seeing this, I thought of adding them to my existing lamps (living room) at home. These chimes, one kissed by the wind creates a very soothing sound. It lulls me to sleep.
And look what Ugu can provide should you opt to spend the night in his place. It is literally divine.
When my boss asked me how was it? I without thinking and blinking told her that I never thought something beautiful such as this is tucked somewhere in Quezon. Just like her, If I have the opportunity, I would love to bring my family and closest friends over. Besides, I need to buy some of the butterfly chimes..=)
Augusto L. Bigyan or Ugu by the way is very friendly, always smiling and he was kind enough to allow me to have a picture with him. And not just one but two. His mirthful staff joyfully said: “Isa pa!” (“One more” in English). Such a good company!
Ugu’s aura is so positive and very evident that he is enjoying the life that he choose, it is definitely an “Artist’s haven”. My unending gratefulness to my boss, my colleagues and Ugu for such a memorable experience! ❤
Ugu Bigyan Pottery and Restaurant is located at:
490 Alvarez Village. Brgy Lusacan, 4325 Tiaong, Quezon.
Dining and stay is reservation basis.
For most of history, Anonymous was a woman. ~Virginia Wolf~
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 front yard, the windows in Capiz, the wooden balusters below the window sill, that vintage electrical switch, old paintings to remember as a few.
The big lawn 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 so much fun with my colleagues. Add a lively “Good morning!” from my boss surely completed one of my best weekends. =)
Sulyap Gallery cafe and restaurant is located at: Cocoland Compound, Barangay Del Remedio, San Pablo City, 4000 Laguna.
Arabella Cafein 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). Like the 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 and the ingreidients that I used). Nevertheless, I enjoyed it too. Of course, I would not miss my blueberry cheesecake. The usual. Only that they decorated 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.
It didn’t surprise me on that Saturday, at past 1pm, the place is loaded. 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. Lavender. 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. I 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. I 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 can’t wait to see each house decorated with fruits, vegetables and the “Kipling” (edible embellishment made out of rice). And so the adventure begins.
Most restaurants at that time are jam-packed. They normally call it “bisperas”, and there are photographers geared with their dslrs (with those humongous lens) and tripods. While I… make do with my cutie red digital camera which I hang in my neck. I don’t mind. A few pictures will do. All I wanted is the “experience”.
After lunch, I started strolling (and literally enjoying, I was 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 can’t 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. And they are so willing to participate. 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 I realized how exhausted I was and ended up cramming to get some shirts and ref magnets as souvenirs. I am on “can’t get enough pictures” mode. So I 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.
Heading 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 I enjoyed the activity. And how it’s going to be something that makes me 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. =)
It is celebrated every 15th of May for their patron saint: Saint Isidore (San Isidro Labrador).