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.
This is the 7th lighthouse that I saw in my own eyes.
Every time I see a lighthouse. I am mesmerized. There is something in them that makes me wonder and prompts me to wander and dare myself to new discoveries and experience as many towers I can.
The first time I saw one, right in front of me, is in Ilocos Sur:
I fell in love with it instantly. I wanted to embrace the whole concrete stone post if I physically can. Seeing it right in front of me, made me speechless in awe. My heart, soaring! It’s like a potion poured all over me, intoxicating my heart and my mind. Even my soul I guess. I am mired with questions like what’s it all about lighthouses that I am so fascinated by them? It was a relief to have found out that I am not the only one crazy about Lighthouses!
I reached this point of thinking that it has something to do with who I was in my past life. I wanted to do regression soon. I am extending my apologies to my uncle priest (just in case this blog will reach him), as past lives isn’t part of our Catholic faith’s orientation.
I have been seeing myself being in a place where a lighthouse is standing tall. Mighty and proud. Like a man waiting for me ready to engulf me in his strong arms. For several ocassion, I kept seeing a very beautiful woman in my dreams with her black waist-length hair softly flowing behind her, she’s in a long burgundy gown with black and gold trimmings, I see her going up in a spiral staircase with its bricked walls and bronze lamps in every turn, one of her hand holding a flame lit torch and the other holding up her long silk ruffled skirt maybe to keep herself from tripping off while climbing up.
Ah, I ain’t dreaming of fairy tales in a deep slumber, she’s no Rapunzel, her hair as I remember isn’t gold. And upon reaching the top. She patiently waits on the windowsill as if anytime a man will wave at her and lovingly call out her name and she will run fast as she could towards his direction and welcome him with open arms. Is it me? I do not know. What I only know now is my-addiction-with seeing one at every opportunity.
The desire gets stronger after each encounter. I even noticed in my past scrapbooks, and pictures of lighthouses is a common thing
I must admit, fascinations like this is telling us (me) something. That is what I wanted to dig up. Like a universal feeling of self-discovery, It’ll somehow help me to know myself more. I have seen 7 all in all and apparently I intend to keep on counting. There are more than 50 in my country alone.
CAPE SANTIAGO, BATANGAS
CAPONES LIGHTHOUSE, ZAMBALES
BASCO LIGHTHOUSE, BATANES
MAHATAO & SABTANG LIGHTHOUSE, BATANES
Not until I felt the contentment and bravely I will say: “I’ve seen enough. I can rest now.” If such can answer my questions, I also do not know. It’s as if in one of them? I will find the answer to my questions. Or getting deeper, I will find out who was my man from another lifetime. Who I was? What was I am capable of doing? And I guess the answers will lead me inside the arms of the man I will call mine in this lifetime.
Huge possibility that it will give me peace. Writing this in my work area, with only the sound of my keyboard accompanying me, a dog whimpering from time to time under my chair, a cat in quiet slumber on the couch behind me and the sound of silence (its half past 2:00 am) I just can’t help but smile and dream while still awake of my next encounter or where would it be… (–,)
In my dreams, I listed these:
Symbols that makes my heart skip a beat. =)
And two more in Pangasinan, one in Cagayan as recommended by my soul sis and Guisi from Iloilo. Whew! There’s a lot! ❤
Just last year, I was able to visit “Cape Bolinao” – the second tallest lighthouse in the Philippines.
I do not intend to complete all the light houses in my country, I have 5 more remaining in my bucket list. =) Any suggestions? =)
I’ve written quite a lot on many different places, topics on gastronomical adventures and the like. I recently noticed, I haven’t written anything about my hometown. I hailed from San Pedro, Laguna. The first provincial town outside of Manila in Central Luzon. Literally, we are in the middle of the 7, 107 islands comprising the Philippines. It is neither the end nor the last of these islands.
I’ve been here since I was 10 years old. I remember my college friends calling me Ms. San Pedro, Laguna. I traveled by bus, everyday for four years just to finish college.
I basically grew up here. Physically, mentally and spiritually. Unlike other towns who were famous with something or have been identified with something. I was alarmed that I can’t think of any, out of guilt, the sight of Sampaguitas danced in my mind and realized that the little white flowers known as our national flower were known to grow here in our town, which industry is slowly dying. I still see them being sold outside of churches, used as embellishments to adorn Saints during May being the flower month. As I go around preparing myself to complete this blog, It brought me to several discoveries that my hometown has also its’ own uniqueness and landmarks too. This is my pride as well. I have to enumerate them to my heart’s content:
Maciang is a quaint restaurant small enough you won’t see tables around, they have their customers sited on a few stools fronting their kitchen where they serve the famous pancit bijon with catsup. Yees, their pancit comes with catsup! sounds weird right!? The challenging part here is that I have no way of describing it as I haven’t tried it to think that I have been living here for more than 2 decades already, But to so many, and by looking at their customers, they seem to enjoy it. Some friends I’ve known, told me that it’s good!
Just beside the counter, are 2 billiard tables where most players either eat before playing or after. Some orders were taken away too. So when you heard of the pancit with catsup, its only here in San Pedro..
In our town, like the rest of the towns in Laguna, there are highlands and lowlands. The former were being developed as residential areas lately though normally, they were occupied by manufacturers or companies that requires huge warehouses and manufacturing plants, they go here. One of which is Tabaquierade Filipinas. They manufacture the expensive tobaccos sold at special shops, and were shipped around the world. I’d like to visit it sometime.
3. Big Cha
Big Cha is a Grill restaurant ala Gerry’s grill or Leslie’s. It was put up by some brothers whose fond of eating brought them to come up with this restaurant that’s ideal to spending Friday nights for some rhythm and booze.
It was good enough they were able to come up with 2 more branches that caters up to the wee hours making it conducive to those who go home late from work and would want to unwind before hitting their beds. We normally frequent the pilot branch as it is just in front of my favorite spa which owner happens to be one of the brothers who owns Big Cha. So there’ll be times that after having a good massage, we can go straight to their place for a late dinner or vise versa. I always come back for their pork sisig. =)
The other branch is in the highway of San Pedro, Laguna. It boasts the original recipes, the place is bigger, has more room for vehicles and has a stage for live bands performing.
You will often see Charlie himself helping the staff in the kitchen. I was lucky enough to have dined there and find out that he himself prepared our orders. =)
You’ll have to pass the long road from chrysanthemum village to reach toll exit of Southwoods, this long road is long enough to enjoy its beauty, I am often reminded of Bae. Tagged to be the most beautiful town in Laguna. The trees on both sides of the road are big enough that their branches are already meeting each other. Sometime, they cut them and I was so affected I had to inquire why did they cut d branches. Lately,they were there again. It is lush and it provides a natural shade created by the leaves from the tree branches. What makes this road special are the establishments that were lined up fr both sides. I have established a specific favorite spot from them. A small country resto that serves some of my favorite Filipino dishes, a bake shop where I got my supply of the best cream puffs I’ve ever tasted and home-made blueberry cheesecake during occasion and another theme restaurant that features the owners collection of miniature cars.
5. Pitstop Cafe
Each stop at Pitstop Cafe is mesmerizing.
Their specialty is Filipino food.
Ironically, its a fusion between American (cafe like theme with miniature cars and life size figurines)
offering coffee in mugs with car images and viands of famous Filipino staple dishes.
So if you happen to be in San Pedro, try dropping by and you might be able to find someplace to dine in here which I think you will like.
You will never run of options.
6. Pacita cmplex
I thought of including this subdivision as it became synonymous with San Pedro. If you say San Pedro, they’d think of Pacita complex right away. It was actually the biggest subdivision in the world according to Guinness book of world record. It was also in this place where I was able to collect endless memories as a child and as a teenager too.I remember myself as a child spending days of biking d whole day and I was like a hungry wolf until I got the whole of it.like I was trying to solve a giant maze.
7. Landayan Black Nazarene
As a Catholic.the black Nazarene is a pastoral church in landayan. It was known to be miraculous and you’ll see a long queue of believers just to be able to pay respect and adore the lying replica of Jesus Christ.. Normally the queue will reach as far as the outside of the streets. During its feast day, I experienced the jam-packed crowd and was caught up in d middle of it, it was hot during a cold cold night,but I can’t feel d air, I almost fainted. I avoided that specific time. I do my visits on ordinary days. The peak is every Fridays. In front of d church are stalls of native delicacies. Normally, you’ll see varying kinds, most of the time, you will see this: kalamay, suman in yellow wraps, casuy or cashew nuts. I have personally tested my faith here,as there is this favor that I asked which is almost impossible, following d novena n visits, my prayers are answered. The church was acknowledged by the govt and it is now a heritage site. They even put up an arch indicating the entrance to the church.it is always included in the list of Visita Iglesias during holy week season.
9. Asian spa
There are a number of spas in San Pedro. Though there’s this one I have been very comfy with. Asian spa is manned by its friendly owner.d staff are very friendly too, accommodating. The interiors were done like a prof Interior designer would do so. I later found out, it was done by the husband, no he’s not an arch, not an Interior designer, its just an innate talent, creativity and cud be his exposure to different cultures. Because as a couple they are travelers at heart.the balm that I can’t do without is from Thailand. They horded it during a trip. They charge minimally, unlike those spas which you can consider luxurious and very exorbitant. After your massage, they’d even serve you a soothing tea n hot towel. Their place is clean, there’s a gentle scent in d air and there’s a piped in music playing old hits of the 70s, either that or a whole cd of the different sounds of nature: splashing waves, chirping birds, the sound of a soft rain falling, ripples of water,etc. The sliding door leading to the cubicles was made of wood and they utilized Polycarbonate sheets instead of glass as panels. As you open it, it slides so smoothly, you won’t be hearing any squeak as you open n close it. I really loved it and they even volunteered to do one for my house because I expressed that I would really loved to have one at home.
The blow of synthetic air isn’t that cold and isn’t that hot too. It’s just right to the feel. There’s a sauna room, 2 comfort rooms, the other one utilized for guests who wants to take a shower (your choice: hot or cold) before indulging in their massage session. The bathroom comes with a liquid soap too.
From the many strokes I’ve had. Theirs isn’t the best, I could not forget the one I had from Tacloban (Kapalua) and Gensan ( ). Though I enjoyed it just the same, all the staff knew me well, my special demands, they don’t seem to forget them. I do not like them using thumbs on my back, I do not like them pulling my toes and I want it haaaard. Ahahaha! I mean the strokes. I like it hard. They will actually ask if you want it moderate, hard or harder. And when they started pressing your back, they will thoughtfully ask if the pressure was fine with you. During their first months. Their beds didn’t have those holes fit for the face when your lying on your chest, so I requested for it. After a few weeks. They had it already done. There was a time, the attendant was a bit heavy, upon pressing my back, the bed’s leg broke down and it was funny(and thank God), we weren’t hurt from that small accident. I can’t keep myself from laughing! You see, these are just some of the reasons why I felt so at home here and even if there are new spas turning out like mushrooms in San Pedro. I am not tempted to try a new one, I am already happy with Asian spa. Besides, they knew how to take care of their guests. And me.
From the list I’ve come up with, I realized, San Pedro, my beloved hometown, is special too. (–,)
“Balance is not something you find, it is something you create.” -Jana Kingsford-
It is vacation mode. A few days back, all the shades of excitement are in our faces. We all know, that in a fast-paced corporate life, a time will occur that there’s a need to reconnect with nature. Be recharged. And be alive. The best time is? Summer!!!
Going to Acua Verde, Laiya, Batangas on a road trip that took us less than 4 hours en route the newly constructed Star toll way.
We arrived a little late for lunch and we headed straight to the restaurant.
The sumptuous buffet were waiting for us. The free flowing coffee is what I love best. Without guilt, I took advantage. Instead of the famous “tamarind juice” that they served as welcome drink, I had coffee over lunch. I do not want to be sleepy when everyone is basking under the sun. After taking some photos, we headed to each of our rooms and snag our forty winks.
The place was such a lovely site to behold. It’s a vast resort – Filipiniana theme, made use of bamboos as posts and cogon grass as finish for the roofing.
Our suite was at par, with 2 pieces of soft pillows and sheets and towels that smells ultra sweet. There is a hot and cold shower, hair dryer and personalized stuff. The personnel themselves are very friendly and assisted us with grins on their faces.
Those huge trees that were lined up left and right, back and forth made me confused to decide who among them is the prettiest like a muse. I ended up surrendering to admitting that each of them inherits individual beauty.
I devoured on where my feet are stationed and revel on the loveliness that’s all around me. The trees are truly welcoming. The wind softly blows allowing my hair to prance on my shoulder and whether they came from the north or south, I do not have the slightest idea. I only knew two things. I am free then and happy being with wonderful people. It made me forget the not so good things part of everyday life.
When the sun is still capable of kissing our skins, we didn’t mind going around and explore the surroundings. Me and my bff as usual are natural explorers with our feet, eyes and cameras always ready.
We’re like hunters for picture perfect subjects and didn’t get tired taking photos in all angles, appreciating the beauty of almost anything that captures our attention, in return, we capture them too. Fortunately, there were plenty.
I have collected these stunning panoramas.
For 2 days, short as it is. I have come to savor the incredulity of being with one with nature and good friends. Beauty from both. Captured. It is liberating. It was comparable to an emotional outburst of being free.
There are some activities that are too attractive to miss. We played like kids on the crystal clear water before riding on the banana boat.
It was so much fun!
The jet-skis are like begging for us to ride on them. So we did!
The ride created a lovely base for summertime. I have yet to find a more amusing way to describe the ride. It’s just so addicting, you wanted to do it again. Even in some other time. I noticed my skin (or our skins) getting darker due to the heat of the sun, but what else can be lovelier If we would not enjoy being under it so much if we didn’t sizzle?
It is so worth it and getting a tan won’t hurt just to be able to bid this specific Summer goodbye…It’s already June anyway.
So long Summer of 2014, looking forward to Summer of 2015! I just can’t wait! =)
I am taking this in as my finale… (–,)
Acua Verde is located at San Juan – Laiya Rd., San Juan, 4226 Batangas. You can get in touch with them at 02-651-5967.
Anawangin is that island in Zambales where there are only 4 kinds of trees that alternates with each other.
Pines, umbrellas, palms and one I could not identify. Pines out-numbered the rest of them. This is why Anawangin is unique from the other islands.
We’re not supposed to stay longer than 30 minutes in this island. We stop over not only because it is included in the package that my friend had taken advantage of. But because the natives are also proud to showcase one island after another. The people are very welcoming and I noticed that each time there’s a boat approaching the island their necks are extended and were smiling and they were waving their hands and you can feel in the air that upon plight you are a guest to them.
I saw tourists having their photos taken standing behind each tree. Usually in group. I’ve taken mine of these as I was walking. With all conviction I told my friend that you can get your energies recharged by touching them.
I showed her how I touched one’s trunk with the palm of my hand. And it’s either the tree will absorb all that is negative within me or it is me who will absorb all the positive trees from the tree. And she looked like its’ as if I can read her mind feeling strange or thinking I might be gone crazy.
I consumed the 30 minutes all wrapped-up despite of my friend’s constant reminder. For all I know, they’re not leaving without us anyway. We were running and doubled our speed when we found out that the whole group were already on the boat and were just waiting for the 2 of us. Their eyes focused as if they’ve been there for the longest time, when I waved my head and pleaded and yelled “Sorry”, they all smiled in sync. =)
I also bought a souvenir from a very persistent man convincing me that his rainmaker is a “24 carat”. It is made of bamboo with tiny puca shells inside and littlest sands perhaps which created that very soothing sound. I bought it for those times I need destressing. And secretly wishing that if I play with it, the rain would literally fall instantly.
The length isn’t that handy for someone who’s just about to hop on 3 more islands with bags and luggage and gadgets and I don’t mind. I’ve been wanting to buy one ever since I saw it from my boss’ garden some years ago.
I saw one from Davao and in Intramuros and they’re so expensive. This one I got for more than a hundred pesos only that comes with a grateful smile from that corteous vendor. I think it is worth every centavo. He even wished us to enjoy the day and surely we did.
Try toe-dipping soon in Zambales. It’s going to be a memorable one. =)