BALAY INDANG, Finally..=)

Finally, Balay Indang…

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, however, only those who are true friends will stay…”

It has been months that we have been eyeing to spend one of our birthdays at this cozy locale in Cavite – Balay Indang. And due again to schedules that won’t meet, we had to postponed it, until finally, It is Theresa’s birthday this month of October, so we all agreed to do it at Balay Indang.

here we come
Chel to drive with 5 back-seat drivers!Lol!

It is a less than 2 hour drive taking the new MCX, we went straight to Trese Martirez and after reaching the junction at Tagaytay, we turned right several times (Savemore and Mendez) and 30 minutes after, we’ve reached our destination.

indang arc
Welcome arch is a tradition for me..
balay
The signage…

Balay Indang is a 5-hectare lot of massive flora. I’ve mused on numerous rare species of very pretty flowers in all colors.

sweet violet

violets

pink

violets 2

violets 3

reds
The orange petals blended with Theresa’s blouse..Beautiful!

Big and small trees with leaves in different shapes and varying shades of green. Being around it, nature per se, is truly beguiling. Like it was rendered by an artist in an all natural crisp palette that went well with the country-side like setting on this secluded part of Indang, Cavite.

sukal

pool

fountain

It is a Bed and Breakfast destination meant for those who really needs peace and quiet or that so called R&R (rest and relaxation). Once you are there, as we were, it is just between the sound of silence or the sound of frolicking leaves.

bahay matalino
Aaaw! They dedicated a room for us! Lol!
lanai
Lanai ng Balay…
were here
Spanish era..Vigan tiles..
chands 1
Can’t help but look up!
cuti pie
Cutie pie!

They also accommodate Retreat activities and the place is just so right. I just learned it later prompted by my wondering of seeing several Holy bibles in the area. There are 17 rooms, a pool, some gazebos, some cabanas, even a vast hall probably to hold events like birthdays and weddings for big groups.

stairs

feel at home

chel funny sit

bomber

balcony

The staff are friendly as expected, they will instantly greet you with an anticipated smile on their faces, and even if you are enjoying your own moment, you can’t help but greet them back. As I have been observing them, they all too must love their surroundings. I am amazed how positively genuine ardor can nature provide to anyone who see through its’ beauty. It reminds me of this famous saying: “May the force be with you.”

And so some force led us to the dining area. Lol! It’s time to make our tummies happy. It was a long trip anyway.

dining area
Signages…
sun flower
Happiness!
next month
It’s hers next month..=)
nkarating
Yey!
us before eating
Lunch time..=)

So this is what we feasted on:

spread
In less than 10 minutes… our food were served…

Fried rice with teeny weeny bits of
carrots.

rice
With teeny weeny carrot bits…

Chicken – Inasal style.

inasal
Chicken – Inasal style..

Oatmeal coated shrimp balls was the winner on the table.

winner
Winner! (–,)

Among those on the spread, the green salad is my personal favorite. I especially love their vinaigrette, the mixture worked for me and I guess with everyone else too.

greens
Greens! =)

Beef Caldereta. Flavorful and very tender.

caldereta
Loved the chorizos here..

Gising-gising is another chance for us to have veggies. =) (Oh my, I don’t have a picture of it!)

Baked Cream dory in cheese.

cream dory
Baked in Parmesan cheese..

And pancit (for the celebrant’s long prosperous life) utilizing sotanghon instead of the typical bijon.

pancit
Pancit sotanghon for Tere’s long & prosperous life! (–,)

We had fresh Dalandan juice, we consumed a number of pitchers.

dalnadan
Thirst quenching, not too sweet for me..

And a very soft maja for dessert.

hbd
Happy birthday Tere! =)

at rest

at res wdo tere

six sissies
Total of six sissies!
us 6
Bday girl’s is the biggest one! ehehe

The talks were non-stop, from while traveling, eating, taking photos at every chance, laughter in between. Even inside the loo. Even jump shots!

salamin
Mirrors became our favorite too..
look up
One of my favorites! This certainly “Look up” mode!
vintage mirror
Vintage mirror..
the story of the doll
And this doll! Ahaha!
chel n essie
Fun side of these two..=)

jump

watch tower 2
May relo ba jan? lol!

watch tower

And we were like kids during the 30 minute trek, wandering and wondering. It is doubtlessly moments created out of sterling friendship.

bday girl
Bday girl! ❤

Our photos might have give justice to it.

Happy birthday Theresa!!! Now we’re all looking forward to (Jhona) our youngest’s bash, where and when we will do it, is yet to be known. #excited

god bless
Our friendship has always been one of our life’s greatest blessings!

ps

We wouldn’t want another group chats reaching 400 plus messages. Lol!

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UGU BIGYAN… An Artist’s Haven…

Ugu Bigyan – Pottery and Restaurant

“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.

entrance
Evidence that an artist is residing in this place…

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.

tahong

fish.jpg
Sweet and sour (huge) fish!

pako salad

ribs

shrimps

A corner of the place is dedicated to all his magnificent works.

pots with greens

bench wd his works

his works

his works 2

mothers tongue

happy feet

A vast area where nature and art connived, resulting to a very relaxing vibe. An ambiance I haven’t felt in a long while.

cabana 3

cabana 4

faith

mayeth

my solo bricks

There are bewitching B&B rooms for those who wish to stay for the night, specifically his students.

me in bed

salamin

silip ulet

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.

3 jars

baso

baso 2

floral

God and guitar

ill buy these

pot with leaves

pots with greens

My favorite among them are the blue ones, very near to the shade of Lapiz lazuli.

lapiz lazuli
Looks like Lapiz Lazuli to me..=)

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.

cabana 4

cabana 3

guava leaves

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. =)

front facade

Ugu focal point

4 posts

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.

cabana 2

 

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.

butterflies
Butterflies I’ll hang in my existing lights at home..

And look what Ugu can provide should you opt to spend the night in his place. It is literally divine.

silip

huge room

luggage

me in bed

to the bathroom

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 newspaper

Ugu 1

Ugu 2

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.

Sonya’s Garden…

SONYA’S GARDEN…

“Just living is not enough… One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” ~Hans Christian Andersen~

It was always great to look back at times when you spend times with your parents. Especially to a bewitching place like Sonya’s Garden. It is one of Tagaytay’s pride if I may say. And I can not contain my excitement when I got there. The place transported me to a foreign place.

first pic
This used to be the focal point of the place..
cabbage
Cabbage rose..

I was like a child taking photos from every corner. Of which the endless floating flowers are my favorites. There are lots of them.

sg edible
They say some of the flowers at Sonya’s are edible..

The place is scented, it was a natural sweet scent emanating from everywhere dancing along the soft blow of wind. I guess it’s coming from the flowers themselves and the leaves of every tree and plants surrounding the place.

sg2
I have been seeing these tiles in most places in Tagaytay.

You would not believe, some of the petals are edible too.

sg ripples
Sounds of rippling waters are so relaxing..
sg
Blue, indigo, violet.

It was just a day trip, but it’s worth it and I am certain this is not my last time to visit. I especially loved their food, some items from the “panaderia” which we brought home, and the soothing feeling I got from their spa. The sound of rippling water which comes from the glass panel windows during the massage session was definitely relaxing. It was also a surprise to see a bowl of flower when it was my turn to lie on my chest. Truly a breather.

sg
I actually wanna lie down here, though it has become a favorite spot for picture taking. There is already a queue waiting for their turns.

sonya 4

sonyas 17

sg spa
Can’t wait for my turn. Swedish please. =)
entrance
Puka shells and some wooden beads created a soft lovely sound as the wind passed by them.
massage flower
Under my bed..when the attendant asked me to turn, so she can massage my back, I was surprised by the view under..

sonya 20

sonya 10

sg old banca
An old banca turned to bench..
sg4
Glorious!
sg capiz
Capiz for me felt so country..
sg bread
Before leaving, we bought some breads from the pastry shop..=)
sg3
Have a sit! ❤

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I guess, this is goin’ to be just one of my memorable visits at Sonya’s Garden. Who knows, I might even spend a day or two here. Crossin’ my fingers..<3

Chilling out at Casa San Pablo…

Chilling out at Casa San Pablo…

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/

viajedelsol
Viaje del Sol is an adventurer’s road trip guide to the provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Quezon. List are endless when it comes to beautiful places to visit in these neighboring towns. As rich as its’ culture, each has a lot to offer fellow Filipinos and foreigners alike.

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 sync with that. It speaks of Summer. 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.

cas
I could have slept here…(–,)
casa 3
So serene…
casa 7
In deep thought! (i wanna go back here!)
casa 4
Look at those cute vintage flat iron! (–,)
Apr1
Each room is packed with interesting reading materials. I was actually tempted to sneak one (The Joy Luck Club), out of guilt), I ended up listing it down and was able to buy the same book from a bookshop cum cafe in Tacloban City. (–,)
casa 5
The day trip includes a lunch and 2 snacks. This one I ordered separately. Iced cafe latte. The milk that they served was fresh cow’s milk..Oh, I love the province! ❤

snack 2

lunch

plates

snack

cr
Cool! ❤
lush
Serenity…

Casa San Pablo is located at Colago Avenue, Barrio San Roque, San Pablo City. You can contact them at: 0917 812 6687 and  211 2132. You can also check the place  at: http://www.casasanpablo.com/

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