Cintai Corito’s Garden – “Bali be like”

Cintai Corito’s Garden – “Bali be like”

There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” ~George Sand~

I’ve been hearing a lot about Cintai Corito, photos I’ve seen whenever I come across it is so inviting. I first thought it is not in my country. The place used to be a private sanctuary for its’ owners, especially for the wife (and mother). This place was dedicated for her. Like a local “Taj Mahal”.

It has been open to the public for the past 10 years, and it was only later that I was able to convince my foodie/ travel buddy to accompany me to witness its’ grandeur.

True enough, it is very beautiful and so relaxing. Everything is green, it brings you closer to nature. You hear birds chirping, pretty flowers,

and even peacocks making sounds like they’re trying to communicate with you. These peacocks are the first and primary reason why I included Cintai in my places to visit. I have this certain fascination with peacocks. They used to roam around according to my friends who’ve been here. When we visited, all of them are inside a huge cage then.

peacock fr cintai

There are areas to meditate, pavilions for events, picturesque villas and a Balinese themed restaurant: Abadi.

There’s a special corner for a spa, swimming pools in varying sizes and a TV room too.

We arrived in Lipa, Batangas a little late than expected, still, we were able to catch their buffet spread.

After which spent all the afternoon roaming. I truly enjoyed it and breathe easy. Everything I see, hear and smell are all pleasing. The place is good for all the senses like a serene refuge. I also had this great admiration that everything were executed in meticulous details.

This would surely be one of your choices to stay when you’re heading to Lipa. There are also equally nice establishments in the vicinity, which made me want to go back soon. It is more or less (depending on the traffic – I do not recommend leaving on Saturdays even in the morning – as you’ll get stuck in traffic) than 2 hours from Manila.

In the midst of seeing mostly several images of Buddha, this image of Mother Mary brought solace to my heart. Our Lady of Guadalupe seems to be showing up to me lately mostly in unexpected places and time. I hope to see her in Mexico one day. =)

By the way, “Cintai” is the Indonesian word for “Love.” You can contact them thru their mobile: 0917-833-1508/ 0977-811-9593. Or email them at: reservations@coritosgarden.com. They are located at: Sitio Pandayan, Malabanan Balete, Lipa, Batangas.

 

   

Advertisements

Balay Dako by Antonio’s…

Balay Dako by Antonio’s

“Family is like music, some high notes, some low notes, but always a beautiful song.”

I’m so glad to have brought my family to dine at Balay Dako… It just occurred to me that when they planned going to Tagaytay, I instantly thought of bringing them nowhere else but at Balay Dako.

And because me, my son and her girlfriend were outnumbered by oldies, what we ordered were those that are a little “healthier”, even if I wanted a lot from the menu to try for myself, please take a look:

bd 9
Gela just enjoyed nibbling on these dessert from Ilo-ilo: Piyaya.
bd 1
While I enjoyed the ube turon
bd 2
I was quite disappointed with the halo-halo, I think they lack some of the ingredients.
bd 3
The oldies wanted fish, so we had sweet and sour fish for them.
bd 4
My son opted for the salt & pepper spare ribs.
bd 5
We ordered for the green mango salad too

I actually can’t figure out what matches it. We just had the beef shanks soup (“Bulalo” in Filipino), and normally green mango salad fits best with fried food.

bd 6
Their paella.
bd 7
Mama and nanay (her yaya) about to start on their fresh lumpia when I asked them to smile first. =)
bd 8
Their lumpiang sariwa.

I still want to try more from their menu, I’ll come back soon. =)

 

Menu Photos courtesy of: http://antoniosrestaurant.ph/balay-dako/#menu-section

I’ve tried most of their desserts, so we can always go out and find another, there’s a lot of places in Tagaytay where you can find a good one to get your sweet cravings. So it’s like hopping from one place to another, besides Tagaytay is a very beautiful place. You wouldn’t mind just looking around.

 

 

 

My Pangasinan Adventure

My Pangasinan Adventure

“Jobs fill your pocket, adventures fill your soul.” ~Jaime Lyn Beatty~

I am sitting in my cubicle when I heard my office mates discussing about our Summer Outing this year. And I can’t help but get too excited as we’re going up north this time to Pangasinan. It’s going to be different this year as we have been exploring the South for the past years. Our first stop is to revel in the beauty of the Hundred Islands.

What made it more thrilling to me is to find out that the Lighthouse of Bolinao, is included in our itinerary. Whoopee! As you know, I have been collecting Lighthouses and this will surely slash one from my list to visit. The Enchanted cave is included in the list too. =) I am not that fond of spelunking but this one is going to be definitely exciting. Something that is new to me.

So here’s how our itinerary goes:

LUNCH AT DE GARCIA GARDEN & GRILL

On our way to the resort, somewhere in Sual, we spotted this eclectic restaurant and opted to have our lunch here. We also enjoyed the artistic ambiance, looks like the owners are travelers too, and the food that they served us is okay too. =)

CASA ALMARENZO BED & BREAKFAST 

And then it’s time to unpack and look forward to the activities that we’re about to do in the next few hours.

hi9

hi10

hi11

hi12

hi13

hi14

hi15

hi16

HUNDRED ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

The waters of the Lingayen gulf were clean and of bluish and greenish hue. As the roar of the boat’s engine started, all of us had fun witnessing the naturally beautiful islets that surround us.

There are 3 major islands that they converted as Tourist spots where you can have picnic as there’s a grilling area, restrooms, and rent kayaks and banana boats. Said islands are as follows: Quezon island, Governor island and Children’s island.

How nature lined up these emerald green islets are truly a breath-taking sight to behold.

hi1

hi2

hi3

hi4

hi5

hi6

hi19

BANANA BOAT

We wouldn’t wanna miss this breath-taking ride! =) I lost (or we) my voice after.

hi8

ENCHANTED CAVE

Tucked in Patar, Bolinao is someplace enchanted. =) The Enchanted cave. We dipped in its’ super cold and clear water, and when they declared we’re leaving, I almost don’t wanna go. Not yet! =)

ST. JAMES THE GREAT PARISH CHURCH VISIT

Of course, we wouldn’t leave this town without saying some prayers. Moreso, thank Him for this wonderful trip with wonderful people and great food.

 

CAPE BOLINAO

One of the highlights of this trip (Well, for me perhaps), is a visit to the second tallest lighthouse in the Philippines.

PATAR BEACH

We also had the chance to squeeze in to see one of their beaches. The sands are so fine, not that white, but their so fine. =)

BOODLE FIGHT THE PANGASINENSE WAY

I just found this boodle fight prepared neatly, and I just tasted a very delicious version of “Pinakbet”.

Roughly, it took us 5 to 6 hours to get to Casa Almarenzo. This includes the stop-over we had for lunch.

We also had fun roaming around the town, had lunch in this cool restaurant where you will find a wide variety of viands to choose from. We also shop for the also famous Bolinao longganiza. =)

Pangasinan is truly one of the most interesting towns in the northern part of the Philippines. There’s actually more to see in Pangasinan, such as: Sunflower farm, Our Lady of Manaoag church, the beaches, beautiful falls, caves, their delicacies, to mention a few.

 

 

A whimsy and quirky place in Lubao, Pampanga

Prado Farm – A whimsy and quirky place in Lubao, Pampanga

“Seeing how beauty and functionality have been coaxed out of chaos, perhaps accounts for the sense of magic that one feels for Prado Farm”. ~Mariel Francisco~

It is a rare occurrence that I get to find things that are new to me. Things that inspire, fascinate and drive me to move forward. Even slowly but surely getting where I want and who to be.

Over the years, I have explored in my own little way and maybe more in the coming years if I can afford them already. A few friends inspire me too, pushes me to my limits because they know and desires seeing me making my big dreams come true.

They knew what’s it like how to place random items together and uncover a new-born artistry. They don’t just know how, they feel it.

Targeting a place somewhere in Bulacan, as I do my research, I went farther north and landed to a farm in Lubao, Pampanga. Thanks to fellow bloggers, they unveiled to my senses a place that arrested my attention.

I researched further if those who wrote about it are professional photographers as their photos are really amazing and soulful. It reminded me that it takes two to create beautiful pictures. Someone who’s got the eye for it, and the subject itself. I didn’t include a modish dslr, cool tripods/ monopods or even gargantuan lenses. All it takes are young convivial hearts that are unafraid, seeking and lovers of fun with their up-to-the-minute mobile phones. And voila!

So their photos brought us one weekend to Pampanga. A few hours travel by bus and we reach our seasoned and whimsical destination.

Prado farm is located at Siongco, Prado in Lubao, Pampanga. It is strategically situated in the main road and can easily be spotted if you have your own vehicle or just riding a bus.

The gate that’s made of old gas tanks was the only thing that I wanted to see in my own eyes, but Jen introduced me to several Instagram photos that there’s a lot more to it. Seriously, I don’t know what inspired the owners but the place is a mixture of anything which results into a very bewitching place.

I even got a vintage coaster which has a “1930” stamped to it. There’s a lot of grizzled items but they’re a bit pricey. Just to get there is sufficient to me already and to shop is something I candeal with another day soon.

I must say the 5-hectare farm is truly a “wander and wonder” thing to me.

The Facade

10

5

6

7

8

9

The Souvenir Shop

15

11

12

13

14

The Blue House

20

16

17

18

19

The Old Train Station converted into a Museum

24

21

22

23

On our way to the Yellow house

28

25

26

27

The Yellow House

37

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

On our way to the Hotel

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

I opted not to visit the pool as like a mermaid I might plunge into the water instantly, rather, listed in our bucket an overnight stay with them soon.

Junk architecture, sustainable designs, vivid colors, a vast flora, unique innovativeness, organic food, a set of artworks here and there that are literally surprising, country and vintage feel, a place that brings you back in time, giving you feelings of incredulity yet reckon that they are real right there in front of your eyes. All quirky and whimsy. =)

47

If you want to visit the farm, their address is: Km 94 -95 Jose Abad Santos highway, Prado Siongco Lubao, Pampanga. You may call contact them at: 0920 903 0964 and you can visit their website too: http://pradofarms.com/

 

PINTO ART Museum…

Pinto Art Museum – Your portal to one of Philippines’ greatest Art collection. 

I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.”
~Vincent Van Gogh~

If you look at my blog site, my Facebook page, my Instagram and Pinterest account, you will instantly conclude that I am an artist by heart.

p2
Yes I am.

When I took up Interior Design, I have witnessed genuine artists. My classmates, my Professors and their colleagues.

We were exposed to museums, art galleries and exhibits. Some of which are ours where each student represents one creation.

I did not dare to categorize myself with them because I am not good at freehand drawing like my other classmates. However before graduation, our mentors since we’re freshmen identified the strengths of each. I in particular, my mentor claimed that I have tons of ideas to create original designs, that I am very detailed and that an artist never required excellence in freehand drawing so I can still excel with doing abstracts. And I tried a few times. She also enumerated what occupations would fit us. I remember her saying I am a free soul since I did not limit myself with established borders.

I did not end up like a Professional Artist. But it was good enough for me (just to mend a broken heart for not being a full-time one) that I was able to utilize my degree at some points in my entire career life. I did booths for exhibits, sleepless during ingress, commended for a beautiful color scheme by a former boss. He asked me to reproduce more sets, however, I only did them from the remaining fabrics that were already discontinued. So I can not clone that one anymore which eventually annoyed him. =(

I did window displays of Merchandise shops. Took charge of the the interiors and exteriors of a significant part of a theme park where I used to work, spear-headed annual competitions, emulating Broadway hits and won thrice. And as stupid as I can be sometimes, my designs were even stolen twice. These are some of my pride.

I love art. I love colors. Bright ones. Sometimes I love the soft pastels too. I am inspired by gifted hands and tried to do them in my own special way. DIYs, reproductions, tweaked in such a way you will be allowed to own it.

So anything that has to do with Arts. I am in that leaning. I am like a child who won’t stop asking her mom to give in to what I am wishing for.

One of the galleries I really wanted to see is Pinto Art Museum.

p7
Welcome arch..
p23
We’re here, finally, after four long hours of traveling.
p20
It’s still Christmas at Pinto..

It was a bit hard on my part since I have to spend 5 hours to get there by commute. A total of 4 rides.

p34
Nature and Arts combined.

p12

p14

And then finally, I was able to visit it by chance on a Sunday. Which we realized isn’t wise to do since the place is a bit cramped. Considering you have to savor each piece, those works of art laboriously brought to life by renowned artists.

Jen and I had to wait (long) for our turns to revel on each piece and she ran out of patience and asked me if we can leave since she is no longer enjoying. I actually feel the same way but I tried to ignore it since I am in between enjoying the place and running out of patience at the same time.

I might suggest to the management the possibility of limiting the number of visits per day and maybe manage the galleries in such a way that bystanders won’t linger just so to give chance to others. Or it’s just a wishful thinking as I remember visiting this theme park with more than 10,000 guests at that time. Should we limit it or not might be a major concern.

p36
Yay!

I also asked Jen whether the “Pinto” is the surname of the curator or they are literally referring to the word which is “Door” in the English language. It is the latter.

p20p30

p21

I have collected several photos with “doors”. And archs, stairs, windows and of course with the different art works carefully distributed in each gallery.

p4

p1

p2

p1
Several stairs..

p6

p5

You will find there everything related to the Arts:

Sculptures

p25

p37

p3

p6

p8

p13

p22

Photography

p17
Negatives lighted from the back. And most of them are Saints..

 

Drawings

p12

p17

Paintings

p29

p9

Huge!
Huge!

p10 p18

Conceptual Arts

p9

p26

p14
For the girls!

Crafts

p24
This one is inside a glass cabinet..

Junk arts

p19
Thought it was a man’s ribs then I saw that padlock.

Historical and religious items

p15
There’s a chapel to welcome you at Pinto..

And even Architecture

p5 p16 p22

p24

p25

p11

p4

p3

And nature in all its’ beauty.

p31

p33

p35

A day is not enough to revere in their pulchritude.

And so we will make a second visit. A planned one. =)

This blog is like a gratitude to the curator who assembled hundreds of different masterpieces. It is beyond question, one of Filipino’s pride. Thank you for promoting a world-class prowess.

Pinoy pride...
Pinoy pride…

PS

And secretly, I wished that I have one of my piece displayed there, under a pseudonym. =)