Viaje del Sol: sunny experience on a rainy day (Part I)

Before I go to Cagayan Valley to see Callao Caves and other sights that comes along the way, me and some friends decided to check Viaje del Sol (“the way of the sun”). This is a travel guide to sixteen (16) various destinations in Laguna, Quezon and Batangas. Because of limited time, me and my friends (Ajing, Benz and John and their daughter Kite) were able to visit only some of the places featured in the trip.

Even then, the experience was overwhelming because “it exceeded all our expectations” as Benz would put it. It rained but it did not spoil our trip. Viaje del sol made us feel the sun was out, all the time. Now, there are not only some that can be visited South of Manila, but there are already a lot because of “viaje del sol.” We have decided to continue with the travel sometime, and we will not mind going back the places places we’ve been to.

First stop:Kusina Salud
The place is owned by Patis Tesoro, located at Brgy. Sta. Cruz/Putol, San Pablo City. Known for her advocacy on local fabric, the resto is very Filipino with a touch of Balinese and Bohemia.

Backdoor Entrance

One of the oriental corners

The place has similarities to a typical Ilocano home. It has big capiz windows and the furnitures are antique wood. I noticed that the flooring on the second floor is made of bamboo strips, called “basar” – very Ilocano.That was the flooring of the house where I grew up (in the farm). I never thought that after 36 years, I can see it in a fine dining restaurant!

Staircase to the Second Floor

Window at the Dining Area

The place offers fine dining at an affordable price; buffet on Sundays; and serves budget meals for yayas and drivers (for they usually have shy souls to join the long table!) Their menu includes “pinakbet” and if you’re Ilocano, you may not help comparing it to the authentic Ilocano “pinakbet”.

Entrance to the Dining Area

Fountain at the Garden

Contacts: (02) 699-5035 (049) 246-6878Second Stop:Potter’s Garden by Ugu Bigyan
This is located in Tiaong, Quezon. Ugu is known for his pots, wood and ceramic pieces, and wall tiles. It is said that his creations can be seen in the interiors of Amanpulo Resort, Campo Travieza, Casa Patricia, El Nido and Villa Escudero – these are some of the top (and more expensive) resorts in the country. So if you go to Ugu, it would be nice if you can get a piece that suits your budget, just make sure you get the one with his authentic signature (I was informed that he signs all his pieces).


Leaf Tiles


Being here, I immediately thought of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte and San Juan, Ilocos Sur, where people also make clay pots. If only they are introduced to Ugu’s art then maybe they will be inspired to imrpove and “overhaul” their products – knowing how creative Ilocanos are, they may do something better with their clay if they see Ugu. Alao, some of the structures around Ugu’s place are made of bricks which did not make me feel too far from Ilocos.

Bell Chimes

Wall Tiles

Main Entrance to Ugu’s House

In Ugu, native lunch is offered as well as massage. You may find your place in one of the huts around and be treated to a relaxing experience.
Contacts: (042)545-9144

Know more of Ugu Bigyan.

(Blogger’s Note: The feature on “viaje del sol” shall be continued in the next posting.)

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10 Responses to Viaje del Sol: sunny experience on a rainy day (Part I)

  1. i know you guys. hehe. benz rana. such a kind hearted person. a good friend of my dad. keep it up. 🙂

  2. gasolinejenn says:

    Oh, and I bought a chime at Ugu, the other items are quite pricey and I don’t have my own house to put ’em in yet, but I love the tea sets. I just bought a small chime to add to my collection. 🙂

  3. gasolinejenn says:

    We were just here last weekend. Amazing house and garden. While eating you can hear a stream flowing and birds chirping and kuliglig. She also has a lot of birds. We met her, very nice lady and the food is terrific! I can’t believe how intricate the house looks, there were old pieces of tiles on the main counter, a collection of antique dolls dressed in Patis’ creations, buddhas, and lots of other knick knacks.

  4. Constantine says:

    Muy bien, Manuel! (hope I got that right!) Hehe…

  5. unas fotos muy bonitas

  6. Constantine says:

    I’m posting a comment in the Forum of Ilocos Norte Online…

    “…adda man baron…mayat nga talaga…That place in QUEZON is very familliar…the one that is owned by PATIS TESORO….I’M LOVING THE BLOG…it just kicks my HEART..”

    AND POOR “BAMBI”…kaasi met… Embarassed Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad

    INLOERS please check his SITE….”

  7. Constantine says:

    You’re right Jake, lighting may either make or break a good architecture…

  8. jfi says:

    I always bought MYHOME magazine and a lot of these arts are all featured there. That why I’m impressed of it. My occupation is related to these kind. Im a lighting specialist especialy residential and we always see to it that that use of lighting will contribute and enhance those architectural corner of the place.

  9. Constantine says:

    Jfi, you should visit the place then. The design itself is a feast to the eyes. I heard it has been featured on international architectural magazines several times.

  10. jfi says:

    wowowo! that what I like. Those ilocano architectural pieces. Asian design with mixed of mexican touch.

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