Tag Archive: Sulyap Cafe

Been here. Done that. Posted photos here and there.

When friends called to ask who arranged our trip, or that they didn’t know you can swim (in the pool) and go bamboo-rafting in Villa Escudero, I began to realize that many go there just for the lunch by the falls and the cultural performance. Some didn’t even bother to do the museum tour where one finds centuries-old carrozas (floats), religious icons, family memorabilias (Escudero family), the Filipino alphabet, currency and doll collections from all over the world, and so many other antique collections of the Escuderos.




Kundiman Singing+ Carabao Ride in Villa Escudero


Narrow Bamboo Rafts. Great for rowing! Villa Escudero.



In my earlier blog on Villa Escudero, I highly recommended this trip to balikbayans, foreign guests, or simply to families longing to show their young children how life was in earlier times. It’s both a nostalgic and educational trip for the young and adults. The statues to be found there may not look so appealing but they showcase many Filipino traditions and lifestyles. Here’s where you can recount those stories of your younger days to the little ones or those born and grown in foreign lands who only read about them. The statues leave better memories. They complement the stories!




Physical (Rowing) and Soothing at the same time. Villa Escudero.


Lunch is served! By the falls. Villa Escudero.



The highways make these trips a breeze. You can leave as late as 8:30am, driving through SLEX and ACTEX till you reach the boundary of Laguna and Quezon. Soon after you pass the boundary marked by a Welcome Arch, turn left towards Villa Escudero. You register and pay P1,400 for a day tour which includes a Museum Tour, lunch by the falls, carabao rides, use of facilities like swimming pool and bamboo rafts. Senior citizens get a hefty discount and pay only P1,000!




Cultural show at 2pm. Villa Escudero


Performers are ALL employees and their kin. Villa Escudero



Arriving way before lunch, we did the Museum tour then took the carabao ride to bring us to the lunch area by the falls. Lunch was platefuls of grilled fish, chicken and pork belly, caldereta (beef), salad and banana cues! After lunch and while waiting for the 2pm cultural performance, you can take a dip by the pool and/or take one of the narrow bamboo rafts and exercise those arm muscles amidst a grand view of the cottages and trees by the water. Soothing yet physical, the activity renders you longing for a glass of halo halo or young coconut juice to savor while watching the dancers perform on stage.




Villa Escudero dancers.


Cultural show’s choreography by national artist Obusan, no less!



The cultural show ends at 3pm. Early enough to drive a few more minutes from Villa Escudero to visit Ugu Bigyan’s Pottery Workshop. Getting here was a challenge. The only landmark from the Maharlika Highway driving further past Villa Escudero was the Petron Gas Station and Iglesia ni Kristo on your right. Soon after passing them, take a left and look for Alvarez Village. Ugu’s workshop, gardens cum dining place is on your left. No signs, but easy to spot the red brick one-story house with a sprawling garden as soon as you enter the village.




Ugu Bigyan Pottery workshop. Tiaong. Quezon.


Patis Tito. Formerly Kusina Ni salud of Viajes del sol fame. San Pablo City



From Ugu’s place, we drove back towards San Pablo City to check out Sulyap Cafe. On our way there, we found a sign towards Patis Tito, formerly Kusina ni Salud. Really, finding these Viaje del Sol spots is quite a challenge. We had snacks here of suman (glutinous rice) and another forgettable “kakanin” and sat there watching how unkept the place was. Guess they spruce up the place only for big groups. I hope.




Patis tito. Ex-Kusina Ni Salud



By the time we reached Sulyap Cafe after missing several turns and U-turns, we were tired but still full from the merienda. We visited the art gallery inside before an intended supper there, but found the place too gloomy to spend dinner time there. Dark, gloomy, nearly haunted. Maybe the place is suitable for romantic dates. Not for us. So we chose to simply drive back to Manila instead.




Patis Tito


Patis Tito. Kusina Ni Salud. Viajes del sol.



The entire trip to Villa Escudero with sidetrips to Ugu Bigyan, Kusina ni Salud and Sulyap Cafe & Gallery lasted from 8am to 8:30pm. Not bad. It’s a good roadtrip….. Just arm yourself with a good dose of patience looking for these spots with hardly any markers. Happy driving!




Patis Tito. Resto and garden.

Ugu  Bigyan's Pottery Workshop.

Ugu Bigyan’s Pottery Workshop.

Sulyap Gallery Cafe. San Pablo City. Viajes del Sol.

Sulyap Gallery Cafe. San Pablo City. Viajes del Sol.

Art Gallery.  Old House for the night.  Good food. 

You may think that San Pablo City is way too far to have dinner.  On a good day, or a good night,  it is not.  More so if you have lined up activities for the day and planned to unwind and indulge yourself come dinnertime on your way back to Manila.  It would also be a good excuse to have a few winks after dinner on that 2 hour drive home.  Yes, just 2 hours. Give or take fifteen minutes or so. 

That, in fact, is the idea behind the Viajes del Sol.  The only problem with this Southern Luzon Travel Itinerary is that one is presented with too many dining choices that it is sheer agony having to choose from among these off-the-beaten path cafes and inspiring artists’ studios.

In San Pablo City alone,  it is a chore to decide where to dine.  If you only had a day, you need to decide beforehand if you wish to dine with a lakeside view, visit a sculptor’s workshop, a nature sanctuary, an organic farm, or an art gallery.  And that’s only in San Pablo City.  The final choice is Sulyap Cafe, where a visit is best timed around dusk when the “bahay na bato” is lighted up and turns magical.   The structure was originally from Tiaong, Quezon and transferred to this one-hectare property in San Pablo City where another structure houses an antique shop from lamps to beds to trunks to chairs. The dining areas actually involve 2 structures: one is good for big groups where one finds a sumptuous buffet spread, the other cozier as in superb dating place. 😉

Right across the restaurant but still within the one-hectare compound is Casa Obando. Newly-opened. Newly-minted Bed & Breakfast place, following the same “bahay na bato” theme.  I would love to stay a night here sometime soon. 

Magical , isn’t it?  And there’s the antique shop too, if you care to do some serious shopping.  Do notice the “burda” (laces) and “espejo” (stained glass) used extensively in the interior decor. 

I “lost” myself in this antique shop, just checking out the antique rocking chairs , until I realized I was the only left inside the shop cum art gallery.   I knew I was alone even before I looked around. Creepy. 

So tell me, who wants to book a room here?  Or a table? Er….have I talked about the food yet?