so we decided to make a weekend out of last weekend. and since we were going all the way to villa escudero, we decided to take the viaje del sol tour, which we’ve heard so much about and read about, mostly in other blogs (google it). viaje del sol, which literally means way of the sun, is a tour of a group of establishments—inns, cafés, artists’ studios—in the laguna, quezon, and batangas provinces. we got to visit four.
1. first, we had breakfast at kusina salud in san pablo, laguna. owned by designer patis tesoro, it’s an old house transformed into a funky-quaint little café. we like the mismatched antique furniture, the lush foliage that surrounds it, the river that runs through it, and of course the cheap (meaning inexpensive) food! full filipino breakfast with bold barako brew for only P150! kusinasalud.com
2. then we checked into casa san pablo, a charming country inn located within a seven-hectare private property owned by boots alcantara and his mother’s family. they have eleven rooms, which can accommodate up to about 80 people. we love the manicured garden, which looks like baguio because instead of coconut trees, they have pine trees! casasanpablo.com
3. then we attended the wedding in villa escudero located just past the laguna-quezon boundary. it’s been around forever. they recently partnered with landco to develop it into an honest-to-goodness resort. we hope they will maintain the provincial atmosphere, evident in the coconut trees as far as the eye can see, nipa huts, carabao-drawn carriages, bamboo-raft rides down the lake, and local dishes. villaescudero.com
4. the next day we drove well into tiaong, quezon to visit ugu bigyan’s pottery studio. ugu is famous for his ceramics, which you can buy and guess what, you can take lessons from him too! we didn’t get to eat in the outdoor resto, though, because you need reservations for that. ugu wants to keep his place like a best-kept-secret kind of place, so it’s not easy to find! tel 0917-560-5708