This is a long, long overdue post. Again hooray for IRL life getting in the way. And also a faulty old laptop that is still serving me in many ways.
Last 2016 I took a short trip back to the Philippines and spent a majority of those days in my home province of San Pablo Laguna.
Man, I LOVE Laguna. It is one of the biggest provinces in Luzon, has a vast eco tourism market from hot springs, private resorts, hiking trails, waterfalls, and not to mention the food.
San Pablo Laguna is about an hours drive away from Manila. I always loved featuring San Pablo in my travel posts because there are just so much to share about this beautiful city. I wanted to find a hidden gem similar like to the time I found Bato Springs. Also since we had a huge family reunion at my ancestral home, the lot of us would not fit in the Bukids small 3 bedroom shack (there’s about 15 of us).
I wanted to take my younger nieces away with me while the boys play. A quick google search brought my attention to Sulyap Café & bed and breakfast located in Barangay Del Remedio, just within the Cocoland Compound. Taking the local tricycle or jeepney commute is just about 10-15 minutes or less from the city proper.
The building and land it stood served many purposes over the decades. It used to be a local famous winery, was an elementary school and also a local public government building at some point before the owners turned it to local bed & breakfast, museum, mini fruit orchard and function hall in 2006.
The compound has several old Filipino colonial houses which each historical architecture hailed from different provinces in the Philippines. Now each casa is re-purposed into a charming, old world pre-colonial inn and restaurant cafe. The owners (now Roy Emplamado) actually took the time and money to buy these old colonial houses, dismantle them and carefully reassemble and restore them to their former glory. My favorite being Casa Alitagtag and Casa Obando which I stayed.
The first night I stayed was on a Sunday evening where majority of the guests already checked out from their weekend stay. I got the beautiful, rustic cottage all to myself. For PHP 1800 that includes breakfast. That’s roughly round $36/night pp. The room comes with AC, free WIFI and hot water.
There are other rooms that vary in prices depending on how many people are staying or what floor. So far for a double occupancy stay, the most they charge was about Php 3,400 for an upstairs room (more spacious) including the breakfast which is about $68.00 as of March 2017 exchange rates.
My favorite element in the room are the traditional capiz windows which are wooden panel sliding windows dating back as far as the 1700’s (or older) which are made of wood and the panels are made of windowpane oysters in lieu of glass.
My only complaint was because we were in a forested area thewere a LOT of huge flying insects, mostly mosquitoes. Nothing a little Off Lotion won’t scare away but they took me by surprise when I did a bit of a midnight stroll. Also the museum in front of the casa, looked liked those haunted school you watch in horror documentaries at night which gave it a creepy but adventurous vibe….I was totally digging it.
They have an orchard of mango trees, rambutan and lanzones native to the province and the fragrances fills the air.
There is a small pool in the back and a Secret garden style marble and metal dinning/picnic area.
The old building infront of the Casa that used to be a school now serves as both as a museum that houses both indigenous artifacts native to the region and arts such as religious artifacts, paintings and sculptures as early as the early 1800, collected by the Remedios family throughout the years.
The second half of the building serves as a function hall for events like weddings or team building. Upon our arrival me and my family decided to do a quick museum tour and admire all the antiques of the Remedios family collection.
I woke up at 8:00 AM in time for breakfast where I was served Tskolayt (Filipino Hot Cocoa) with brown sugar and cream, Laguna Pork Tapa which was WOW!!! And garlic fried rice with over easy eggs. They also offer other array of traditional Filipino breakfast menus such as Longsilog ( Pinoy sausages with garlic fried rice), and Western style: ham, bacon, toast and eggs including breakfast drinks. As a treat,I had my breakfast over the balcony bridge connecting two of the colonial houses overlooking the fountain garden.
They serve all day menu from breakfast lunch dinner and Miryenda which is afternoon snacks of local Filipino-Spanish desserts and finger foods. Prices for lunch and afternoon snacks range between PHP 250-400.00 which the most you would spend on a fancy meal would be under $11.00. Budget friendly indeed. I treated my nephews and nieces about 6 of us and spent under $40 for the treat out.
I loved my stay so much that I returned for another night a week later, this time for a Saturday stay, which cost me about Php 2200 about $43.50 total. My dad enjoyed his short stay with me when he picked me up it was hard to pry him out of my room. Then again it was the AC during the hot summer afternoon that got him hooked.
To book a room, in my case I was a walk in which they were able to accommodate me on a non busy weekend. Preferably you can book by calling and visiting their website at http://www.sulyap.net/bookings.php or book via travel portal Agoda, and as the day of your trip nears, give them a quick call or email.
I hope that if you visit the beautiful city of San Pablo, that can stop by even for a day trip at Sulyap Café.