When on vacation, you're always excited to go home right? You want to visit your hometown, reminisce good memories and meet your relatives. Unfortunately, when you go home, the house that our ancestors onced lived no longer exist, now modernized and rebuilt with no traces left of the past. You won't see old furniture anymore. If there are some, you would see them only in photos. Chances are, the rustic wood and old set of furniture were already sold to antique shop while the old bangerahan
and other rustic sets were already trashed or dusted in a stock room.
Last sem break, we just found another home. What I missed in the past came back to life again. We came home refreshed, energized, recharged and full of memories to keep. What just happened? We spent another weekend in a cozy place like we visited our grandparents in our home province. And where did we go? In the heart of Laguna, Casa San Pablo.
Let me tell you my story and tour
you down to a place what we called home for a while. Let me just post more photos according to the sequence of images in my photo archive.
Warm welcome by the owners, Boots and his wife An
We were welcomed with a warm heart by the owners Boots Alcantara and his wife An Alcantara. Boots is an avid art collector and hobby enthusiast while An is a writer and editor of a magazine. They run Casa San Pablo as a team, the cozy bed and breakfast inn in the heart of Laguna located inside Gomez compound, a family compound where Boots grew up. Boots turned a portion of it into a very relaxing, cozy place to stay, a very unique theme you will seldom see in other B & B resort. Home will always be a place where everyone wants to stay and that's exactly what I feel during our vacation. The experience that we had was unforgettable especially for the kids. There were lots of activities for kids like cooking demo, clay demo, bonfire and other fun activities. I grew up also in the province and our short stay brought me back down to nostalgic lane.
Here are some activities that we had at Casa San Pablo
As soon as we unloaded our things, the children ran to the hammocks and occupy each and rest like it was really their home.
The Native Cooking Demo
Right after our sumptuous breakfast, An introduced us the historic San Pablo and how the coconut became the basic ingredient for native cooking to locals. This activity is awesome and I don't think my children will ever experience this again in any other vacations.
Below photos need no caption anymore as they already speak for themselves. The kids were really interested about the past on how native cooking was like. The native cooking is said to be the best in the world. The best chef is found in the kitchen of our home.
The kids participated in preparing and cooking three native dishes. The first dish that we made was Adobo sa Gata then Kulawo and Pinaltok.
The shredded coconut is burned using coconut charcoal. After a while, they squeezed in the juice from the burnt coconut to make a coconut cream. The juice that came out gave a unique and authentic taste. I can't explain how it exactly tastes like, it is just different and unique.
This little man is seriously squeezing the juice from the shredded coconut. I'll tell you I was really amazed how he showed interest during the cooking demo.
And now comes the tasting time.. Yummy!
So cute! Maybe I should schedule another cooking demo in our house with this little man. This activity is not just interesting but educational too.
And here is the product of native cooking demo: Pinaltok, Adobo sa Gata and Kulawo.
Clay Workshop Demo
An is a hobby enthusiast who loves to make clay storyteller dolls. She demonstrated the kids how to make clay figured inspired by the creations of Native American pueblo artisans.
Nice art! Each creation has its own story to tell.
After An Alcantara demonstrated how to make a clay figure, the children were given a time to create their own.
Up close of Juan's masterpiece. He said that he's gonna make an image in his mind. A woman crossing arms, probably because this woman is getting old and cold. And the woman that he created was me. Really? I appreciate it a lot my dear!
Camp Adobo's Bonfire Fun..
Credits to www.occassionsofjoy.com for the above photo.
Children were having fun while toasting hotdog and marshmallow during the bonfire which was unusual for them in other vacation. They will never forget this fun activity, so rare and so fun.
The Mendiolables splashed into the pool water while me and my kids stayed in the room and grabbed the chance to catch up some relaxing sleep. It was too late when we woke up and my children went swimming the next morning instead.
Boots shared to us how Casa San Pablo began. The resort is situated inside the Gomez compound with about 7 hectares of land area. From a day resort called "Kay Inay" Boots decided to put up his own country inn inside the family compound. He built the first six rooms together with his friends using an old house in Quezon. They rebuilt the house using antique items, doors, windows, old flat irons. Every piece in bedrooms in Casa San Pablo has different pieces of art. Casa San Pablo can accomodate 130 guests. There are rooms that can accommodate 2 to 4 people, 8 people, 16 people and more. Check the website (provided below) for complete overnight package. The price is quite affordable including 3 meals, (lunch, dinner and breakfast).
This is the room with a loft where we stayed. The kids love the attic with sloped ceiling. You have to check it out and experience yourself the real beauty of Casa San Pablo.
When we asked the owners, Boots and An where they got the inspiration for the B & B resort, they said that they were inspired during their travels in Europe and other countries. They put together the modernized theme but still maintain the traditional home and nostalgic-like feeling like you were visiting your grandparents in your province.
Casa San Pablo has its own beauty that is so unique with its folk art pieces and vintage scattered like paper mache horses, vintage coal iron placed on stepper, clay fish in the gardens, and other works of art.
Rooms have artwork exhibit from artworks of Elmer Borlongan, Eliezer
John Cabangon, Halili and Tony Leano, dines among Ang Kiukoks, bathes in
bathrooms designed by Ugu Bigyan.
My little daughter didn't spare the bathroom and took a photo of herself inside.
There is a wifi in a common area and in some guest and conference rooms for wider coverage but it doesn't matter to us with or without internet anyway. We came to Casa San Pablo to relax. It's the only time we're disconnected to online world. For a little while, we lived a life without any gadgets in our hands to interrupt our happy bonding moments.
I felt very secured inside. Why did I say that? Because we are inside a family compound. There is security guard at the gate and the staff were all polite. Definitely, a must visit place for travelers, group, barkadas, couples or even alone by yourself if you want to have some peace and quiet me-time.
The place is perfect to hold your most important events in your life like wedding and anniversary. Check it out with the owners, Boots and An for different themes to choose from, a country style,vintage, etc..
Dining at Casa San Pablo
Food served to us were all home cooked like it's being cooked by our
mother, home cooked and unique Filipino taste. They cooked some fresh
produce from the backyard, I mean really FRESH because I could taste
it and feel it to bits.
Dining at Casa San Pablo is like dining in your own house. What we had for breakfast: crispy bolinao, sinangag, San Pablo longaniza and tocino, sunny side up egg, chocolate and suman and more.
Bonding moments, sharing stories and pick up lines.
Before going back to Manila, we had a photo op with the owners Boots and An.
Thank you very much for the warm welcome and
for giving us wonderful moments during our stay. We really enjoyed our vacation and that memories will
always be in our hearts forever.
Come home for a while.
Sleep in a hammock.
and just enjoy time..
Casa San Pablo
Barrio San Roque, San Pablo City, Laguna Philippines
Contact Numbers: (0920) 962 4083 (0917) 812 6687 (632) 211 2132
How to get there:
Driving to Casa San Pablo was easier for us and took us only about an hour and few minutes because we are familiar with the place. For detailed information, check them out here.
Getting To Casa San Pablo By Bus. Take any bus going to Laguna. Get off at San Pablo Medical Center along the highway. From the Medical Center, take a tricycle to Kay Inay Resort. Casa San Pablo is inside Kay Inay Resort. For more information, check them out here
I know that my post is already loaded with lots of photos but they weren't enough for me. I just can't help but share more of our mini vacation. View more photos here.