Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Come Home to Laguna at Casa San Pablo

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.


Have fun..

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.

Just  relax..

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
email: info@casasanpablo.com

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. 


  1. we had such a GREAT time. next adventure...

  2. Ang saya saya naman ng family bonding nyo sis. Parang gusto ko dyan sa hammock, nakakamiss ang simoy ng hangin dyan satin hehehe..

  3. You have a very detailed and precise post my dear, one would really hurry to that place like home, the Casa San Pablo in Laguna. I would also like to check that place sometime with my family. Thanks for a great post!

  4. nice! I wanted to visit Casa San Pablo too.. and this post made want it more :)

  5. @joy, Thank you so much. It was an awesome trip! Love it!

    @sis rose, yes! sarap ng hangin, parang nasa Baguio lang. the kids love it more with the hammocks! That's what I miss sa province.

    @Jing, Yes dear, you should go. Bring your family there.

    @Peh, go and visit. I'm sure you will love the place. It's a good place to write too and have some me-time. recommended for family adventure. BTw, congrats sa new C-lium commercial mo!

  6. you had me at hammock. :D

    Awesome looking place and great activities to do with the family, I sure hope we can visit it in the near future! :P

  7. I also want to go there at Casa San Pablo kaya lang busy months ang NOvember and December eh...

  8. @Ane, you should include Casa San Pablo in your must-visit place.

    @peach, we wanted to stay longer nga sana, but we need to hurry back to Manila for the start of school the next day.

  9. What a nice post! This is exactly what I told my mom early this morning. To convert our farmhouse into a place where visitors can relax and enjoy. What an inspiration. Glad i read this. And glad you had a wonderful vacation. :)

  10. @Reena, we had such a wonderful vacation. thank you, I appreciate it that you like my post. :)

  11. The place is so nice! So timely, I am looking for a good place to bring my family to before the year ends.


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