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San Pablo¡¯s best-kept secret
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: -
Date: 2007-03-30
While summer may be more about beach or pool fun, it can also be as simple as a picnic in the park, or a family weekend in a mountain haven, or reading a good book.

In the quiet town of San Pablo, Laguna, summers are made to be unforgettable. Casa San Pablo, a cozy country inn in San Pablo, lures artists, singletons, families and corporate warriors with its oldworld charm amid modern fittings, flavorful food, artistic heritage and gracious hospitality. Here are more reasons to explore Casa San Pablo:

«¯ In its 12 shabby-chic rooms for instance, the works of acclaimed pottery artist Ugu Bigyan are exhibited, along with unique art pieces, eclectic junkturned-art, and local d¨¦cor. Each room opens out to a sprawling lawn of towering pine trees, a Japanese garden or the bamboo grove.

«¯ Whipped up from generations-old family recipes, sumptuous Laguna dishes and local treats are served amid contemporary Filipino paintings and folk art at the main dining hall. Without any set menu and serving only market-fresh fare, its culinary favorites for breakfast include Pinaputok na tilapia (grilled tilapia wrapped in banana leaves stuffed with a salad of red eggs, onions and tomatoes), garlic rice, suman and fresh fruits with hot tsokolate and toasted pinipig or freshly brewed kapeng barako. For lunch or dinner, there are grilled meats, Pochero, Kulawo (eggplant with gata) and Ginataang Alimango, among other specialties.

«¯ Relive childhood games on its vast lawns and gardens, play sipa, taguan, patintero or luksung-tinik among the pines, chase colorful butterflies, gaze at tropical birds that visit the place or even fly a kite. Its outdoor recreational areas will suit frisbee enthusiasts, players of basketball or badminton and avid swimmers at the pool fed by natural spring water.

«¯ Indulge in newfound hobbies like photography, writing, reading, painting and other forms. Artists stay here as regular guests or perform for a special night. Weave your masterpiece at the solo "writer¡¯s room" named after San Pablo poet Rofel Brion. Rare and popular books lining the rooms and public areas inspire and impress, including an original collection of the first Philippine encyclopedia.

«¯ Portable hammocks or hardwood chairs are scattered throughout the property for a good read or meditation, moon or stargaze at night on mats laid out on the lawn amid torch-lit pathways, and daydream in the company of young palm trees. Traditional massage or hilot soothes the tired body, leg or foot.

«¯ Well-equipped meeting rooms can accommodate up to 60 people. There is also an open-air pavilion good for 100 participants and indoor/outdoor areas for break-out sessions and team-building activities.

«¯ A mere five-minute walk is the San Roque Church where couples may exchange wedding vows and stay at the "honeymoon cottage" thereafter.

«¯ From Casa San Pablo, visit 15 other havens of art, food and serenity within Laguna, Quezon and Batangas through Viaje del Sol: brass sculptor Carlito Ortega¡¯s workshop, Casa Rap, Colette¡¯s bakeshop, Kinabuhayan Caf¨¦, designer Patis Tesoro¡¯s Kusina Salud, Earthkeepers¡¯ Garden and Restaurant, Pillar Plants and Novelties, Sitio de Amor Farm Resort, Successful Family Farm, Tahanan ni Aling Meding, Ugu Bigyan¡¯s pottery garden, Villa Escudero and La Vista Pansol.

Casa San Pablo, located at Barangay San Roque in San Pablo, Laguna and an hour and a half away from Makati, offers overnight stay with three meals. Special student rates, artist¡¯s grants and group discounts are also available.

[ San Pablo Church Wiki | Japanese Garden Wiki ]


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