Thursday, April 18, 2013

Viaje Del Sol: Ugu Bigyan, Potter's Garden, Part 1 of 7

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A couple friend of ours, Pat and Joey Frias, have been encouraging us to travel with them to the South of Luzon and take the famous Viaje del Sol. After 2 tries of scheduling for dates, we finally made it last February, shortly after Valentine's, and the day before her birthday. It was really a treat for us!

Viaje del Sol, Spanish term for the "Way of the Sun," is a collaborative endeavor of a group of entrepreneur-artists promoting local tourism through excellence in culture, arts, cuisine, and ecology of the towns of San Pablo, Batangas, and Quezon. There are so many places to visit, so my friend, Joey, just chose some spots which would be interesting enough for my two younger kids, Andrea and Jaime. 

With Ugu Bigyan, our friends Joey and Pat, and our younger kids, Jaime and Andrea. We were just a bit sad that our eldest son, Miguel, couldn't join us in this trip as he had already committed to attending a friend's birthday party.

Our friend, Joey, practically planned the whole trip and made some reservations and prior arrangements so we would be able to meet and chat with the artists-entrepreneurs.

Here's our itinerary for 2 days:

Day 1       Leave at 8 am and take the Antipolo, Rizal
               Sumptuous Lunch at Ugu Bigyan 
               Merienda at Carlito's Workshop with Carlito Ortega
               Short stop at Kubli Springs
               Dinner at Kinabuhayan Cafe with Jay Herrera
               Overnight stay at Sulyap Garden Cafe

Day 2       Breakfast and Museum Tour at Sulyap Garden Cafe
               Tour Casa San Pablo
               Lunch and merienda at Patis Tito Cafe (formerly Kusina Salud)
               Depart for Manila via Antipolo, Rizal

It took us around two and a half hours to get to Tiaong, Quezon after some quick stops along the way. 

An old map of Viaje del Sol culled from their website.

Our first stop: UGU BIGYAN 

It was our lucky day as we were able to meet and greet the owner-artist-entrepreneur, Augusto "Ugu" Bigyan, a renowned Philippine potter. Lunch was served a few minutes after we toured the spacious hacienda, the store, lovely siesta huts, and the pottery production. The cafe is also named one of the best restaurants in the Philippines, and we couldn't agree more! He prepared and cooked the dishes we savored with OPM songs in the background. For around P500/head, it was the best Filipino home-cooked meal after a long drive!

Calamares never tasted this good and moist!

Gambas ala Ugu - tasty!

Sweet and Sour Fish - fresh and manamis-namis!

Hickory sweet style baby back ribs are succulent and tender.

Sauteed seafood and vegetable cooked just the way I like it - saucy.

Paco "fern" salad is Ugu Bigyan's best seller, hands down. 

Here are some of the things we enjoyed at Ugu's:

The whole family got to try the super comfy lounge beds in one of their siesta huts.

Andrea is trying her hand at pottery... 

...while Dad and Tito Pat play the game of Kodakan.

My youngest son, Jaime, listening to the playful sounds the water chimes make.

My daughter, Andrea, enjoying the beauty of the Ugu room.

Our friends, Pat and Joey, relaxing and enjoying some moments...

Taking more photos of the Mexican-inspired houses.

Blogger's Note: It is recommended to make prior reservations and arrangements for lunch or merienda at Ugu's. They serve for a minimum of 10 pax.

Keep Walking!



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