Art Gallery.  Old House for the night.  Good food. 

You may think that San Pablo City is way too far to have dinner.  On a good day, or a good night,  it is not.  More so if you have lined up activities for the day and planned to unwind and indulge yourself come dinnertime on your way back to Manila.  It would also be a good excuse to have a few winks after dinner on that 2 hour drive home.  Yes, just 2 hours. Give or take fifteen minutes or so. 

That, in fact, is the idea behind the Viajes del Sol.  The only problem with this Southern Luzon Travel Itinerary is that one is presented with too many dining choices that it is sheer agony having to choose from among these off-the-beaten path cafes and inspiring artists’ studios.

In San Pablo City alone,  it is a chore to decide where to dine.  If you only had a day, you need to decide beforehand if you wish to dine with a lakeside view, visit a sculptor’s workshop, a nature sanctuary, an organic farm, or an art gallery.  And that’s only in San Pablo City.  The final choice is Sulyap Cafe, where a visit is best timed around dusk when the “bahay na bato” is lighted up and turns magical.   The structure was originally from Tiaong, Quezon and transferred to this one-hectare property in San Pablo City where another structure houses an antique shop from lamps to beds to trunks to chairs. The dining areas actually involve 2 structures: one is good for big groups where one finds a sumptuous buffet spread, the other cozier as in superb dating place. ;-)

Right across the restaurant but still within the one-hectare compound is Casa Obando. Newly-opened. Newly-minted Bed & Breakfast place, following the same “bahay na bato” theme.  I would love to stay a night here sometime soon. 

Magical , isn’t it?  And there’s the antique shop too, if you care to do some serious shopping.  Do notice the “burda” (laces) and “espejo” (stained glass) used extensively in the interior decor. 

I “lost” myself in this antique shop, just checking out the antique rocking chairs , until I realized I was the only left inside the shop cum art gallery.   I knew I was alone even before I looked around. Creepy. 

So tell me, who wants to book a room here?  Or a table? Er….have I talked about the food yet?

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