Eat Pose Love

San Pablo City, Laguna, the Philippines

August 29, 2011

Family fun can be summed up in three words: eat, pose, love. But in a heritage restaurant in the famous southern food trail, it may not always be in that order.

Poliquitings @ Sulyap Gallery Café and Restaurant, San Pablo City

On one road trip, my family did all that at Sulyap Gallery Café and Restaurant, a two-storey turn-of-the-century house transplanted from Quezon Province and rebuilt in San Pablo City, Laguna. Outfitted with the owners’ antique pieces, the restaurant allowed diners to partake of local cuisine and a cultural experience at the same time.

The architecture was typically colonial style – masonry for the lower level, wood for the upper. Spanish-era wooden panels culled from provincial old houses found new life on its walls and doors. Trees and ferns with outspread fronds, indicative of lush lakeside foliage in this area, shaded the al fresco part of the restaurant from the tropical sun.

Smirk and Sulyap: Ki @ Sulyap Gallery Café and Restaurant

Transplanted Turn-of-the-Century House: Sulyap Gallery Café and Restaurant

Wooden 2nd Level of Sulyap

The upper-floor window woodwork, accented by capiz shells and stained glass, and carved balustrades and ventanillas were a feast for the eyes. If it had not been for the lunch-hour crowd on the second level, we would’ve snapped more photos. At least, we had the ground floor to ourselves. Our food took its sweet time in coming, which was an excuse to ham it up for a photo shoot, directed by my friend Ki.

Mother and Son

Husband and Wife

Boyfriend and Girlfriend

Waiting for Lunch @ Sulyap

Religious relics and vintage household items conspired with the servers by averting our attention away from the long wait for lunch. Paperweight-size icons crowded an altar atop an antique bureau while a life-size wooden statue of St. Francis de Assisi was ensconced and encased in the middle of the room.

St. Francis de Assisi and Mom @ Sulyap

Religious Icon @ Sulyap

Madonna and Child in Wooden Niche @ Sulyap

Altar Rose

Old-school appliances and vinyl records displayed around the room gave it a homey ambiance. They evoked a certain intimacy, a feeling that we were dinner guests in someone’s house.

Antique Candlestick Telephone @ Sulyap

Vintage Vinyl Tribute to Miss Universe 1973 Margarita Moran @ Sulyap

Finally, after almost an hour, lunch was served. The sugpo kare-kare (jumbo shrimp cooked in thick peanut sauce) and kulawong puso ng saging (smoked banana heart in coconut milk) were worth the wait.

Sugpo Kare-Kare and Kulawong Puso ng Saging @ Sulyap

A skip and a hop across the driveway led to Sulyap Museum, a repository of the owners’ collections. As in the restaurant, both religious icons and antique furniture filled entire rooms and armoires. Different eras in Philippine history, perhaps with the exception of pre-colonial, were represented.

Entering Sulyap Museum

Saintly Carvings @ Sulyap Museum

Mom and Antique Figurines @ Sulyap Museum

A Dinosaur of a Typewriter

Down the driveway was Casa Obando Bed and Breakfast. Named after the town in Bulacan from where this house built in the 1850s originated, it was dismantled and faithfully rebuilt to its original floor plan and design at this present site. We didn’t go inside, however, as this was only a pit stop and we had long way to go on our southern Tagalog road trip.

At the Escalera Principal of Casa de Obando

Casa de Obando

Sulyap is Tagalog for “glance.” This quaint nook south of Manila offered a glimpse of Philippine heritage through art and architecture. It served up both physical nourishment and an enriching experience. Although the service was short in Filipino-style hospitality, it was still an ideal place for trans-generational bonding, for families to eat, pose with, and fall in love with the beauty of our heritage. And to pray? Needless to say, we did say grace before our meal.

The Family that Prays Together….

…Dozes Off Sweetly Together.

About these ads

8 thoughts on “Eat Pose Love

  1. We always love to eat with the entire family if possible! We eat and eat even if we are full. That is our culture. I love to own that antique telephone, AJ. Thanks for sharing your road trip!

    • Breaking bread together strengthens bonds. So does snapping photos together. ;) Oh yeah, candlestick phones are vintage cool! Nice to see back here, Inno.

  2. Nothing makes you happier than the sweet family, sweet dishes, and sweet love, isn’t it? I’m happy for you!! You seem to have everything you need in your life. That’s really something that most people are longing for. I can see it from your photos! :)

  3. After reading this post, I suddenly miss Sunday lunch with the family. I miss sinigang! or Tinolang manok. I remember we would cook tinolang manok and then afterwards, my parents would take the meat out of the soup so they could also cook adobong manok. so we had 2 dishes good for 7 people.. tipid na tipid! hehe

    • Wow, talk about recycling the chicken! :) We used to have similar Sunday lunches as well, minus the recycling. But now my sibs have their own families and dad has passed away so it’s just me and my mom. That’s why family road trips like this are special to me. It’s like reliving my memories of family bonding and childhood trips.

    • But it seems the only hope for our old houses is to be transplanted. Maybe a Mini Stop or another SM have been built in their original place. :(

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s