This is something we’d probably agree on: I love going to places I’ve never been to, discovering new tastes, relishing new experiences… am sure you do too! When Abby of Nuffnang Philippines invited me last month to a secret weekend escapade, the question was apt: when was the last time you discovered something for the first time?
Truth is: the last time when I discovered something for the first time was only the week before (eh heh) but hey, I never say no to NEW! 🙂
The day started with a power breakfast at the cozy Mom & Tina’s restaurant along C5-Libis. A first: it was my first time to eat at this branch. I’ve always liked their tapa.
Then we rode the shuttle bus which will lead us to the mystery somewhere. Again, this was new to me since I never drive my car or ride a vehicle without knowing where am going. But in this case, Joanne – our fit & able tour guide – just dropped clues about the place. Finally, we were able to guess it because of the landmarks she mentioned. We were going to Antipolo City!
I was certainly excited because I’ve never really conquered Antipolo, except for those times in my younger years when I got drunk with my friends in one of those huts at the viewpoint. I was glad because we were going to some of the places on my Metro Manila bucket list.
First stop was the Lanelle Abueva-Fernando Studio Pottery. Lanelle is one of the country’s foremost potters and I was fascinated to see her in person doing the work. Her stoneware is known for their distinct designs and I could almost believe no two dinnerwares are alike. She showed us the whole process of molding, glazing, painting and firing up the finished products in a hot oven to dry.
Part of the pottery workshop was also a cozy restaurant called Crescent Moon Cafe serving Asian specialty dishes with the artist’s twist. Unfortunately, the place is open for reservations only and we were just dropping by. This gives me reason to want to go back and try the restaurant, explore the adjacent gardens with its enchanting koi pond.
Our next stop was the Pinto Art Gallery which left me awestruck because of all the mixed media art on display. There is something about art which awakens the mind and elevates the spirit and this is what I felt being in Pinto with its likable clutter of masterpieces. I learned that they are not for sale, they’re just from the private collection of one of the country’s top neurologists, Dr. Joven Cuanang of St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Maybe I will feature Pinto in another post. It was a huge compound with several bungalows and the whitewashed walls made it look a bit Grecian.
The final leg of our trip was a Meet & Greet with the beautiful multimedia personality Bianca Gonzalez, endorser of Nescafe-in-a-can which sponsored our little weekend getaway.
Bianca is the perfect celebrity to pitch for Nescafe because the drinks are as refreshing as her.Retailing at only P29 for the Latte/Mocha flavors and as low as P18 for the Espresso Roast, they’re a perfect alternative for coffee lovers like me in these super-hot summer months when you want it cold slash iced as much as possible. If you ask me, my favorite is the green Espresso can because I want my coffee strong and bold. Otherwise, everything was good!
To end our hectic day, we still managed to go pasalubong shopping at these busy roadside stalls selling fruits, native vinegar, suman and other delicacies.
Antipolo City is really a destination in itself with its assortment of resorts, quaint hotels, restaurants and must-see places like the ones I just mentioned. It was a gem to discover this city that is just an hour or two drive away from Manila. It should be a good alternative for those wanting to see new sights this summer!