Since winter’s creeping closer and darkness shorten the days here in New Zealand, I’ve decided to write about this remarkable place that we visited in the Philippines because I’m starting to miss the awesome rays of summer.
Alright, so I have been going on several road trips over the past few years and if you’ve been following along you’ll know that I have loads of stories to share with all of you and I made it my mission to always seek out the most interesting places no matter what part of the world we are in. I’m so ready for this now!
I was scrolling down my social media feeds and this specific destination caught my attention.
This time we’re heading to the charming province of Quezon which is home to several mystical mountains, vibrant festivals, intriguing heritage houses and delightful local cuisines. If you are looking for a great place to visit in Quezon, you should definitely try Ugu Bigyan’s Pottery Garden and Restaurant. It has long been a bit of a secret in the South Luzon area but I guess now, it’s not so secret anymore.
Augusto “Ugu” Bigyan is a multifaceted person. He’s renowned primarily as a pottery artist but this guy is also a restaurateur, landscape artist, and an interior and exterior designer. He opened his home to the public in 1986 and because of his endless talent, it’s no surprise that his creative haven was consistently featured in various magazines, blogs, and television shows in the Philippines.
It only took us thirty minutes to get there from San Pablo City, Laguna. But if you’re coming from Metro Manila, it will probably be a 2 hour ride. When you drive past Villa Escudero, look for Alvarez Village which is located at Barangay Lusacan in the municipality of Tiaong.
Celebrating our arrival with this fascinating sight. I totally dig the whole vibe and I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful this place is. I was floored by it’s beauty. The mood was perfect for a quiet celebration with your loved ones. I managed to catch some sunshine too while roaming around the garden. No wonder staying in this haven gives you more inspiration to create many splendid things.
You can actually take pottery lessons with Ugu. Many people drove from the North down to Tiaong to learn the art of pottery making. Hoping to create a one of a kind handmade craft like this beautiful and delicate wind chimes.
The whole place is tastefully decorated. We spent a couple of wonderful hours enjoying our lunch in this beautiful open-air gazebo. This place is so pretty!!!
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to nom nom nom! 🙂 Yep, ya need to load up well when you’re on the road. This restaurant need booking in advance and by the way, they only accept telephone reservations at this point. Since it’s becoming more and more popular, you must book as soon as you can. Lunch rate was P600/pax but it was worth it and everything was delicious!
Because I like to keep the boss happy, it’s time to stuff ourselves full of great Filipino dishes. It’s overwhelming, I don’t even know where to start.
The restaurant doesn’t have a menu, it depends on what fresh ingredients are available in the local market. One must have Anton Ego’s posture when eating in a restaurant – Surprise me! 🙂
I unexpectedly like this a lot! Kulawo is a well-known dish made of banana hearts or grilled eggplant mixed with burnt coconut cream. Its signature smokey and creamy taste was the best! Guess what? Yes, I’m one of those Kulawo freaks now!
Pako or fern salad is a comfort food at anytime.
Spare ribs smell so good and it’s soooooo tasty!
There’s nothing like Pan-Fried fish with Mango Salsa.
And by the way, the Calamari was unbelievably tender. 😉
It’s my first time to try Guinumis, a traditional Filipino dessert which is quite similar to the famous halo-halo. It’s made up of shaved ice, coconut milk, taro, tapioca pearls, gelatin and toasted pinipig. Not bad at all.
Food taste as good as they look. And of course, we enjoyed everything with a serving of rice. Hey, I can eat anything I want because I’m married now y’all! 😀 Jeff and I had the best meal of the day.
Be sure to wander around on all the paths after your meal and feel the wonderful breeze underneath the luscious trees. I was able to explore the vicinity and I found a momentary appreciation for various antique furniture and I cannot resist photographing the gorgeous, landscaped garden too.
Sit back, relax and just enjoy the unique view. It doesn’t get any better than this really.
This sunburst wall really made my day. I just love the colors and the beautiful design. Perfect for that mandatory picture taking after a meal. I hope you don’t mind if I do. 🙂
My other senses were likewise teased when I went to the Gift Shop section.
Let’s come and look at some of the details.
Can’t help but to snap away on these eccentric pieces. Lovely embellishments, jewelries and more can be found here. I’m not really into accessories but I must admit that they all look awesomely beautiful!
Lemongrass Body Balm to calm and revitalize the body.
The two cutest things I’ve ever seen! 🙂
One of my favorite spots is this colorful little nook. The perfect corner to read a good novel. I think I belong here.
This is where Ugu’s artistic clay creations are abundantly found. I’m so happy to be here!
I always had a thing for art, that’s why I love going to museums, galleries and different historic sites. These things entice my senses and encourage me to create my own craft. I walk around this place and it brings out my inner childlike wonder.
Designs were wicked dreamy.
Even the pottery layout looks harmonious.
I can’t seem to decide which one I like. At first, it seems like they look the same but once you picked it up, there’s nothing like it. Every piece was uniquely done and yeah, they were greatly appreciated.
A variety of handmade earthenware cups.
Somehow, I am reminded of that inner passion that has been in my heart all along.
If you’re an artsy person, I can guarantee you will have an enjoyable visit.
I got mesmerized by this cup and I bought it for P400. It’s a bit pricey, eh? But don’t worry because during the month of August they’re throwing a massive product sale to celebrate Ugu’s birth month. These and many more can be bought here.
I was swept away by another amazing day in the Quezon province. Boy am I glad that we’ve chosen this venue to spend our special day. I thoroughly enjoyed the quirkiness of this place, it’s well worth checking out. We definitely had the best time here in Tiaong. Thank you Ugu for the good vibes and for putting us in a food coma.
Everyone will surely enjoy the refreshing and relaxing ambiance of this secluded artsy garden restaurant. Whether you’re spending a long weekend in the South or just in for a quick getaway, it’s always a joy to hang out in the province. Can’t wait, until I return to the motherland. As for the pottery lessons, I’m coming back for ya!
UGU Bigyan’s Pottery Garden and Restaurant
Address: 490 Alvarez Village. Brgy Lusacan, 4325 Tiaong
Telephone: (042) 545-9144, (042) 545-8689
Mobile: 0917-560-5708, 0917-560-7973