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My favorite feature of a trip to Villa Escudero is the cultural show. They put on a show starring the hacienda workers and they do it on weekends so their children can also participate. Shows are held Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at the Coconut Pavillion. When i was there, there was this little girl who earned a standing ovation because she was so good at dancing the tinikling that her feet were a blur.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
After seeing a Living Asia feature on Ugo Bigyan Potteries in Tiaong, Quezon, my husband & I wrote it on our list of must-see places in 2009. We weren't disappointed when we went there. The ambience in Ugo's compound is so refreshing after a long, tiring trip. Not only were we fascinated by Ugo's pieces on the gallery, we were fortunate to have met him personally. He was very hospitable and accommodating; he didn't mind our taking pictures of the surroundings, his workshop, his workers and his gallery.
Ugo's signature ceramic pieces combined artistry with functionality. His love for nature can be seen in the flower and/or leaf casts on his dinnerware, chimes, vases, jars and even garden footsteps. Birds, insects and fish are other common designs of his chimes, accents, pots and dinnerware. Ugo is a multi-awarded CITEM personality, having been cited for his works and successful exports from 1989-1995. However, he decided to stop mass-production of ceramic products to give way to his artistic desire to come up with one-of a kind or only a few sets/copies of his signature items. His subscribes to the motto "Challenges drive me to survive and they make me stronger everytime I work with clay" which he had printed on the tags of his products. Truly the master potter that he is, Ugo does not only design but still works and personally signs and glazes each ceramic item patiently.
Ugo is also known for his cooking talent, but we weren't able to have a taste of his specialties. He personally cooks for guests, but only for a minimum of 10 persons, and on advanced reservation basis only
Updated Jan 20, 2009
Address: Brgy. Lusacan, Tiaong, Quezon
Phone: (042) 545-9144
Villa Escudero is a working coconut plantation founded in 1872, it has developed a worldwide reputation as a focal point to experience Philippine culture and history in a beautiful rural setting.A Series of volcanic mountains, shades of coconut trees and pulsating green fields just two hours of drive away from Manila. A highlight of a tour is visit to the museum where an eclectic collection of religious icons, rare coins, costumes, furniture and dioramas of Philippine wildlife can be viewed. The other unique feature is a native buffet lunch by a waterfall where you listen to the cascades and cool your feet in the running water while feasting on native delicacies.
Open Hours:24 hours, daily.
Manila Office: 1059 Estrada Street, Malate 1004 Metro Manila
Provincial Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4 San Pablo City 4000
Telephone Numbers: 521-0830/ 523-0392/ 523-2944
Fax Number: 521-8698
Written Sep 20, 2008
Address: Tiaong Town, Quezon Province, PH
Phone: (6349) 521-0830
Augusto "Ugu" Bigyan is a ceramics artist. He in the 1990s had opened his pottery workshop in Tiaong, Quezon to the public, serving lunch amid a cluster of nipa huts in a garden. Ugu produces dinnerware sets, decorative tiles, also plates and bowls, lamps and décor items, some combined with bamboo (such as in cup handles) and rattan vines and in combinations of glazed and unglazed finishes, accent pieces for finishing walls and flooring and they are not chaep!. He enjoys great patronage from well-known individuals, up-scale hotels and posh resorts such as Amanpulo, Campo Travieza, Casa Patricia, El Nido, Hidden Valley and Villa Escudero. His residence cum workshop is LOCATED at Barangay LUSACAN, Tiaong Town, Quezon Province. It is part of the Famed "Viaje del Sol" or drive around southern luzon which consisist of bed and breakfast places & restaurants & potterries & blacksmiths & resorts & Spas.
Aside from artistically displayed clayware, Ugu's workshop/showcase offers quaint huts with which one can relax and leisurely enjoy a lush garden trimmed with terracotta chimes, fountains and koi ponds. Meals are served but must be arranged in advance.
Updated Sep 20, 2008
Address: Barangay Lusacan, Tiaong, Quezon Province, PH
Phone: (632) 545-9144
Dropping by this orchidarium was a spur of the moment thing. We were looking for another plant nursery when we passed by Gintong Talulot and was immediately mesmerized by the field of orchids in different colors.
We decided to stop and the owner graciously entertained us. He gave us a brief tour of the place while patiently answering our numerous questions on orchid-rearing.
In the end, we bought several vandas, and I personally bought a pot of red euphorbia. The owner jokingly informed me that euphorbia is the appropriate plant for lazy people (ouch!) coz it doesn't need to be watered everyday as it thrives on sunny places. True enough, I placed it on my balcony where it is directly exposed to both the morning and afternoon sun, and have been endlessly producing red blooms.
Updated Apr 6, 2008
Address: Km. 99, Brgy. Talisay
As in all rural towns, the town plaza is the center of activity. Located adjacent to the municipal hall, Tiaong Park is a venue for strolling and unwinding. The gazebo located at the park's center also serves as a meeting point as it offers a shade from the sun (or rain).
Updated Apr 6, 2008
Address: Poblacion, Tiaong
Earthkeepers is a garden-restaurant is known in Tiaong as the only restaurant serving organically grown products. While it started as, and still is, a commercial garden selling plants, landscaping materials, and native products, it also boasts of growing organic plants which they serve to their restaurant diners.
The native restaurant is built at the center of the garden where one can enjoy the surrounding greenery while dining. It is open from 6am to 6pm, serving breakfast, lunch and snacks.
We did a tour of the garden and bought several ornamental plants. The garden assistants really know their business, explaining in detail the care of the plants. And the plants are reasonably-priced; haggling is allowed.
Updated Apr 6, 2008
Address: Km. 101, Brgy. Talisay
Phone: +63 42 5457112
Ugu Bigyan is a native of Tiaong whose works rivals his workshop in popularity. Workshop is a red clay house connected by brick paths to several native huts built on a vast garden. Each hut has its own function - reception area, dining area, spa, bedroom, showroom. A tree house even sits atop an old tree.
Ugu's pottery works such as plates, bowls, and chimes are on display and available for sale. However, price may be a bit prohibitive for budget-conscious guests (such as me). For those interested to see how these plates and bowls are made, the workshop is open from 9am to 4pm (with an hour lunch break from 12nn to 1pm).
Lunch is also served although with prior reservation for a minimum of 5 persons.
Updated Apr 6, 2008
Address: Alvarez Subd., Brgy. Sta. Ana
Phone: +63 42 5459144
Villa Escudero used to be a vast coconut plantation in the mid 1800's. In 1980, the owners decided to develop a portion of the plantation into a tourist destination while maintaining its rural setting.
Native cottages were built along a lake for overnight stay; bamboo rafts are available for cruising the lake; an old chapel was converted into a museum that houses antique icons, gowns and artifacts owned by the Escudero family; life-size statues featuring local games (such as sipa, dama, etc.) dotted the resort; pools were built amidst lush vegetation; and on weekends, a cultural show is held in the afternoon.
The highlight of the visit (which is my favorite activity) is a lunch of family recipes served at the waterfall area. The spring water from the falls flows directly to the stream where lunch tables are placed and guests can have lunch while feeling the water on their feet.
Lately, Villa Escudero has become a favored choice for weddings with native motif.
Updated Feb 12, 2008
Address: Villa Escudero, Tiaong
Phone: +63 2 521-0830, 523-0392
Ugu Bigyan's place is a show-case of his art. Being a potter and a landscape artist kept him busy in the previous years with his contracts taking him all over Asia. But when I talked to him last weekend, he said he is slowing down and concentrating on his pottery and on his restaurant venture.
You can explore his Garden and look at his various work. He has collected objets from all over Asia and have incorporated them in his Garden. He has several open-sided huts where you can ask your food to be served. BTW, you have to book in advance (minimum of 5 pax) if you plan to take your lunch in Ugu's place.
He has a small shop where you can get his work and the work of other Tiaong artists.
Updated Mar 8, 2007
Address: Lusacan, Tiaong, Quezon