Still hungover from our workshop weekend at CASA San Miguel in Pundaquit, Zambales.

I’ve been wanting to visit this music, arts & culture haven eversince I saw images of it on a magazine a long time ago.  Finally we were invited here to share our knowledge on creative documentary filmmaking to 70 high school students. Yes 70!!!  It was a bit difficult to keep their attention the whole day but hearing them identify correct camera angles and different documentary approaches was very rewarding.

To end the already perfect day, we decided to walk towards the beach and watch the sunset.

Looking out into the sea, I had this overwhelming feeling of gratefulness inside me.  My goal in life is to give back to the world what it has given me and with this opportunity, hopefully, I am one step closer to that.

The next day, we rode on a small banca and was given the front seat view of the majestic ocean. It was mesmerizing to watch the different shapes and colors of the waves as it undulates towards my direction. Being in a wide open space can be overwhelming, the sea was so vast and I felt so small…

front view seat of the majestic ocean
island hopping

capones island

give me peace, give me liberty

balancing act

After Capones Island, we hopped onto Anawangin where we filled ourselves up with life’s simple pleasures – pancit canton with hot & spicy tuna, hard boiled egg, halo-halo and lots of crazy ideas!!! We got to conceptualize an out-of-this-world music video to the tune of Vogue with the mountains and the beach as our backdrop. Hahaha, sorry inside joke 😀

halo-halo & pancit canton (with spicy tuna)
we were suprised to see a forest of trees next to the beach

happy campers in anawangin

Heading back, we encountered a huge wave that almost toppled us over. Good thing manong boatman maneuvered us safely back to shore but not without a casualty. I tumbled out of the boat and got only one leg out when the fishermen helped pushed our boat into land. I fell awkwardly on the beach and was scared that water got inside the plastic bag with my camera in it. I heaved a sigh of relief when I found out that the only thing that got wet was my ass and that my dear camera was unharmed. Whew! Adventure 😀

At the Backstage Café in Casa San Miguel,

The food we consumed were delicious and the stories shared was pretty intense. We all agreed that it’s been a jam-packed day. We are invited again to go back and check on the students, hopefully that time, we get to see the atelier of Elmer Borlongan & Plet Bolipata, also hopefully, I get to learn how to play the violin. Woot woot!!!

brewed coffee with mascovado & milk
dried fish, fried egg & fried rice for breakfast
mango shake

arugula salad with prosciutto, goat cheese & caramelized onions
pesto pasta
brewed coffee & cookies
homemade vanilla ice cream with grapes, jam &  chocolate liqueur
gorgeous dishes concocted by the world renowned violinist Coke Bolipata

Exploring the place, we discovered picture-perfect opportunities for us to pose, haha. I’ve known these guys since 1994, we are all good friends back in college. Abbie SJ Lara is a director & editor for documentaries and Ruelo Lozendo is a filmmaker and resident artist here at CASA San Miguel. With us also is writer/poet/teacher Nerissa Guevarra.

hogwarts-like maze

I am very happy that we still get to hang out and work together. We all have pursued our passion for the arts and we have somehow kept our playfulness/silliness which I believe is very important in life 😀

sculptures by plet bolipata borlongan

I even had the opportunity to hold this musical instrument that I plan to rock out in my next life. While I was trying to play the violin, I felt we had a connection 😉 I think with formal lessons, I might have something good going on here, hahaha. I even went to a music store to ask for the regular price of a violin. I know I still have a hundred and ten things to do BUT I feel that now is a good time to do this. It’s never too late to learn something new diba?  🙂

violinist Julian teaching me how to properly hold the bow




12 thoughts on “WHAT A WEEKEND (CASA San Miguel)

  1. Casa San Miguel looks pur-teeeh 🙂 How far is it from Manila? Can people actually stay there or is it like Pinto Art Gallery na may resident artists and you just go around the place, appreciate the artwork, and eat?

    1. It’s about three and a half hours away from Manila. You can take a bus in Cubao to Iba i believe then go down the city hall and take a tricycle to Casa San Miguel.

      People can actually stay there, they have a bed and breakfast place 🙂 The food is supah doopah good too and then you can hear the children practicing their musical instruments on Sunday mornings pa. Ang saya saya!

  2. galeng galeng talaga! sobrang nakakainlove ung place at sempre dahil magaling kang kumodak talagang “convincing”… two thumbs up sa inyong 3 barkadoods 🙂

  3. Hi! I know this comment is almost a year late, but I found this post helpful. :o) A couple of questions, though: How far is the beach from Casa San Miguel (from what I understand in your post, it’s just walking distance)? And where did you spend the night in Pundaquit? Thank you very much! :o)

    1. Hi ching dee, san miguel beach is just 10mins walk from CASA San Miguel, which is where i stayed. They have rooms for rent – a really wonderful place. Check out their website casasanmiguelph.com. Thanks for visiting my site, let me know about your trip 😉

    1. Aruruteynkyu David! CASA San Miguel is my happy place, I hope you enjoy your time there as well. Let me know how it goes. Happy travellin’

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