Sunday, June 6, 2010

Viaje del Sol 1: Malvar Shrine and Kinabuhayan Cafe

Viaje del sol: The way of the sun from San Pablo to Quezon (

A map that will lure you to a DIY road trip adventure. Pack your bags, bring your camera, take an EZ Map of Laguna and don't forget your appetite. Viaje del sol will take you to various B&B, interesting sites, fascinating art and delectable food.

After 2 months of planning, reservations and plotting destinations, we were on the road to the south. Our first stop was supposed to be Kinabuhayan Cafe but due to unforeseen events, we ended up in Malvar Shrine first though this stop is not included in Viaje's map.

Malvar Shrine is at Sto. Tomas, Batangas. Located in the same street as the Municipal Hall of the town. Landmark to watch out for: Jollibee. There are also signs that will lead you to this shrine.

I didn't get to see much, just the monument.

From Malvar Shrine, it took us another hour or so to reach Kinabuhayan Cafe. It didn't have a sign in front, thank goodness I did my research and recognized the place immediately. As soon as I entered the place, I could hear Jay shouting "Tin, is that you?" It immediately made me feel at home. I could also see Muning wagging his tail and Onion grunting from one of the huts out back. Stepping in Kinabuhayan Cafe is like stepping into a time machine, the place is decorated with antiques, art and native artifacts.

Things to look out for: Treehouse, Muning, Onion and the meal.

Jay served us pan fried chicken breast with gravy, vegetable lasagna mushroom risotto and a side salad with flowers on it. "Don't skip the flowers they're edible" He says. The food was divine that I finished the whole thing with no complaints. I could not detect any Knorr/Maggi taste as well :P I guess everything was made from scratch. Yes, I am a picky eater.

We ended the meal with a native inspired dessert: sweetened camote and ube topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. A pot of brewed coffee was also served. We poked at the dessert tentatively, not really sure what to expect, but to my surprise it tasted good! The candied camote tasted like a filipino version of apple pie filling not the usual dessert that you'll get anywhere else. The brewed coffee was good enough to drink without cream and sugar too. Yes, I am weird that way. I know it's a good cuppa joe if I can drink it plain black.

Prior reservations must be made when planning to visit Kinabuhayan Cafe.
Before coming to Kinabuhayan Cafe, please book with:

Jay Herrera
(Globe) 0916-221-5791
(Smart) 0929-951-3831

Kinabuhayan Cafe :(
Directions to Kinabuhayan Cafe
(Note all kilometer readings are +/- 1 km.)

To come to Kinabuhayan Cafe in Dolores Quezon, take the Batangas Lucena exit 41 km from the Shell Magallanes station. Follow the road to Sto. Tomas, Batangas.

After 7 km, after the long islands on the road, take a left when the road forks where the Laurel statue with the raised clenched fist is. Around 3 km later, take a left at the large intersection with the isuzu bldg heading towards San Pablo, Quezon. 8km later is the town of Alaminos, Quezon.

5km after Alaminos is San Pablo Welcome arch. 6km after is Brgy. San Ignacio arch. 1km after is Meralco Building on left side. Soon after, take road on the left with Bato Springs
resort sign.

The road ends in a T intersection. Turn left to town of Dolores. Turn left on Dejarme St. Sign is paaralan Central ng Dolores. We are on right side.

The directions are +/- 1 km accurate. There are some forks in the national road where one turns into town propers. Do not enter the towns but follow the national road.

We were so relaxed, taking photos that we also lost track of time. Many more stops to go to and it was already 3pm. Bidding our goodbyes as we head on the next destination.

*****note : high resolution map can be found in (front); (back) Don't use the map in viaje del sol's website, resolution is not that good.

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