Thursday, April 19, 2012

Camiña Balay nga Bato in Iloilo

I found Camiña Balay nga Bato in Iloilo on Facebook and was quite intrigued by the exclusivity of their second floor and the chocolate experience, which you have to pay P150/each for (they didn't charge us for the kids though). They were our first Iloilo 'dining' experience, even if it was only mamon tostado and tsokolate e. And can I just say, what an ambiance for such an afternoon snack!

Camiña Balay nga Bato is located in the area of Villa Arevalo, along the road going to Mohon/Oton

you are greeted with a loom at the first floor where the souvenir shop and offices are, as an homage to their past when women used to weave while their men were working at the sugarcane plantations

the most expensive thing on sale at Lola Rufina's curio shop is this P1M Steinway

you can purchase your own  TSOKOLATE EXPERIENCE SET - tablea, batirol and tsokolatera (big jug costs P1,300)

or just buy their tablea (P150/ea)

the oratorio (prayer room) at the second floor

with images like that, no wonder they were a prayerful lot back then

the escalera

one good thing about Camiña is that all the things there were things used by the family, unlike the ones at Balay Negrense and Jalandoni House

such embossed steel ceilings were a status symbol during olden times

this sure brought back memories of olden days when we used such lamps... and how ornate is that woodwork, huh?

my most favorite antique in the house

serving tables chopped from massive trunks and fancy china to serve food in

yes, the teacups are real tiny, but you can ask for seconds so don't worry :)

you have the option to sprinkle some pinipig (crisped rice) on your tsokolate e

it was really such a dreamy experience... and though I delighted in sharing it with my sons, I think adults would appreciate it more because of the ambiance

just lovely


Camiña Balay nga Bato was opened to the sick by a priest in the family in Spanish times (I am sorry I have quite forgotten the story of this Avanceña ancestral house. Weavers in the Arevalo district also used to work here. I have some complaint though... since the house is still being used as a house by the family when they visit (most are already based abroad), there were things that ruined the mood of the heritage pieces at the second floor: Like a mighty big flat screen TV in the middle of all those antiques. And maybe because the house has become the family's repository for their heirloom pieces, it was too crowded in the showcase area, in the sense that the items were competing for attention, rather than just highlighting the glory of that time. I think they should revisit the flow and organization of those well-loved trinkets from 1865 onwards.

They require a minimum of 5 visitors for the tsokolate experience and advance notice, of course, as they only have two dining tables.

Going to Camiña Balay nga Bato is easy from One Lourdes Dormitel because you can just ride a "Villa" jeep and get off at the Junction and walk towards the house. You can also ride a taxi (which we did, paid P70 I think). So, if you're looking for what to do in iloilo or where to go, just call them to reserve your tour at  033-3363858 033-3365075.



1 comment:

Faye Paras said...

wow mec! sulit na sulit yung trip nyo. i've spent about 1/4 of my lifetime in iloilo but i never got to visit all these places that you've been to. lolz.

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