Morning greeted us with a delectable meal from Sulyap’s in-house restaurant. At 7:30, our choice breakfast was already served. In their menu was the usual breakfast meals served in any other restaurants, except that they had generous servings that would keep you full until lunch time. And what makes it even more delish is the fact that breakfast comes as complementary to the overnight stay. I had beefsilog and tabliya (hot chocolate), which is refillable, by the way.
We requested that we be seated on the second floor of the restaurant, by the window. From where we were seated, we had a view of the side of Casa Obando, the casita where we stayed. It has the charm of an old colonial house, but without having to give up the comforts of modern amenities. Amidst the hardwood floors, capiz windows and mirrored aparador, you have a flat screen television with cable channels, air condition and toilet and bath with shower.
After we freshened up, we were off to church.
It was a busy Sunday. Tricycles and jeepneys are everywhere. Everybody was on the go. For me that was too early. I didn’t usually get up early on Sundays, or any ordinary day, for that matter (haha!). The church, San Pablo City Cathedral, was about five minutes from Sulyap. It was not so hard to get around the area and find the church. Parking would not be a problem, either. The lot fronting the church was spacious enough to put in another cathedral. We were right on time, the mass was just about to start.
It was probably the first not-too-early mass of the day. Churches usually held mass as early as six o’clock on Sundays. The cathedral was packed with people that it was impossible to find an empty chair to sit on. So we stood for about an hour until the mass ended. A little sacrifice in the middle of a vacation that was going perfectly fine was, well, worth it.
The mass ended. As expected, the streets had become busier as noon approached. Nonetheless, it took us five minutes to get back to the hotel. A special gallery tour awaited us before we leave for Manila.
The tour was conducted by Kuya Allan, who I believe was the one in-charge of the overall management of the place during our stay. Mr. Roy Empalmado, owner of Sulyap, together with his friend, Mr. Arthur Reyes built this place and were able to conveniently blend the traditional with modern.
Mr. Empalmado is also the restaurant chef. Mr. Reyes, on the other hand, is the architect.
Sulyap was once a hotel and a school. The museum was located at the first floor. It was a long stretch full of antiques. Pictures, paintings, furniture — name it, they probably have it in one of the rooms. Most of the pieces were once up for auction or for sale, but they stopped selling because there’s a plan to renovate the building and turn it into a hotel once again. Some of the furniture and decorations will be used in the hotel rooms.
As we entered the museum, we were in awe of the owner’s varied antique collections and the story behind each piece. There was this painting which, according to Kuya Allan, they could keep for a hundred years and yet not be able to sell because it was not signed by the artist. Not even a date was written on the huge painting. There was a roomful of old desk cabinets, each having a unique design that signified in which province the cabinets were made.
There was a glass cabinet full of toy cars– some of which the owner brought home from different countries. At the farthest end were the collection of lamps. Some lamps also had unique designs and patterns etched in them that indicated the country where they were from.
The biggest room is the banquet area. This can accommodate up to 250 guests. A number of special events such as birthday celebrations and weddings have already been held in Sulyap.
Speaking of banquet, it was past lunch time when we decided to wrap up the tour. It was already raining hard outside and traveling back to Manila was not a good idea. So we stayed and had our lunch at the restaurant until the rain stopped.
Since we still feel full, but do not want to starve as we head home, we opted for a light meal. We ordered for a pasta dish, cheese sticks, salad and chicken (if I remember it right). It was a bit pricey, though. Our breakfast was still the best.
Time to go.
Though it rained, I must say Sulyap is still photogenic. Enjoy the photos!