June 20, 2014

Camiña Balay Nga Bato | Iloilo City.

The night before I left Manila for a weekend trip to Iloilo, I included Camiña Balay Nga Bato on my must-try list. So when my Iloilo-based Titas said we were going to have merienda there, I was thrilled.

Camiña also serves lunch and dinner. Make reservations at least one day before your visit/tour because they need time to prepare the food they are going to serve. They only accept a group of at least five people.

A little note though -- if there's only two of you or if your group is less than five, I advice you call and inquire if there's another group who reserved that day because they might take you in.

Balay Nga Bato was built in 1865 but everything here is well-preserved. The 4th generation of the family who owns this house still lives here. And they have opened their home to visitors who want to see a little piece of history. This is the dining area for visitors. It's on the second floor. I love how the place has mismatched vintage chairs, solid tables, and charming decors.

This is the space between the kitchen and the dining area. Love all the vintage pieces. And I love how this house has so much space.

The ground floor has been converted into a shop called Lola Rufina Heritage Curio Shop in memory of the family matriarch, Rufina Avancena. They sell antique decors and housewares, chocolateras and baterol, sinamak and tableya, woven bags and abaca slippers, and many other interesting things.

Also worthy of note, the ground floor houses a traditional weaving loom. The family has kept their weaving tradition alive.

Photos 1 & 2: Chocolateras and baterol.
Photos 3 & 4: Charming corners at the 2nd floor.

Photo 1: The big, solid staircase going up the 2nd floor.
Photo 2: Another dining space on the 2nd floor. Love, love the big windows!

That afternoon, they served us pancit molo and batchoy, hot chocolate and kinihad, and side serving of papaya and tamarind jelly (if I remember it right). We all loved and enjoyed the food a lot!

And these are my Titas and their families, plus my friend E. I have not seen them in a long time and seeing them again was such a joy. We had lots of conversations and laughter. I felt so loved that day to be surrounded by all these wonderful people. Very grateful, too!

Oh, excuse this solo photo of me. I can't help it. I love old houses.
And one day, I'm going to own an old house like this!

When you visit Iloilo, swing by Camiña Balay Nga Bato. You'll love the quiet charm of this place. The food is really good, too.

Php 150/person : House Tour with Tsokolate (no minimum, according to their FB page)
Php 200/person : House Tour with Tsokolate and Pancit Molo (minimum of 5)
Php 500/person : House Tour with Lunch, Tsokolate, and Pancit Molo (minimum of 10)

. . . . .

Camiña Balay Nga Bato
20 Osmeña Street
Villa de Arevalo
Iloilo City

Phone : (033) 3363858 | 0917 3055355

Business Hours : 8am - 6pm | Mondays to Saturdays
By Reservation only

(All photos from the iPhone)

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  1. I miss the baterol. My lola used to make tsokolate every Sunday when I'm still a kid

    1. I can totally relate. I used to have tsokolate, too, in my grandparents' home, usually with suman and mangga! : )




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