It was a rainy afternoon when we reached Sitio Remedios Heritage Village after a 10-hour drive from Manila. We passed through a brick arch with two big wooden doors and welcomed by a lady in her Filipina baro’t saya (the typical white blouse and red checked skirt) with umbrellas. I’ve never heard of Sitio Remedios before and only got the chance to stay here because of my cousin’s wedding. I knew it is a heritage village type of beach resort (like Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan) but I’m surprised when I saw our villa. It will be a haunted weekend, I thought to myself.
THE 1950s HOUSES
Since it was in the houses I based my “haunted” first impression, it would be fair to show it to you first. It’s a beautiful two-storey white house with capiz windows and spacious terraces. It’s like one of those ilustrados’ houses back in the 1800s. The house is lovely but I’m surprised by the white curtains, candle-like chandeliers, old wooden trunks and paintings all over the house. I don’t know if it because of the trembling thunders or the dark rainy sky but it gave me spooks. I’ve spent a night in a heritage village in Bataan before and the rooms may look historical outside but it’s a typical hotel room inside. I thought it’s somehow the same. But I was wrong after all.
So, our villa has one family room in each floor. We got the one in the first floor. It has an AC, two beds with those princess-y curtain drapes, own bathroom, and an antique cabinet. Luckily the bathroom is modern with some touch of wooden mirrors but going alone at night is a real struggle for a coward like me. Also, there were no TV, wi-fi and you can freaking hear every footstep in the room above. Oh, Welcome to 1950!
My parents and the other Generation X love it though. Sitio Remedios reminds them of their childhood, playing in their grandmother’s house. My dad even taught me how to close and lock the capiz windows.
The 11 houses in the village are different from each other. Here are some:
THE ILOCANO FOOD
Later that evening, everyone gathered in the dining hall for the dinner before the wedding tomorrow. And man, if I’ll have to rank the things I love about Sitio Remedios, I’ll definitely put FOOD on number 1. All the food prepared are Ilocano cuisine, aside from the famous Bagnet (which is available for all meals). I’ve got to try the authentic pinakbet, poqui-poqui & dinakdakan.
And don’t make me start with the breakfast. It was my favorite. I went ga-ga over their garlic longganisa and fried rice. They also serve good soup, fresh fruits, and fruit juice! I think I’ve gained some pounds that weekend.
The hall has 6 long tables. Sitio Remedios is a real community. They wanted their guests to share tables, converse and be friends.
THE HERITAGE VILLAGE
The next day or the wedding day, we have the morning to spare so I asked my boyfriend to walk around with me. (Still scared that I might bump up into a Japanese soldier ghost HAHA!) Sitio Remedios is situated near the beach and there’s a small community – like any other “barrio” – just outside of it. The road leading to Sitio is well-paved and you’ll be greeted by an abundance of gorgeous green plants and a brick arch. I don’t know why I saw it as creepy the night before.
I don’t know why I saw it as creepy the night before. The place looks old but beautiful.
From the entrance, there’s a long walkway, filled with lilies on the both side, that will lead to the chapel’s courtyard. The chapel, of course, goes along with the resort’s heritage theme. Paul and I decided to stay here a little longer to pray and make fun of all the “You’ll get married next” jokes from my uncles and aunts last night. Will all weddings I attend from now on be like this?
Just outside the chapel is a wide-open plaza that is very much like in old towns here in the Philippines. The plaza is peaceful at dusk with the only sound of ocean waves. It’s the perfect spot to watch the beach sunrise/sunset. Most of the weddings in Sitio Remedios that I saw online took place here. They have those wooden white chairs and rustic decors. Kinda felt sad that they need move my cousin’s reception in the dining hall because of the afternoon rains. It would have been my first outdoor wedding.
It was a little cloudy for the sunrise and we don’t have our swimsuits for a quick pool dip so we decided to just walk along the beach instead. The sand is dark and the beach has lot of moss. It is a public beach where you can see fishermen’s boats and local boys hunting crabs. Most of the locals can’t understand Tagalog making it harder for us to start a conversation.
We didn’t do much since we were there for my cousin’s wedding in the first place. The next day, we left early so we can visit Malacanang of the Palace and Vigan on our way home. My stay is short and sweet but the experience is one of a kind.
I grew up in a modern house, even my grandmother’s. So spending two nights in a traditional house is something new for me. It may come creepy to me at first but after some hours, I learned to appreciate its serenity and slow pace.
Our whole stay is sponsored by my cousin so I have no idea of where to book (I search Agoda and Travelbook and unluckily Sitio Remedios is not in partnership with them) and how much. All I see online is their contact no. 0917 332 0217.